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Johns Hopkins Pediatric

8 New Faculty Members Join Johns Hopkins Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Elham Afghani, M.D., M.P.H.


Dr. Elham Afghani is an assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She joins us from Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. She received her medical degree from University of California, Irvine. She completed her internal medicine residency as well as an extra year as chief resident at the University of California, Irvine, Medical Center. She then completed her gastroenterology and hepatology fellowship with additional training in pancreatic diseases at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. With a unique specialization in pancreatic disease, she has participated in numerous research projects at the Cedars Sinai division of pancreatico-biliary diseases and was involved in a U01 Consortium for the study of chronic pancreatitis, diabetes and pancreatic cancer.

Dr. Afghani’s areas of expertise include acute and chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic cysts and pancreatic exocrine insufficiency. She is an accomplished researcher with multiple publications in prestigious peer-reviewed journals as well as presentations at national meetings. Dr. Afghani is board certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology.


Olaya Brewer Gutierrez, M.B.B.S.


Dr. Olaya Brewer Gutierrez is a clinical associate at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and an attending gastroenterologist at The Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. She received her medical degree from the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas in 2001. She completed an internal medicine residency followed by a gastroenterology fellowship in Caracas, Venezuela. She then completed one year of endoscopic ultrasound training in Venezuela. She worked as an attending gastroenterologist at the Centro Medico Docente La Trinidad in Caracas for seven years.

In 2016, Dr. Brewer Gutierrez completed a two-year advanced fellowship in endoscopic ultrasound and ERCP, followed by an additional year of motility training at Johns Hopkins. She is certified in general internal medicine and gastroenterology by the Medical College of the Federal District of Venezuela and is part of the Venezuelan Societies of Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology, where she also served in leadership roles over several years. Dr. Brewer Gutierrez's major areas of interests are the workup and management of patients with GERD, Barrett’s esophagus, antireflux procedures such as transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF), pancreatobiliary diseases, endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR), endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) and ERCP.


Ulrike Kirsten Buchwald, M.D.


Ulrike Kirsten Buchwald is an infectious diseases and HIV physician who attended Medical School in Germany, and completed an internship in Internal Medicine/Infectious Diseases at the Charité University Hospital in Berlin. After gaining experience in tropical medicine in Sudan and at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, she moved to New York City for vaccine and immunology research, followed by an internal medicine residency training and infectious diseases fellowship at New York University. During this time, she spent one year at the Medical Research Council in The Gambia as immunology researcher and HIV care provider. In 2010, she joined the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and the Institute of Human Virology as assistant professor, serving as an infectious diseases consultant and HIV physician both domestically and internationally.

Dr. Buchwald received training in anal cancer screening and high resolution anoscopy (HRA) and started a dedicated anal cancer screening clinic known as the Anal Lesion Evaluation Research Treatment (ALERT) clinic at the University of Maryland. She was the director of the ALERT clinic and in 2017 co-founded the Maryland Consortium for Anal Cancer Screening (MCACS) with Dr. Sandy Fang, Johns Hopkins Department of Surgery, and Dr. Joyce Jones, Johns Hopkins Department of Medicine, to strengthen clinical care and research for HPV-related anal disease. She now joins the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Johns Hopkins to build a multi-disciplinary team dedicated to anal cancer screening, and to increase access to high-resolution anoscopy services and HPV-related anal dysplasia treatment for high risk patients in Baltimore and the region.


Aline Charabaty, M.D.


Dr. Aline Charabaty is the Director of the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) Center at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine at Sibley University Hospital. She received her medical degree from Saint Joseph University School of Medicine, Lebanon and completed her internal medicine residency and Gastroenterology fellowship at Georgetown University Hospital. Before joining the Johns Hopkins faculty, Dr Charabaty was the Director of the IBD Center at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital for more than 10 years.

She has been actively involved in education and research in IBD: she chairs the Mission Committee of the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation (CCFn) of the DC-MD-VA Chapter, she served on the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s Patient Education Committee and Professional Education Committee, and was an active member of the foundation’s QORUS initiative focused on improving quality of care in IBD patients. She is an active member of the American Gastroenterology Association (AGA) Diversity Committee, an expert moderator for the AGA Community, and AGA spokesperson for the media. She is a reviewer for various gastroenterology journals and section editor for practical reviews in gastroenterology.


Alia Dadabhai, M.D.


Dr. Alia Dadabhai is an assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. While board certified in gastroenterology and transplant hepatology, her areas of clinical interest focus on diseases of the liver, including viral hepatitis, alcoholic liver disease, cirrhosis, portal hypertension, fatty liver, liver transplantation and pregnancy and hepatic diseases.

Dr. Dadabhai earned her medical degree from the Drexel University College of Medicine and completed her residency at UCLA Harbor Medical Center. She performed a fellowship in gastroenterology at Temple University Medical Center and a fellowship at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in hepatology and liver transplantation.


Michella Ma, M.D.


Dr. Ma is an assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She received her medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School and completed her internal medicine residency at the University of Pennsylvania. Following her residency, she performed a fellowship in transplant hepatology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Dr. Ma is board certified in internal medicine and has clinical interests in acute and chronic alcoholic liver disease as well as medical education.


Joshua Sloan, D.O.


Dr. Joshua Sloan is an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, as well as the Director of the Dysphagia Clinic. In this clinic, he focuses on seeing patients who have swallowing difficulties that stem from a number of esophageal problems, ranging from motility abnormalities such as achalasia to patients with eosinophilic esophagitis. He also works closely with the Radiation Oncology Department, among others, to improve swallowing after radiation for head and neck cancer. Additionally, he is a member of the Heartburn Center at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

He has completed his gastroenterology fellowship at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, PA where he worked extensively with Dr. Philip Katz, a well-known esophagologist and past president of the American College of Gastroenterology. Following his fellowship he completed an additional advanced fellowship in the study of motility and neurogastroenterology at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Dr. Sloan’s clinical interests include esophageal dysmotility, dysphagia, eosinophilic esophagitis and gastritis, Barrett’s esophagus, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), esophageal strictures, dyspepsia, peptic ulcer disease and colon cancer screening. His research interests involve gastrointestinal motility disorders with a special focus on the esophagus.


Helen Yu, B.M., M.D., Ph.D.


Dr. Yu joins our faculty after completing a gastroenterology and hepatology fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Prior to that, she completed an internal medicine residency at the University of Virginia. She earned her medical degree from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine in China and received her graduate degree in biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Active in her research, Dr. Yu’s clinical interests include the diagnosis and management of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and chronic diarrhea disease. She is committed to a career as a physician-scientist with focus on host-pathogen interactions and IBD. Dr. Yu’s goal is to translate her research into better patient care especially for those who suffer from diarrhea and IBD.

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