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

Acid has anti-proliferative effects in non-neoplastic Barrett?s epithelial cells.
Feagins LA, Zhang H, Hormi-Carver K, Quinones MH, Thomas D, Zhang X, Terada LS, Spechler SJ, Ramirez RD, Souza RF American Journal of Gastroenterology 2007 102 10-20
Characterization of a telomerase-immortalized, non-neoplastic, human Barrett’s cell line (BAR-T).
Jaiswal KR, Morales CP, Feagins LA, Gandia KG, Zhang X, Zhang HY, Hormi-Carver, K, Shen Y, Elder F, Ramirez RD, Sarosi GA, Jr., Spechler SJ, Souza RF. Diseases of the Esophagus 2007 20 256-264
GERD is associated with short telomeres in the squamous epithelium of the distal esophagus.
Souza RF, Lunsford T, Ramirez RD, Zhang X, Lee EL, Shen Y, Owen C, Shay JW, Morales CM, Spechler SJ. American Journal of Physiology 2007 293 G19-G24
In non-dysplastic Barrett?s Epithelial (BAR-T) cells, acid exerts early anti-proliferative effects through activation of the Chk2 pathway.
Zhang HY, Zhang X, Hormi-Carver K, Feagins LA, Spechler SJ, Souza RF. Cancer Research 2007 In press
All trans-retinoic acid (ATRA) induces apoptosis via p38 and caspase pathways in metaplastic Barrett?s cells.
Hormi-Carver K, Feagins LA, Spechler SJ, Souza RF. American Journal of Physiology 2006 290 G335-G342

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