Vice President and Surgeon in Chief, Children's Hospital Los Angeles; Vice Chair and Professor, Department of Surgery, Vice Dean of Medical Education USC
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Henri R. Ford, M.D., is vice president and chief of surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), Vice-Dean of Medical Education, Professor and Vice chair for clinical affairs in the Department of Surgery and at the Keck School of Medicine. Dr. Ford was professor and chief of the Division of Pediatric Surgery and surgeon-in-chief at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine prior to joining CHLA in January 2005.

Dr. Ford is a member of the Executive committee of the board of trustees of CHLA and a member of the board of directors of the University Children’s Medical Group. He is also a member of the Executive Leadership Team and the medical executive committee of CHLA. As surgeon-in-chief and vice president for Surgical and Perioperative Services, he oversees the entire perioperative services area at CHLA. Under his leadership, CHLA has developed a robust, state of the art minimally invasive surgery program.

Dr. Ford has been active on local and national professional and scientific committees:

  • Association for Academic Surgery , including service as secretary (1999-2001); president-elect (2001-02); and president (2002-03).
  • Society for Black Academic Surgeons , including service on the program committee (2000-02) and secretary (2002-2007); President-Elect 2009, and President 2010.
  • Surgical Infections Society , including service on the education and fellowship committee (1998-01); councilor (2001-04); Treasurer (2006-present); President-Elect 2009, and President 2010.
  • American College of Surgeons , Southwestern Pennsylvania Chapter, including service on the program committee (1998-01; chair, 2000-01) council chair (2001-04); president-elect (2003-2004); Board of Governors (2006-present); Nominating Committee of the Board of Governors (2006-present);Chair of the Nominating Committee of the Board of Governors (2008-2010); Surgical Forum Committee (2007-present); Program Committee (2008-Present); Vice-Chair of the Board of Governors (2010-2011); Vice Chair of the Board of Governors, American College of Surgeons (2010-2011); Board of Regents, American College of Surgeons (2012-Present).
  • Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma , including service on the bylaws committee (2000-present) and the Board of Directors (2005-2008).
  • American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma (2004-present).
  • American Pediatric Surgical Association nominating committee (2006-2007)
  • American Board of Surgery (2007-present)
  • Los Angeles Surgical Society – (2006-present)
  • The Halsted Society – (2007-present)
  • American Pediatric Surgical Association Board of Governors (2008-Present)

Dr. Ford’s research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through the Injury Free Coalition for Kids, the National Trauma Registry for Children and the American College of Surgeons. He also has received industry support for his research from Ethicon, Inc., Medinox Corporation and the H.J. Heinz Co.

He is the author of more than 300 publications, book chapters, invited manuscripts, abstracts and presentations.

Dr. Ford is a member of the editorial board of numerous professional publications, including Pediatric Critical Care Medicine (2001-04), Surgery (2001-04), the Journal of Surgical Research (2001-2005), Surgical Infections (1998-present), the Journal of Pediatric Surgery (2005-present), Pediatric Surgery International (2005-present). He is now Associate Editor of the Journal of Pediatric Surgery (July 2010).

He has been an ad hoc reviewer for numerous other professional publications, including Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology (2002-present), the Journal of Leukocyte Biology (2002-present), the Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology (2002-present), Cancer Detection and Prevention (2001-present), the Journal of the American Medical Association (2001-present), Gastroenterology (2000-present), the American Journal of Physiology: Gastrointestinal & Liver Physiology (2000-present), the Journal of Trauma (2000-present), the Journal of Immunology (2000-present), Shock (2000-present), the Journal of Surgical Research (2000-present), Digestive Diseases (1999-present), the Journal of Pediatric Surgery (1997-present) and the Archives of Surgery (1996-present).

Dr. Ford is a fellow of the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Surgeons.

He is a member of numerous professional and scientific societies, including the Surgical Biology Club, the American Surgical Association, the American Physiological Society, the British Association of Pediatric Surgeons, the American Trauma Society, the Society of Critical Care Medicine, the American Pediatric Surgical Association, the Society of University Surgeons, the Shock Society, the Surgical Infections Society, the Society of Black Academic Surgeons and the Association for Academic Surgery.

Dr. Ford received his bachelor’s degree in public and international affairs, cum laude, from Princeton University in 1980. He received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1984. He received his M.H.A. (Master of Health Administration) degree from the School of Policy, Planning and Development from University of Southern California in 2009.

Dr. Ford did his internship (1984-85) and residency (1985-87; 1989-91) in general surgery at New York Hospital Cornell Medical College. He completed a research fellowship in immunology (1987-89) in the Department of Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Ford completed a clinical fellowship (1991-93) in pediatric surgery at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. 

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Education

Medical School: 

Harvard Medical School

Internship: 

New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center; General Surgery

Residency: 

New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center; General Surgery; New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center; General Surgery

Fellowship: 

Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh; Pediatric Surgery; University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; Research Fellow/Surgery

Accomplishments

Certification: 

Surgery and Pediatric Surgery; American Board of Surgery

Medical Memberships: 

American College of Surgeons, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Pediatric Surgical Association

Other Information

Publications: 

Barthel ER, Pierce JR, Goodhue CJ, Burke RV, Ford HR, Upperman JS (2012) Can a pediatric trauma center improve the response to a mass casualty incident? J Trauma Acute Care Surg, epub ahead of press

McElroy SJ, Hobbs S, Kallen M, Tejera N, Rosen MJ, Grishin A, Matta P, Schneider C, Upperman JS, Ford HR, Polk DB, Weitkamp JH (2012) Transactivation of EGF receptor by LPS induces COX-2 expression in enterocytes. PloS One 7: e38373

Emami CN, Chokshi N, Wang J, Hunter C, Guner Y, Goth K, Wang L, Grishin A, Ford HR (2012) Role of interleukin-10 in the pathogenesis of necrotizing enterocolitis. Am J Surg 203: 428-435

Jantscher-Krenn E, Zherebtsov M, Nissan C, Goth K, Guner YS, Naidu N, Choudry B, Grishin AV, Ford HR, Bode L (2012) Gut, epub ahead of press

Liu Q, Mittal R, Emami CN, Iversen C, Ford HR, Prasadarao NV (2012) Human isolates of Cronobacter sakazakii bind efficiently to intestinal epithelial cells in vitro to induce monolayer permeability and apoptosis.J Surg Res 176: 437-447

Pierce JR, Hunter CJ, Naik-Mathuria B, Stanley P, Ford HR, Genyk Y, Shaul DB, Panossian A, Anselmo DM (2012) Colonic venous malformation and portal hypertension: association, management, and rerview of the literature. Pediatr Surg Int 28: 435-438

Emami CN, Mittal R, Wang L, Ford HR, Prasadarao NV (2012) Role of neutrophils and macrophages in the pathogenesis of necrotizing enterocolitis caused by Cronobacter sakazakii. J Surg Res 172: 18-28

Vendryes C, Hunter CJ, Harlan SR, Ford HR, Stein J, Pierce JR (2011) Pneumatosis intestinalis after laparoscopic appendectomy: case report and review of literature. J Pediatr Surg 46: e21-e24

Barthel ER, Pierce JR, Goodhue C, Ford HR, Grikscheit TC, Upperman JS (2011) Availability of pediatric trauma center in a disaster surge decreases triage time of the pediatric surge population: a population kinetics model. Theor Biol Med Model 12:38

Guner YS, Franklin A, Chokshi NK, Castle SL, Pontarelli E, Wang J, Wang L, Prasadarao NV, Upperman JS, Grishin AV, Ford HR (2011) P-glycoprotein induction by breast milk attenuates intestinal inflammation in experimental necrotizing enterocolitis. Lab Invest 91:1668-1679

Research Interests: 

Research Topics

  • Diversity of nascent intestinal microbiota and its relationship to NEC.

  • Role of intestinal cyclooxygenase-2 and its product, prostaglandin E, in the inflammatory gut barrier failure.

  • Roles of inflammatory cytokines, particularly IL-1 and nitric oxide in gut barrier failure during necrotizing enterocolitis.

  • Mechanisms of protection of the intestinal mucosa by breast milk.

Research Focus

Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a severe and often life-threatening intestinal inflammation in pre-term infants. Using models of NEC, we are trying to understand how colonization with potentially harmful bacteria leads to inflammation, damage to the intestine and tissue necrosis. Our findings will lead to better diagnostics, prophylactics and treatments for NEC.

Despite advances in neonatal care, the incidence of NEC is increasing. Although risk factors of NEC are well-known, the exact etiology of this disease remains undefined. We have established models that are well suited for elucidating the pathogenesis of and testing therapies for NEC. We identified key events including colonization of the gut with opportunistic pathogens, increased local production of nitric oxide and prostaglandin E, bacterial translocation across the gut barrier and gut barrier failure.

Using a gene knockout approach, we established the critical role of IL-1 in the inflammatory elevation of nitric oxide. The role of the signaling pathway incorporating EP1 receptors, Ca2+ mobilization and myosin light chain phosphorylation in prostaglandin E-induced barrier breakdown is being tested in vivo using gene knockout and transgenic models.

We have discovered that breast milk induces expression of P-glycoprotein, a detoxifying transmembrane efflux pump in the intestinal epithelium, a phenomenon that might contribute to the protective effect of breast milk. Our finding suggested a number of experimental therapies for gut barrier failure, which are currently being tested.

Key Findings

  • Breast milk-induced expression of P-glycoprotein in the protection of neonatal intestine from bacteria.
  • Cronobacter sakazakii as a model opportunistic pathogen in NEC.
     
  • Role of IL-10 in the protection against necrotizing enterocolitis.
     
  • Contribution of A20 deubiquitinase and MKP1 mitogen-activated kinase phosphatase in intestinal tolerance to bacteria.

Current Funding 

  • Principal investigator on an R01 grant from NIH/NIAID to examine mechanisms of gut barrier failure during peritonitis.
     
  • Co-investigator on a CIRM grant to develop tissue-engineered small intestine.
     
  • 2R01AI-014032-29A2 (Ford)             12/1/1987 – 1/31/2015              NIH/NIAID
  • Pathogenesis and Treatment of Experimental Peritonitis
    The aims of this project are: 1) To determine the roles of prostaglandin E2 in inflammatory gut barrier failure; 2) To elucidate mechanisms of cyclooxygenase-2 upregulation in enterocytes; and 3) To test PGE2-targeting therapies for inflammatory gut barrier failure.

    RN2-00946 (Grikscheit)      01/01/2009 – 12/31/2013    CIRM

  • Mechanism of Tissue-Engineered Small Intestine Formation
    The major goals of this project are to identify the necessary and sufficient progenitor cell populations or donor organoid unit (OU) and the molecular pathways controlling the formation of tissue-engineered small intestine (TESI) in an in vivo model and to identify and overcome the barriers to forming TESI using neonatal human donor tissue.

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