Dr. Kara Gross Margolis Named Associate Director for Clinical and Translational Research and Director for Brain Gut Research at the NYU Pain Research Center

Kara Gross Margolis, MD, has been named associate director for clinical and translational research, and director for brain gut research at the NYU Pain Research Center, effective June 15, 2022. Dr. Margolis is a pediatric gastroenterologist with internationally recognized clinical expertise in brain-gut axis disorders including autism spectrum disorders (ASD). She has also been appointed a tenured associate professor of molecular pathobiology at NYU Dentistry.

Dr. Margolis has clinical expertise in disorders that affect the gut and brain, including disorders of gut brain interactions (DGBIs). Pain is the chief concern of many of her patients. She treats a wide variety of disorders including abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, eosinophilic esophagitis, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). After earning a medical degree at SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine in 2001, Dr. Margolis completed a pediatrics residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine – Montefiore Medical Center Children’s Hospital in New York City, and a three-year pediatric gastroenterology fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital. Prior to joining NYU, she held a tenured position as associate professor of pediatrics at Columbia University; she served as associate director of a P30 NIH funded Digestive and Liver Disease Research Center at Columbia University Medical Center, associate director for an adult and pediatric gastrointestinal T32 NIH training grant, and inaugural director of the pediatric physician-scientist program.

Dr. Margolis is a highly engaged physician-scientist. She investigates disease mechanisms that affect the gut and brain through clinical, translational, and basic science research programs. She ultimately seeks to develop novel gut-focused therapeutic strategies. She has already undertaken pioneering studies on the roles of neurotransmitters and gut microbiota in IBD, motility disorders, DGBIs, and neurodevelopmental disorders such as ASD. She has also served on several NIH study sections and is currently a standing member of the NIH Digestive, Kidney and Urological Systems (DKUS) study section. Moreover, she served as an editorial board member for several journals, including Gastroenterology, and was recently appointed to the Basic Science Committee as part of the international team designated to establish the Rome V criteria for DGBIs.

Dr. Margolis has garnered substantial support for her scientific work. Her research is currently funded by three NIH R01 grants (over $4.5M in direct costs) and two Department of Defense grants ($7.7M in direct costs). Her studies are also supported by the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition; Angelman Foundation; and philanthropic donations. Dr. Margolis has submitted five U.S. provisional patent applications related to treatment or prevention of necrotizing enterocolitis, treatment of depression and anxiety, and the use of sustained-release 5-hydroxytryptophan for treating gastrointestinal disorders.

In her new leadership roles at NYU Dentistry, Dr. Margolis will utilize her expertise as a physician-scientist to build research networks and programs that unite basic and clinical research. Most of this research will focus on non-opioid therapies for pain. Dr. Margolis will also expand her own scientific program in her laboratory that is now relocated to NYU Dentistry at 433 First Avenue. She will also maintain a clinical practice at NYU Langone Health.