Dr. Spechler obtained his B.A. degree from Boston University (1971) and his M.D. degree from Boston University School of Medicine (1974). He completed his residency in internal medicine (1974-1977) and his fellowship in gastroenterology (1977-1979) at the Boston VA Medical Center. Upon completing his fellowship, Dr. Spechler joined the staff of the Boston VA Medical Center where he served as Associate Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology until 1990. From 1990 through 1997, Dr. Spechler was the Director of the Center for Swallowing Disorders at the Beth Israel Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. Dr. Spechler has been a member of the faculty of the UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas since 1997. Dr. Spechler is widely renowned as an expert in diseases of the esophagus. He has a special interest in gastroesophageal reflux disease and Barrett's esophagus. Dr. Spechler has an active program of clinical research that focuses on diseases of the esophagus. He chairs the VA Cooperative Study on Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. He is a member of the American Gastroenterological Association's Committee on GI Research. His current research protocols include an NCI-sponsored study of chemoprophylaxis for Barrett's esophagus, a study of photodynamic therapy for Barrett's esophagus, and a study on the role of NSAIDs in the pathogenesis of gastroesophageal reflux disease.


Boston University (1972), Science
Medical School
Boston University (1974), Medicine

Research Interest

  • Barrett’s esophagus
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Hedgehog signaling regulates FOXA2 in esophageal embryogenesis and Barrett's metaplasia.
Wang DH, Tiwari A, Kim ME, Clemons NJ, Regmi NL, Hodges WA, Berman DM, Montgomery EA, Watkins DN, Zhang X, Zhang Q, Jie C, Spechler SJ, Souza RF J. Clin. Invest. 2014 Aug
In Barrett's Esophagus Patients and Barrett's Cell Lines, Ursodeoxycholic Acid Increases Antioxidant Expression and Prevents DNA Damage by Bile Acids.
Peng S, Huo X, Rezaei D, Zhang Q, Zhang X, Yu C, Asanuma K, Cheng E, Pham TH, Wang DH, Chen M, Souza RF, Spechler SJ Am. J. Physiol. Gastrointest. Liver Physiol. 2014 May
Barrett esophagus and risk of esophageal cancer: a clinical review.
Spechler SJ JAMA 2013 Aug 310 6 627-36
Omeprazole blocks eotaxin-3 expression by oesophageal squamous cells from patients with eosinophilic oesophagitis and GORD.
Cheng E, Zhang X, Huo X, Yu C, Zhang Q, Wang DH, Spechler SJ, Souza RF Gut 2012 May
Gastroesophageal reflux might cause esophagitis through a cytokine-mediated mechanism rather than caustic acid injury.
Souza RF, Huo X, Mittal V, Schuler CM, Carmack SW, Zhang HY, Zhang X, Yu C, Hormi-Carver K, Genta RM, Spechler SJ Gastroenterology 2009 Nov 137 5 1776-84
Barrett's esophagus.
Spechler SJ, Goyal RK N. Engl. J. Med. 1986 Aug 315 6 362-71

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American College of Gastroenterology
  • American Gastroenterological Association