Benjamin J. Wilkins, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Contact InformationChildren's Hospital of Philadelphia
Main Hospital 5NW08
3401 Civic Center Blvd
Philadelphia, PA, 19104
Office: 267-426-1074
Fax: 215-590-1736


Research Expertise

My laboratory research focuses primarily on elucidating the pathophysiologic mechanisms of pediatric gastrointestinal and liver diseases, primarily through modeling in zebrafish. Currently, the lab's primary focus is studying the role of CIRH1A in liver development, and mechanisms whereby the recessive CIRH1A R565W mutation found in patients with North American Indian Childhood Cirrhosis lead to congenital biliary disease.

In addition to my lab's own research, I also have an interest in collaborative studies where I can use my clinical diagnostic expertise to characterize phenotypes related to gastrointestinal and liver diseases in mammalian models and human tissues. Prior and ongoing studies have covered a wide range of disease models, including hepatotoxicity, hepatic steatosis, and eosinophilic esophagitis.

Clinical Expertise

I am a board-certified pediatric anatomic pathologist. My clinical interest and expertise is in the diagnosis of pediatric gastrointestinal and liver disease.


B.S. (Biology), John Carroll University, Cleveland, Ohio, 1998
Ph.D. (Molecular and Developmental Biology), University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2004
M.D. University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2006

Specialty Certification

American Board of Pathology (Anatomic Pathology), 2010
American Board of Pathology (Pediatric Pathology), 2011

Postgraduate Training

Intern, General Surgery, Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University in St. Louis, MO, 2006-2007
Resident, Anatomic Pathology, Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University in St. Louis, MO, 2007-2010
Fellow, Pediatric Pathology, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, 2010-2013

Awards and Honors

Summa Cum Laude, John Carroll University, 1994-1998
Harry B. Neustein Award, Society for Pediatric Pathology, 2012
Lotte Strauss Prize, Society for Pediatric Pathology, 2014

Memberships and Professional Organizations

Society for Pediatric Pathology, 2010 - Present
Fred and Suzanne Biesecker Pediatric Liver Center, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 2014 - Present

Web Links

Selected Publications

Lipid Malabsorption from Altered Hormonal Signaling Changes Early Gut Microbial Responses.

Terry Natalie A, Ngaba Lucie V, Wilkins Benjamin J, Pi Danielle, Gheewala Nishi, Kaestner Klaus H, American Journal of Physiology. Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology 315(4): G580-G591, 2018, PMID:29953253

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Single-nucleus transcriptomic survey of cell diversity and functional maturation in postnatal mammalian hearts.

Hu Peng, Liu Jian, Zhao Juanjuan, Wilkins Benjamin J, Lupino Katherine, Wu Hao, Pei Liming, Genes & Development 32(19-20): 1344-1357, 2018, PMID:30254108

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Loss of HDAC6 alters gut microbiota and worsens obesity.

Lieber Arnon D, Beier Ulf H, Xiao Haiyan, Wilkins Benjamin J, Jiao Jing, Li Xinmin S, Schugar Rebecca C, Strauch Christopher M, Wang Zeneng, Brown J Mark, Hazen Stanley L, Bokulich Nicholas A, Ruggles Kelly V, Akimova Tatiana, Hancock Wayne W, Blaser Martin J, FASEB Journal : Official Publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, 2018, PMID:30102568

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Genomic integration of ERRγ-HNF1β regulates renal bioenergetics and prevents chronic kidney disease.

Zhao Juanjuan, Lupino Katherine, Wilkins Benjamin J, Qiu Chengxiang, Liu Jian, Omura Yasuhiro, Allred Amanda L, McDonald Caitlin, Susztak Katalin, Barish Grant D, Pei Liming, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 115(21): E4910-E4919, 2018, PMID:29735694

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Smooth muscle myosin dysregulation causes multiple visceral pathologies in a mouse model

Wilkins BJ, Gilbert M, Sivilich S, Muthumani M, Panettieri RA, Moreland RS, Spinner N, Pack M, North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Las Vegas, NV, 2017

Influence of Age and Eosinophilic Esophagitis on Esophageal Distensibility in a Pediatric Cohort.

Menard-Katcher Calies, Benitez Alain J, Pan Zhaoxing, Ahmed Faria N, Wilkins Benjamin J, Capocelli Kelley E, Liacouras Chris A, Verma Ritu, Spergel Jonathan M, Furuta Glenn T, Muir Amanda B, The American Journal of Gastroenterology 112(9): 1466-1473, 2017, PMID:28508868

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GDF15 is a heart-derived hormone that regulates body growth.

Wang Ting, Liu Jian, McDonald Caitlin, Lupino Katherine, Zhai Xiandun, Wilkins Benjamin J, Hakonarson Hakon, Pei Liming, EMBO Molecular Medicine 9(8): 1150-1164, 2017, PMID:28572090

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Zebrafish cirh1a, the homolog of the North American Indian Childhood Cirrhosis (NAIC) disease gene, is required for ribosome biogenesis and liver and gastrointestinal development

Wilkins BJ and Pack M, The Liver Meeting, American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD), Boston, MA, 2016

Glutathione antioxidant pathway activity and reserve determine toxicity and specificity of the biliary toxin biliatresone in zebrafish.

Zhao Xiao, Lorent Kristin, Wilkins Benjamin J, Marchione Dylan M, Gillespie Kevin, Waisbourd-Zinman Orith, So Juhoon, Koo Kyung Ah, Shin Donghun, Porter John R, Wells Rebecca G, Blair Ian, Pack Michael, Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.) 64(3): 894-907, 2016, PMID:27102575

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Preferential Secretion of Thymic Stromal Lymphopoietin (TSLP) by Terminally Differentiated Esophageal Epithelial Cells:Relevance to Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE)

Chandramouleeswaran PM, Shen D, Lee AJ, Benitez A, Dods K, Gambanga F, Wilkins BJ, Merves J, Noah Y, Toltzis S, Yearley JH, Spergel JM, Nakagawa H, Malefyt Rd, Muir AB, Wang ML., PLoS One 11(3): e0150968, 2016

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