George Gittes, MD
Professor of Surgery

Dr. Gittes is Chief of Pediatric Surgery, Professor of Surgery, Director, RK Mellon Institute for Pediatric Research

Office Location:
UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
Rangos Building Rm 6131
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Contact Information:
Office Telephone: 412-692-7291

Research Interests

Diabetes gene therapy, where in mice and non-human primates we are delivering AAV vectors via the pancreatic duct retrograde to induce the formation of new beta cells to treat diabetes, both type 1 and type 2. Beta cell proliferation and regeneration, focusing primarily on EGFR and TGF-beta receptor signaling pathways. Chronic pancreatitis, where we use a pancreatic ductal infusion of acetic acid to treat the disease by ablating the exocrine pancreas, but leaving the endocrine islets intact. Congenital diaphragmatic hernia, where we are expanding on our finding that an in utero injection of a vasodilator can reverse the condition from 100% mortality at birth to 90% survival.

Selected Publications

  1. Endogenous Reprogramming of Alpha Cells into Beta Cells, Induced by Viral Gene Therapy, Reverses Autoimmune Diabetes. Xiao X, Guo P, Shiota C, Zhang T, Coudriet GM, Fischbach S, Prasadan K, Fusco J, Ramachandran S, Witkowski P, Piganelli JD, Gittes GK. Cell Stem Cell. 2018 Jan 4;22(1):78-90.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2017.11.020
  2. SMAD3/Stat3 Signaling Mediates ß-Cell Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition in Chronic Pancreatitis-Related Diabetes. Xiao X, Fischbach S, Zhang T, Chen C, Sheng Q, Zimmerman R, Patnaik S, Fusco J, Ming Y, Guo P, Shiota C, Prasadan K, Gangopadhyay N, Husain SZ, Dong H, Gittes GK. Diabetes. 2017 Oct;66(10):2646-2658. doi: 10.2337/db17-0537. Epub 2017 Aug 3
  3. Intra-Amniotic Sildenafil Treatment Promotes Lung Growth and Attenuates Vascular Remodeling in an Experimental Model of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. Okolo F, Zhang G, Rhodes J, Gittes GK, Potoka DA. Fetal Diagn Ther. 2020 Jul 14:1-13. doi: 10.1159/000508986.
  4. Evidence of a developmental origin for ß-cell heterogeneity using a dual lineage-tracing technology. Chen C, Shiota C, Agostinelli G, Ridley D, Jiang Y, Ma J, Prasadan K, Xiao X, Gittes GK. Development. 2019 Jun 27;146(13):dev164913. doi: 10.1242/dev.164913.
  5. No evidence for ß cell neogenesis in murine adult pancreas. Xiao X, Chen Z, Shiota C, Prasadan K, Guo P, El-Gohary Y, Paredes J, Welsh C, Wiersch J, Gittes GK. J Clin Invest. 2013 May;123(5):2207-17. doi: 10.1172/JCI66323. Epub 2013 Apr 24