Dr. Hodin has a highly specialized practice focused on (1) Colorectal Surgery, particularly patients with Crohns Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, and (2) Endocrine Surgery which involves surgery on the Thyroid, Parathyroid, and Adrenal glands.
Dr. Hodin received his medical degree at Tulane University and then came to Boston in 1984 for his post-graduate surgical training. In 2001 he moved from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to the Massachusetts General Hospital and in 2005 was promoted to full Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Hodin's clinical areas of expertise are in colorectal and endocrine surgery. He serves as Surgical Director of the MGH Crohns and Colitis Center and has a high volume surgical practice involving the care of patients with Crohns disease and Ulcerative Colitis. His particular areas of interest are in minimally-invasive approaches to the treatment of Crohns patients, as well as the ileo-anal J-pouch operation for patients with colitis and Familial Adenomatous Polyposis. Dr. Hodin also serves as the Chief of the MGH Endocrine Surgery Unit, the highest volume center in the country focused on surgery of the thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal glands. His particular areas of clinical expertise are in the treatment of advanced thyroid cancer, minimally-invasive parathyroidectomy, and the surgical treatment of adrenal tumors. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Hodin runs a highly productive research program focused on gut mucosal defense. His research laboratory has enjoyed extensive funding from the NIH and other sources since 1993 and has made important advances to our understanding of how humans interact with the bacteria within our intestine. His research group has identified several novel treatment strategies designed to prevent and/or treat a variety of intestinal diseases.
The Laboratory of Gastrointestinal Epithelial Biology
Principal Investigator: Richard A. Hodin, MD
The Laboratory of Gastrointestinal Epithelial Biology works to unravel the molecular mechanisms that underlie the processes of growth and differentiation within intestinal epithelia, focusing on gut mucosal defense and how the host interacts with the intestinal microbiota..
The small intestine is lined by a simple columnar epithelium in which pluripotent, proliferating crypt cells (stem cells) give rise to four distinct lineages of differentiated cells, including enterocytes (95%), goblet, and enteroendocrine cells on the villi, and paneth cells at the crypt base. The various projects ongoing in the lab relate to understanding the differentiation process in the contexts of (1) normal development, (2) homeostasis within the adult, (3) pathological conditions such as starvation, cancer, and inflammatory bowel disease. Presently, we are focused on defining the mechanisms that govern gut mucosal defense and the interplay between the host and the intestinal microflora.
THE MGH DEPARTMENT OF SURGERY has announced that Richard Hodin, MD, has been appointed as chief for Academic Affairs. In his new role, Hodin – who also will continue in his roles as chief of Endocrine Surgery and surgical director of the MGH Crohn’s and Colitis Center – will be actively involved in faculty development and academic promotions and will join the leadership of the department on the Chiefs’ Council.
An enzyme that keeps intestinal bacteria out of the bloodstream may also play an important role in maintaining the normal microbial population of the gastrointestinal system.
Feeding an intestinal enzyme to mice kept on a high-fat diet appears to prevent the development of metabolic syndrome – a group of symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and fatty liver – and to reduce symptoms in mice that already had the condition.