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Blizard Institute - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Professor Daniel Sifrim, MD, PhD


Professor of Gastrointestinal Physiology

Centre: Neuroscience, Surgery and Trauma

Telephone: +44 20 7882 2631


Daniel Sifrim is a Gastroenterologist, trained in Argentina and Belgium, with both clinical and scientific interest in oesophageal benign disorders. He contributed with the development of diagnostic techniques for oesophageal motility disorders and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (high resolution manometry, oesophageal impedance and salivary pepsin measurements). He is Professor of Gastrointestinal Physiology at Barts and the London School of Medicine, Queen Mary University. His research focused on pathophysiology of GORD, including gastric motility, transient lower oesophageal sphincter relaxations, types of refluxate measured with impedance-pH metry and more recently, oesophageal mucosal permeability and its role in hypersensitivity.


Professor Daniel Sifrim completed his medical training in 1979 at the Buenos Aires University, Argentina. He did his Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology training at the Posadas General Hospital, in Buenos Aires. In 1990 he moved to Belgium for specialized training in gastro-intestinal motility. He was a research fellow at the Center for Gastroenterological Research at the University of Leuven, Belgium and he obtained a PhD degree in 1994 under the supervision of Prof. dr. G. Vantrappen. From 1994 - 2008, Prof Sifrim developed his clinical research and academic career in Belgium. He was appointed first Associate Professor and later full Professor of Medicine at the University of Leuven. Since 2009, Prof. Sifrim has been Professor of Gastrointestinal Physiology at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary University of London.

He serves as reviewer for most of the gastroenterology journals and has authored or co-authored more than 100 original articles, book chapters and reviews on esophageal disorders. He received the American Gastroenterology Association, Janssen Award 2003 for Basic and Clinical Research.

Academic Appointments  

  • 1989 -   1990 Instructor in Medicine Buenos Aires University, School of Medicine
  • 1989 -   1990 Scientific Advisory Council, Enteral Nutrition Buenos Aires University, School of Medicine
  • 1994 -  2004 Associate Professor of Medicine Faculty of Medicine. K.U.Leuven. Belgium
  • 2004 -   Professor of Medicine Faculty of Medicine. K.U.Leuven. Belgium
  • 2009 - Professor of GI Physiology Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary, University of London. 


Co-lead for Neurogastroenterology module for Gastroenterology MSc students 2016-2017

PBL tutor: MBBS year 1 and 2 Metabolism

SSC 2A Tutor

OSCE examinations 2016


Research Interests:

Prof Sifrim’s research interest focusses on benign disorders of the oesophagus. This includes gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, oesophageal motor disorders producing impaired swallowing or chest pain and aerophagia and belching. His research includes development of new diagnostic techniques, understanding the mechanisms behind these disorders and development of new treatment modalities. For example, diagnosis of reflux disease using new techniques such as pH-impedance measurements and detection of pepsin in saliva, understanding the innervation of the oesophageal mucosa that can be responsible for perception of heartburn and finally, the development of topical mucosal protection treatments in the oesophagus and the use of cognitive behavioural therapy for the treatment of aerophagia and belching.

In vitro studies on changes in esophageal mucosa permeability due to stress or exposure to bile acids.

In vivo animal studies on pharmacology of the lower esophageal sphincter and TLESRs; analysis of the relationship between esophageal inflammation and motility; the physiology of the esophageal longitudinal muscle layer and esophageal shortening

Physiological studies in healthy human subjects on the role of inhibitory mechanisms in the regulation of primary and secondary peristalsis; the relationship between inhibition in the esophageal body and TLESRs; measurements of tone in the esophageal body; pharmacological studies on TLESRs and reflux

Studies in patients with primary esophageal motor disorders defining the role of incomplete inhibitory mechanisms in the pathophysiology of diffuse spasm and achalasia; studies in patients with GERD characterizing different types of reflux (acid and non acid) during TLESRs; analysis of the composition of reflux using impedance pH monitoring both in stationary and ambulatory conditions; analysis of the role of non acid and gas reflux in patients with refractory GERD and NERD; analysis of the role of ineffective motility in the esophageal body both for esophageal clearance and perception of dysphagia; analysis of the role of gastric emptying in the determination of frequency and type of reflux; pharmacological studies on TLESRs and acid and non acid reflux; analysis of the relationship between GER and respiratory disorders like unexplained chronic cough, lung transplant and cystic fibrosis.


Research Group Members

Training in GI Physiology

  • Dr Alicia Green, Queen Mary, UK
  • Dr Mohammed Malik
  • Dr Ahmed Albusoda
  • Dr Kenishiro Nakagawa
  • Dr Esteban Glasinovic
  • Dr Julieta Arguero

PhD and Md Students

  • Co promotor: Gehanjali Amarasinghe : Esophageal hypersensitivity in patients with GORD refractory to PPI treatment
  • Promotor PhD project: Dr Joanne Ooi. Started Nov 2014
  • Oesophageal mucosal protection in vivo
  • Promotor PhD project: Dr Kornilia Nikaki
  • Pathophysiology and diagnosis of Paediatric GORD


Boeckxstaens GE, Beaumont H, Mertens V, Denison H, Ruth M, Adler J, Silberg DG, Sifrim D. Effects of lesogaberan on reflux and lower esophageal sphincter function in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease. Gastroenterology 2010; 139: 409-17.

Farre R, De Vos R, Geboes K, Verbeke K, Vanden Berghe P, Depoortere I, Blondeau K, Tack J, Sifrim D. Critical role of stress in increased oesophageal mucosa permeability and dilated intercellular spaces. Gut 2007; 56: 1191-7.

Sifrim D, Castell D, Dent J, Kahrilas PJ. Gastro-oesophageal reflux monitoring: review and consensus report on detection and definitions of acid, non-acid, and gas reflux. Gut 2004; 53: 1024-31.

Sifrim D, Holloway R, Silny J , Zhang X, Tack J, Lerut A, Janssens J. Acid, non-acid and gas reflux in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease during 24hr ambulatory pH-impedance recordings. Gastroenterology 2001; 120: 1588-98.

Sifrim DA, Janssens J, Vantrappen G. Failing deglutitive inhibition in primary esophageal motility disorders. Gastroenterology 1994; 106: 875-82.

View all Daniel Sifrim's Research Publications at:

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