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 Health Dallas (2004), Pediatrics
Children's Health Dallas (2006), Pediatric Medicine
UT Southwestern/Children's Medical Center (2010), Pediatric Gastroenterology

Research Interest

  • Fatty liver disease
  • Niemann-Pick type C disease


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Delineation of metabolic responses of Npc1-/-nih mice lacking the cholesterol-esterifying enzyme SOAT2 to acute treatment with 2-hydroxypropyl-?-cyclodextrin.
Ramirez CM, Taylor AM, Lopez AM, Repa JJ, Turley SD, Steroids 2020 Dec 164 108725
Ontogenesis and Modulation of Intestinal Unesterified Cholesterol Sequestration in a Mouse Model of Niemann-Pick C1 Disease.
Lopez AM, Ramirez CM, Taylor AM, Jones RD, Repa JJ, Turley SD, Dig. Dis. Sci. 2019 Jul
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-?-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

Honors & Awards

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

Professional Associations/Affiliations

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