Dr. Souza obtained her BA from Cornell University (1987) and her MD from Howard University College of Medicine (1991). After completing her residency in internal medicine at Beth Israel Boston (1991-1994), she completed three years of postdoctoral training in gastroenterology at the University of Maryland (1994-1997).

Dr. Souza has a particular interest in gastroesophageal reflux disease and its complications including Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma. Currently the laboratory is investigating in vitro and in vivo the molecular mechanisms by which acid and bile exposure lead to the development and neoplastic progression of Barrett’s esophagus.


Cornell University (1987)
Medical School
Howard University (1991)

Research Interest

  • Barrett's esophagus
  • Esophageal adenocarcinoma
  • Molecular mechanisms of gastrointestinal cancer


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Mitochondrial STAT3 Contributes to Transformation of Barrett's Epithelial Cells that Express Oncogenic Ras in a p53-Independent Fashion.
Yu C, Huo X, Agoston AT, Zhang X, Theiss AL, Cheng E, Zhang Q, Zaika A, Pham TH, Wang DH, Lobie PE, Odze RD, Spechler SJ, Souza RF Am. J. Physiol. Gastrointest. Liver Physiol. 2015 Jun ajpgi.00462.2014
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 oesophageal squamous cells exposed to acidic bile salt medium, omeprazole inhibits IL-8 expression through effects on nuclear factor-?B and activator protein-1.
Huo X, Zhang X, Yu C, Zhang Q, Cheng E, Wang DH, Pham TH, Spechler SJ, Souza RF Gut 2013 Sep
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
Omeprazole blocks STAT6 binding to the eotaxin-3 promoter in eosinophilic esophagitis cells.
Zhang X, Cheng E, Huo X, Yu C, Zhang Q, Pham TH, Wang DH, Spechler SJ, Souza RF PLoS ONE 2012 7 11 e50037
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

Honors & Awards

  • Alpha Omega Alpha
    Medical Honor Society (0)
  • Nominating Committee for the EGD Section
    American Gastroenterology Association (0)
  • REGAL Award
    Research Excellence in GI and Liver (0)
  • Steering Committee of the GRG
    American Gastroenterology Association (0)
  • Young Investigator Award-Basic Research
    Gastroenterology Research Group, American Gastroenterology Association (0)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Association for Cancer Research
  • American College of Gastroenterology
  • American Gastroenterological Association
  • American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy