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Maria T. Abreu, M.D.

General Information

Maria T. Abreu, M.D.



  • Gastroenterology - Internal Medicine
  • Internal Medicine


English, Spanish

Clinical Areas

Inflammatory Bowel Disease 

Ulcerative Colitis

Crohn's disease


  • American Board of Internal Med-Gastroenterology


  • Director Crohn's & Colitis Center
  • Professor of Medicine
  • Professor, Microbiology and Immunology

Research Interests

Crohn's Disease

Ulcerative Colitis

Genetics of IBD

Innate immunity in the GI tract

Colon cancer in IBD


Dr. Maria Abreu's laboratory


  • Full List of Publications
  • Santaolalla R, Sussman DA, Ruiz JR, Davies JM, Pastorini C, Espana CL, Sotolongo J, Burlingame O, Bejarano PA, Philip S, Ahmed MM, Ko J, Dirisina R, Barrett TA, Shang L, Lira SA, Fukata M, and Abreu MT. TLR4 activates the beta-catenin pathway to cause intestinal neoplasia. PLoS One. 2013 May 14;8(5):e63298.
  • Sussman DA, Santaolalla R, Strobel S, Dheer R, Abreu MT. Cancer in inflammatory bowel disease: lessons from animal models. Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2012 Jul;28(4):327-33.
  • McCauley JL, Abreu MT. Genetics in diagnosing and managing inflammatory bowel disease. Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2012 Jun;41(2):513-22.
  • Fukata M, Shang L, Santaolalla R, Sotolongo J, Pastorini C, Espana C, Ungaro R, Harpaz N, Cooper HS, Elson G, Kosco-Vilbois M, Zaias J, Perez MT, Mayer L, Vamadevan AS, Lira SA, Abreu MT. Constitutive activation of epithelial TLR4 augments inflammatory responses to mucosal injury and drives colitis-associated tumorigenesis. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2011 Jul; 17(7):1464-73
  • Abreu MT. Toll-like receptor signalling in the intestinal epithelium: how bacterial recognition shapes intestinal function. Nat Rev Immunol 2010; 10:131-144.
  • Ungaro R, Abreu MT, Fukata M. Practical techniques for detection of Toll-like receptor-4 in the human intestine. Methods Mol Biol. 2009;517:345-61.
  • Ungaro R, Fukata M, Hsu D, Hernandez Y, Breglio K. Chen A, Xu R, Sotolongo J, Espana C, Zalas J, Elson G, Mayer L, Kosco-Vilbois M, Abreu MT. A novel Toll-like receptor 4 antagonist antibody ameliorates inflammation but impairs mucosal healing in murine colitis. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2009 Jun;296(6):G1167-79.
  • Fukata M, Hernandez Y, Conduah D, Cohen J, Chen A, Breglio K, Goo T, Hsu D, Xu R, Abreu MT. Innate Immune Signaling by Toll-like receptors-4 (TLR4) shapes the inflammatory microenvironment of colitis-associated tumors. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2009 Jul;15(7):997-1006.
  • Abreu MT, von Tirpitz C, Hardi R, Kaatz M, Van Assche G, Rutgeerts P, Bisaccia E, Goerdt S, Hanauer S, Knobler R, Mannon P, Mayer L, Ochsenkuhn T, Sandborn WJ, Parenti D, Lee K, Reinisch W; Crohn's Disease Photopheresis Study Group. Extracorporeal photopheresis for the treatment of refractory Crohn's disease: results of an open-label pilot study. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2009 Jun;15(6):829-36.
  • Abreu, MT. Harnessing the Power of Bacteria to Protect the Gut. NEJM.2008, 359 (7), 765-759


1992-95 Fellowship Gastroenterology
University of California Los Angeles (UCLA
1990-92 Residency
Brigham & Women's Hospital
1990 MD
University of Miami School of Medicine


Maria T. Abreu, M.D., is the Director of the Crohn's and Colitis Center in the Division of Gastroenterology and Professor of Medicine and Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Miami Health System/Miller School of Medicine.

Dr. Abreu received her undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Miami. Her postdoctoral training included an internship and residency in medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. She then completed a fellowship in gastroenterology and a postdoctoral fellowship in molecular and cancer biology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to joining the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Dr. Abreu served as director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Center and Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

A member of the American Society of Clinical Investigators (ASCI) and one of American’s Top Doctors (Castle and Connelly), Dr. Abreu has published more than 90 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and reviews. She is a Diplomate of the National Board of Medical Examiners, the American Board of Internal Medicine, and the American Board of Gastroenterology, as well as a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Abreu serves a leading role in several professional societies, including the American College of Gastroenterology’s Women’s Committee, the AGA Under-represented Minorities Committee, and the National Institutes of Health’s Gastrointestinal Mucosal Pathobiology (GMPB) Study Section.

Dr. Abreu’s research interest is host-bacterial interactions and, in particular, the role of toll-like receptor signaling in intestinal inflammation. Her translational work has focused on genotype-phenotype relationships in inflammatory bowel disease and prediction of response to medical therapies. She is a frequent speaker at national and international symposia on basic science and clinical topics.

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