Department of Medicine

University of Pittsburgh

Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
Mezzanine Level,
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone: (412) 648-9115

Stephen J.D. O'Keefe, MD, MSc


Professor of Medicine

Clinical Nutrition Service

Office: PUH - Mezz. 2 - C Wing
200 Lothrop St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone: 412-648-7217
Fax: 412-383-8913

MB BS, Guy's Hospital Medical School, London, England, 1966
MRCS and LRCP, Royal College of Physicians, London, England
MSc, London University, 1972
MD (by thesis, equivalent to PhD), London University, 1981

Fellowship, Intern. Med. & Nutrition, Harvard Medical School, 1990

Area of Specialization/Research Interest  
Nutrition and Disease
Nutritional Gastroenterology
Acute Pancreatitis
Intestinal Rehabilitation and Transplantation
Nutrion and Colon Cancer
Nutritional Support

Dr. O’Keefe’s research explores the field of nutritional gastroenterology. Most of his investigations are translational in nature, evaluating the physiological and pathophysiological responses to dietary intake and interventional feeding. He has received NIH funding for his studies on the effects of enteral and parenteral feeding on the synthesis and secretion of trypsin in humans, which have formed the basis for the recently completed NIH-funded multicenter study on distal jejunal feeding in acute pancreatitis. He has applied stable isotope labeling techniques to the study of in vivo amino acid turnover and protein synthesis. Particular attention has been directed to the measurement of mucosal protein turnover and the synthesis of trypsin in patients with acute severe pancreatitis, hepatic proteins in patients with liver disease, and mucosal proteins in patients with intestinal failure, as well as related responses to nutritional modification and medical therapy. His current major area of NIH-supported research investigates the role diet, colonic microbiota and the metabolome to determine colon cancer in diverse populations. His studies seek to unravel the reasons for the high risk of colon cancer among African Americans in the U.S., while rural Africans in Africa rarely get the disease. Dr. O’Keefe has formed a collaborative team from South Africa, the UK and The Netherlands to achieve these aims. Currently, this group is investigating the effects of dietary exchanges on the microbiota and colonic mucosal biomarkers of cancer risk. His third area of current research involves the investigation of gut peptide derivatives in enhancing intestinal adaptation to massive intestinal resection or short bowel-intestinal failure. Dr. O’Keefe’s clinical activities relate to the management of home parental feeding and the nutritional support of hospitalized patients.

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