Udeme Ekong, MD, MPH, is a pediatric hepatologist who treats a variety of liver diseases and has a particular interest in improving long-term care for children who receive a liver transplant.
Dr. Ekong specializes in treating conditions including acute liver failure, autoimmune liver disease, metabolic liver disease, genetic cholestatis (a disorder that causes progressive liver disease) and biliary atresia (a rare disease of the liver and bile ducts).
To reassure anxious patients and their families, Dr. Ekong says she encourages them to take things one step at a time. “I urge them not to worry about things that may not turn out to be the case,” she says.
As advances continue in liver transplantation, patients are living longer and care is shifting toward achieving favorable long-term outcomes, Dr. Ekong points out. “Our goal is for someone who receives a liver transplant as a baby to have the same liver graft, functioning well, as a grandparent,” she says. “Our center is involved in several research studies focused on long-term outcomes following a pediatric liver transplant.”
Dr. Ekong is medical director of the Pediatric Liver Transplant Program and the Pediatric Hepatology Program at Yale Medicine and is board-certified in general pediatrics, pediatric gastroenterology and pediatric transplant hepatology. She is also an associate professor of pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine.
Her research focuses on understanding the underlying cause of autoimmune liver disease occurring before and following liver transplantation. She is interested in developing ways to predict which children can discontinue their anti-rejection medications following a liver transplant.