Meet the Experts

Dr. Seema Aceves, M.D., Ph.D.

Division of Allergy and Immunology Associate Professor, Pediatrics and Medicine
Director, Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disorders Clinic
University of California, San Diego


Dr. Aceves earned her medical degree and her PhD from the University of California, San Diego where she completed a pediatric internship, residency, and a fellowship in allergy and immunology.  She is an Associate Professor in the Division of Allergy, Immunology, Departments of Pediatrics and Medicine at the University of California, San Diego and the Director of the Eosinophilic Disorders Clinic at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego.  Dr. Aceves has been the Primary Investigator on several eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) clinical trials and her lab investigates the genetics and treatment of EoE.


Glenn T. Furuta, M.D.

Director, Gastrointestinal Eosinophil Diseases Program
Professor of Pediatrics Section of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Dept. of Pediatrics
Children’s Hospital Colorado


Dr. Furuta earned his medical degree and completed his residency at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine. Dr. Furuta serves as the Director of the Gastrointestinal Eosinophilic Diseases Program (GEDP), a multidisciplinary program dedicated to providing care for children with eosinophilic gastrointestinal diseases (EGIDs), including eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). His researches focuses on how eosinophils cause gastrointestinal dysfunction and has frequently published on EGIDs and EoE.


Ikuo Hirano, M.D.

Professor of Medicine
Fellowship Program Director
Northwestern University School of Medicine


Dr. Hirano earned his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania and completed his residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.  He is a Professor of Medicine and the Director of the Gastroenterology and Hepatology Fellowship Program at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.  Dr.  Hirano has written many papers and book chapters that focus on esophageal and swallowing disorders.  He is also the Associate Editor for “Diseases of the Esophagus.


Jennifer Cardenas

The Right to Learn
Trained Advocate from the Parent Leadership Support Project


Jennifer Cardenas is special education advocate at The Right to Learn Education Advocacy organization. Through this organization, she works to help families obtain the appropriate support for their child in academic environments while bridging the gap between schools and families. Ms. Cardenas was trained through the Parent Leadership Support Project from the Georgia Advocacy Office and has extensive experience in IEP/504 initiation, records review, dispute resolution, and goal setting. Please note that Ms. Cardenas is not an attorney. If you have legal issues, please consult an education attorney. Regulations may vary from state to state.


Jonathan Spergel M.D., Ph.D.

Chief, Allergy Section
Co-Director, Center for Pediatric Eosinophilic Disorders
Children’s Hospital Philadelphia


Dr. Spergel earned his medical and graduate education at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and completed his pediatric residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital.  He is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Chief of the Allergy Section at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  Dr. Spergel is the Principal Investigator for multiple studies in the fields of atopic dermatitis, eosinophilic esophagitis, and food allergies.


Robert Newbury, M.D.

Director of Pathology
Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego
Clinical Professor of Pathology
UCSD School of Medicine


Dr. Newbury earned his medical degree from the Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador and completed a rotating internship at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.  He is currently a Clinical Professor of Pathology, at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, and the Director of Pathology at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego.  His research interests are in pediatric gastrointestinal and tumor pathology, and he has co-authored several articles in the field of eosinophilic esophagitis.


Goldie Markowitz, MSN, CRNP

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia



Colette Martin

Food allergy advocate and author


Colette Martin is a food allergy mom and an expert at allergen-free baking. Her son was diagnosed with EoE in 2001, and his triggers include wheat, milk, eggs, soy, and peanuts. She understands first-hand what it means to transform a kitchen to accommodate dietary restrictions. Colette’s first book, Learning to Bake Allergen-Free: A Crash Course for Busy Parents on Baking without Wheat, Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Soy or Nuts was published in 2001. She is a contributor to Living Harvest, When Fridays Were Fridays, Living Without magazine, and


Nicole Zahka, Ph.D.

Staff Psychologist
Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center


Dr. Zahka joined the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology in 2011 as a staff psychologist after completing her residency and fellowship in pediatric psychology at DuPont Hospital for Children. She works with the Cincinnati Center for Eosinophilic Disorders and is interested in factors that contribute to individual and family resiliency, adjustment to and coping with chronic illness, anxiety and related disorders, and behavior management during early childhood.