Dr. Charina Ramirez received her medical degree from UT Medical Branch in Galveston. She completed her internship and residency training in pediatrics at UT Southwestern/Children’s Medical Center. Subsequently Dr. Ramirez completed her fellowship in pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at UT Southwestern.

During her fellowships, she served as a research fellow in lipid metabolism under the mentorship of Drs. John Dietschy and Stephen Turley. Her research interests have involved cholesterol transport in the murine models of Niemann-Pick Type C disease and Lysosomal Acid Lipase Deficiency. Her current research project is evaluating the effects of a low carbohydrate diet in pediatric patients with metabolic syndrome and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.


Medical School
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (2003)
Children's Medical Center (2004), Pediatrics
Children's Medical Center (2006), Pediatric Medicine
UT Southwestern/Children's Medical Center (2010), Pediatric Gastroenterology

Specialty Areas

Clinical Interest

  • Celiac Disease
  • Fatty Liver
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux (GERD) - Heartburn
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Liver Disease
  • Research Interest

    • Fatty liver disease
    • Niemann-Pick type C disease


    Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

    Lysosomal Acid Lipase Activity: A Tool for the Detection and Management of Fatty Liver Disease?
    Ramirez CM, Lopez AM, Turley SD EBioMedicine 2015 Jul 2 7 638-9
    Systemic administration of 2-hydroxypropyl-ß-cyclodextrin to symptomatic Npc1-deficient mice slows cholesterol sequestration in the major organs and improves liver function.
    Lopez AM, Terpack SJ, Posey KS, Liu B, Ramirez CM, Turley SD Clin. Exp. Pharmacol. Physiol. 2014 Aug
    Impact of the loss of caveolin-1 on lung mass and cholesterol metabolism in mice with and without the lysosomal cholesterol transporter, Niemann-Pick type C1.
    Mundy DI, Lopez AM, Posey KS, Chuang JC, Ramirez CM, Scherer PE, Turley SD Biochim. Biophys. Acta 2014 Apr
    Ontogenic changes in lung cholesterol metabolism, lipid content, and histology in mice with Niemann-Pick type C disease.
    Ramirez CM, Lopez AM, Le LQ, Posey KS, Weinberg AG, Turley SD Biochim. Biophys. Acta 2014 Jan 1841 1 54-61
    Frequency of the Cholesteryl ester storage disease common LIPA E8SJM mutation (c.894g>a) in various racial and ethnic groups.
    Scott SA, Liu B, Nazarenko I, Martis S, Kozlitina J, Yang Y, Ramirez C, Kasai Y, Hyatt T, Peter I, Desnick RJ Hepatology 2013 Feb
    Unesterified cholesterol accumulation in late endosomes/lysosomes causes neurodegeneration and is prevented by driving cholesterol export from this compartment.
    Aqul A, Liu B, Ramirez CM, Pieper AA, Estill SJ, Burns DK, Liu B, Repa JJ, Turley SD, Dietschy JM J. Neurosci. 2011 Jun 31 25 9404-13
    Quantitative role of LAL, NPC2, and NPC1 in lysosomal cholesterol processing defined by genetic and pharmacological manipulations.
    Ramirez CM, Liu B, Aqul A, Taylor AM, Repa JJ, Turley SD, Dietschy JM J. Lipid Res. 2011 Apr 52 4 688-98
    Weekly cyclodextrin administration normalizes cholesterol metabolism in nearly every organ of the Niemann-Pick type C1 mouse and markedly prolongs life.
    Ramirez CM, Liu B, Taylor AM, Repa JJ, Burns DK, Weinberg AG, Turley SD, Dietschy JM Pediatr. Res. 2010 Oct 68 4 309-15
    Cyclodextrin overcomes the transport defect in nearly every organ of NPC1 mice leading to excretion of sequestered cholesterol as bile acid.
    Liu B, Ramirez CM, Miller AM, Repa JJ, Turley SD, Dietschy JM J. Lipid Res. 2010 May 51 5 933-44
    Persistence of herpes simplex virus DNA in cerebrospinal fluid of neonates with herpes simplex virus encephalitis.
    Mejías A, Bustos R, Ardura MI, Ramírez C, Sánchez PJ J Perinatol 2009 Apr 29 4 290-6

    Honors & Awards

    • Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship Grant
      Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation (2009-2010)
    • Summa Cum Laude
      University of Houston (1999)

    Professional Associations/Affiliations

    • The Obesity Society (2014)
    • American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (2013)
    • Pediatric Society of Greater Dallas (2012)
    • American Gastroenterological Association (2008)
    • North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (2007)
    • Texas Medical Association (2003)