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Message From The Chair

Donna Ferriero, MD, MS

Donna Ferriero, MD, MS

For more than 100 years, our department has distinguished itself in educating the next generation of physicians, delivering excellent clinical care to young patients, and constantly improving treatment options through biomedical research.

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Melvin B. Heyman, MD, MPH

Professor of Clinical Pediatrics

Anita Ow Wing Endowed Chair and Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Endowed Chair

Contact Info

Box 0136

550 16th Street

San Francisco, CA 94143

Phone: (415) 476-0820

Fax: (415) 476-1343




  • University of California, Berkeley, CA. BA, economics, 1968-72
  • University of California, Los Angeles, CA, MD, 1972-76
  • University of California, Los Angeles, CA, MPH, nutrition, 1979-81
  • University of Southern California Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, internship, pediatrics, 1976-77
  • University of Southern California Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, residency, pediatrics, 1977-79
  • University of California, Los Angeles, fellowship, pediatric gastroenterology & nutrition,1979-81
  • Tufts University, Boston, MA, sabbatical, Nutrition Research, Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, MA, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 1989-90


Board Certification

  • Certified, American Board of Pediatrics (1979)
  • Certified, Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition (1990)

Clinical Expertise

  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Gastroenterological procedures:  upper endoscopy including intestinal biopsy, placement of percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube, dilatation of strictures, removal of foreign bodies, control of hemorrhage; lower endoscopy (colonoscopy and flexible sigmoidoscopy) including biopsy, control of hemorrhage, polyp removal;  percutaneous liver biopsy;  pH probe test;  hydrogen breath test;  enteral tube management including gastrostomy tube replacement;  esophageal and anorectal manometry 
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Short bowel syndrome/intestinal rehabilitation
  • Specialized nutrition support
  • Feeding problems/dysphagia
  • Acute and chronic pancreatitis
  • Gastrointestinal motility disorders (e.g., chronic idiopathic intestinal pseudoobstruction syndrome)
  • Congenital disorders of the gastrointestinal tract

Research Interests

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (etiology, new treatment trials, database for study of natural history and long term disease progression and response to treatments)
    • Crohn’s disease
    • Ulcerative colitis
  • Pediatric nutrition
    • Energy balance studies, etiology of failure to thrive in children with chronic disease
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Pancreatitis

UCSF Program Affiliations


Dr. Heyman is Professor of Pediatrics supported by the the Anita Ow Wing and Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Endowed Chairs, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Director of the Training  Program in Pediatric Gastroenterology/Nutrition, and Director of the Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He is board certified in pediatrics and pediatric gastroenterology. Dr. Heyman completed his pediatric training at the LA County-USC Medical Center and a fellowship in pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition at UCLA, where he also earned a Master's Degree in Public Health (in nutrition). He has been a member of the UCSF Department of Pediatrics faculty since 1981.

One of Dr. Heyman's primary activities and a major focus is mentoring  at all levels, but most specifically directed at trainees in the subspecialty of pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition.  Mentoring activities include directing the UCSF Training Program in Pediatric Gastroenterology/Nutrition and assisting trainees and young faculty in career development and the conduct of clinical research.

Dr. Heyman recently was awarded the position of editor-In-chief, Western Hemisphere for the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.  ( He is also the co-author of Feeding Your Child for Lifelong Health (New York:  Bantam Books, 1999.  354 pp.), which was awarded the  American Medical Writers Association, New England Chapter, Will Solimene Award of Excellence in Medical Communication, 2000.

He conducts clinical and collaborative translational research noted below that is focused on nutrition issues, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, and gastroesophageal reflux disease in pediatric subjects.  Many of his current research involves participation in NIH and foundation supported multicentered collaborative research, representing UCSF Pediatric Gastroenterology as a leader in several of these endeavors.  He is Co-Chair of PRO-KIIDS, a CCFA-supported pediatric initiative to enhance research in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease.  He also serves on various grant review panels, including panels for the NIH.

Dr. Heyman serves on many local and national committees, including the program planning committee for the annual Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) meeting, Secretary/Treasurer of the Council of Pediatric Subspecialists (CoPS), the American Academy of Pediatrics' Executive Committee for the Section on Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (AAP-SOGHN), the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP), and the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN).

Dr. Heyman is also very involved in local community affairs.  He participated on a San Francisco Board of Education Nutrition and Exercise in School Health task force to promote healthier food choices in the local public schools for children in grades K-12.  Since 2001, he has been instrumental in developing and maintaining a Northern California summer camp for children and adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease, and since 2005 has been Chairman of the IBD Summer Camp Foundation (a 501-c-3 non-profit; ) to raise funds so these children can continue this free summer camp experience.

Current Research

Dr. Heyman's research has been oriented towards clinical problems in pediatric patients with nutrition and/or gastrointestinal disorders. He was one of the first investigators to reveal the importance of nutrition support in sickle cell anemia, has helped to develop procedures (e.g., ERCP- endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) for diagnosis of hepatobiliary and pancreatic problems in infants and children, and participates in national multicenter projects pertaining to investigations into the natural history of and novel treatments for children with inflammatory bowel disease (e.g.,, ), pancreatitis (International Study Group of Pediatric Pancreatitis: In Search for a Cure [INSPPIRE] Collaborative Study Group), and gastroesophageal reflux disease ( He is also involved in local projects investigating the development of obesity in infancy and in pre-school and school age children.  All of these investigations have been supported by funds from the NIH, philanthropy, foundation grants, and with pharmaceutical and formula industry support.

Recent Publications (PubMed)

Last updated 09-09-2016