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Dr. Benitez is currently building a comprehensive translational research program in which he hopes to study the role of brain-gut-microbiome and microbiome-mucosal interactions in the development of functional GI and motility disorders.
After completing his medical degree at Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE) in the Dominican Republic, Dr. Benitez started his research career at the University of Miami focusing on autoimmune disorders. There, he not only applied his clinical experience in the design and implementation of translational research studies, but also was able to enhance his molecular biology techniques.
After moving to Philadelphia, he took a position at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in the Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP), studying the psychosocial effect of traumatic injury in children.
In 2011, the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition became Dr. Benitez's new home where he developed clinical and animal studies focusing on inflammation, fibrosis, and microbiota of allergic disorders of the GI tract. One of his main accomplishments was joining forces with his past colleagues at CIRP in developing the first coping kit for children with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), the EoE Cellie Coping Kit.
Dr. Benitez joined the Suzi and Scott Lustgarten Center for GI Motility in 2018 with hopes to build a comprehensive translational research program in which he would be able to study the role of brain-gut-microbiome and microbiome-mucosal interactions in the development of functional GI and motility disorders. The program currently focuses on the implementation of novel diagnostic and treatment methods in the management of GI motility disorders including impedance planimetry technology (EndoFLIP) and body surface gastric mapping (BSGM). Additionally, he leads the study of microbiota-mucosal interactions during antibiotics early in life and their role in the development of functional bowel disorders.
Dr. Benitez leads the Diversity Internship Program for Underrepresented Minorities in Science and Healthcare and co-leads the Diversity Committee in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.
Education and Training
MD, Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE), Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 2006
MSTR, University of Pennsylvania
Titles and Academic Titles
Director of Clinical Research, Suzi and Scott Lustgarten Center for GI Motility
American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society, 2020-
Cum Laude, Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE), Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 2006
CHOP Cares Community Grant, 2016
- "Promoting and supporting science education and mentoring in underrepresented minorities."
- Diversity Endowment Award, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
- 7/2020 - 6/2022
- PI: Benitez