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Nicholas Shaheen, M.D., M.P.H. - UNC-Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill, NC, US

Nicholas Shaheen, M.D., M.P.H. Nicholas Shaheen, M.D., M.P.H.

Professor of Medicine, Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology | UNC-Chapel Hill


Dr. Shaheen's research interest is in the epidemiology and management of esophageal diseases



Nicholas Shaheen, M.D., M.P.H. Publication Nicholas Shaheen, M.D., M.P.H. Publication




Barrett's Esophagus and Eosinophilic Esophagitis Update from DDW 2009 - Nicholas Shaheen More targeted approach to detect esophageal cancer Radiofrequency ablation burns away Barrett's Esophagus




Nicholas Shaheen is Associate Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the UNC School of Medicine and UNC School of Public Health, and Director of the UNC Center for Esophageal Diseases and Swallowing. He attended college at Harvard University and earned his medical degree at the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, where he fulfilled his internship and residency requirements. He completed his clinical fellowship training at UNC, where he also earned his Masters degree at the School of Public Health. He then completed a National Institutes of Health fellowship in Epidemiology.

For the past ten years, Dr. Shaheen has been a faculty member at UNC. His research interest is in the epidemiology and management of esophageal diseases. He is the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters related to reflux disease, motility disorders, Barrett's esophagus, and esophageal cancer. He is currently on the editorial board of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology and Evidence-Based Gastroenterology, and is a reviewer for numerous journals.

Dr. Shaheen receives research funding from the National Institutes of Health as well as multiple private foundations and corporations to pursue clinical and translational research in esophageal diseases. He is a member of several professional societies, including the American Gastroenterological Association, the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the American Medical Society, and the North Carolina Medical Society. He is a Fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology , the American Gastroenterological Association and the American College of Physicians. Dr. Shaheen's research team includes: Ryan Madanick, MD; Melissa Brennen, RN (Study Coordinator); and Betsy Carretta (Study Coordinator).

Industry Expertise (3)



Health and Wellness

Areas of Expertise (6)


Esophageal Diseases

Reflux Disease

Mobility Disorders

Barrett's Esophagus

Esophageal Cancer

Accomplishments (4)

Best Doctors in America (professional)

2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012

Clinical Teacher of the Year, UNC Academy of Educators (professional)


AGA Institute Master's Award in Gastroenterology Research (professional)


Eugene Bozymski Award for Excellence in Endoscopy Teaching, UNC GI Fellowship (professional)

2006, 2010

Education (3)

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: M.P.H., Public Health 1998

University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine: M.D., Medicine 1991

Harvard University: B.A., Undergraduate Studies 1987

Affiliations (7)

  • American Gastroenterological Association : Member
  • American College of Gastroenterology : Member
  • American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy : Member
  • American College of Physicians : Member
  • American Medical Association : Member
  • North Carolina Society of Gastroenterology : Member
  • North Carolina Medical Society : Member

Media Appearances (5)

High Progression Risk in Low-Grade Dysplasia Barrett's

MedScape Multispeciality  online


This was "a great presentation on a very confusing topic," said Nicholas Shaheen, MD, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He noted, however, there is substantial variability in reported rates of progression from low-grade dysplasia to esophageal adenocarcinoma. In a Dutch study, for example, rates were as high as 13.4% (Am J Gastroenterol. 2010;105:1523-1530). Dr Shaheen asked Dr Krishnamoorthi if he could explain why the annual incidence rate in this study is so much lower...

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Are PPIs Enough? Controlling Acid After Ablation of Barrett’s Esophagus

General Surgery News  online


“If the endoscopy shows erosive disease or the biopsies show lots of inflammation, we intensify therapy,” explained Nicholas Shaheen, MD, chief of the Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, in Chapel Hill. Although intensifying therapy means improving acid control, Dr. Shaheen reported, “I do not routinely monitor pH.”...

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Case Volume Tied To Recurrence Rates After RFA for Barrett’s

Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News  online


After three years of follow-up, the recurrence rate at low-volume centers was about 20% greater than that for high-volume centers, according to the researchers, from the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill. Nicholas Shaheen, MD, chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at UNC, said the differences were both clinically and statistically significant. Cary Cotton, a medical student working under Dr. Shaheen, presented the findings at the 2014 annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology (abstract 38)...

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Endoscopy Overused in Heartburn Patients

WebMD  online


Doctors use endoscopy in GERD patients mainly to check for a condition called Barrett's esophagus, which affects about 10% of people who’ve had chronic heartburn for at least five years, says Nicholas Shaheen, MD, MPH, an author of the new advice paper. Barrett’s occurs when stomach acids damage the lining of the esophagus...

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UNC Researchers Test New Treatment for Acid Reflux

WRAL.com  online


Paul Bailey, 60, complained of heartburn and acid reflux for more than 15 years. UNC gastroenterologist Dr. Nicholas Shaheen included him in a study to test a new out-patient treatment for Barrett's Esophagus. The Halo 360 is an endoscopic treatment developed by Barrx Medical. It uses precisely controlled heat that burns the surface layer of tissue. "The idea here is that we're burning up that tissue in the hopes that regular tissue is going to repopulate this area," Shaheen said while pointing to a photograph of the burned treatment area of Bailey's esophagus...

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Event Appearances (5)

Eosinophilic Esophagitis: Treat with Diet? Treat with Drugs?

American College of Gastroenterology Western Regional Post-Graduate Course  Los Angeles, CA.


Endoscopic Approaches to Esophageal Cancer

American Society of Clinical Oncology’s 10th Annual GI Symposium  San Francisco, CA.


Dealing with Dysplasia

American Gastroenterological Association’s 2013 Clinical Congress  San Diego, CA.


Radiofrequency Ablation for Barrett’s Esophagus

American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Hands-On Course  San Diego, CA.


Ablative Therapy for Barrett’s Esophagus

Visiting Professor, Florida Hospital  Orlando, FL.


Articles (5)

Eosinophilic esophagitis: updated consensus recommendations for children and adults

Journal of Allergy and Clinical immunology

2011 Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is a clinicopathologic condition of increasing recognition and prevalence. In 2007, a consensus recommendation provided clinical and histopathologic guidance for the diagnosis and treatment of EoE; however, only a minority of physicians ...

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Radiofrequency ablation in Barrett's esophagus with dysplasia

New England Journal of Medicine

2009 BACKGROUND: Barrett's esophagus, a condition of intestinal metaplasia of the esophagus, is associated with an increased risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma. We assessed whether endoscopic radiofrequency ablation could eradicate dysplastic Barrett's esophagus and ...

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A critical review of the diagnosis and management of Barrett's esophagus: the AGA Chicago Workshop


2004 BACKGROUND & AIMS: The diagnosis and management of Barrett's esophagus (BE) are controversial. We conducted a critical review of the literature in BE to provide guidance on clinically relevant issues. Methods: A multidisciplinary group of 18 participants evaluated ...

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Gastroesophageal reflux, Barrett esophagus, and esophageal cancer: scientific review


2002 OBJECTIVES: To review the evidence linking GERD and Barrett esophagus to esophageal adenocarcinoma and to examine the utility of upper endoscopy as a screening tool in adenocarcinoma of the esophagus among individuals with GERD...

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Is there publication bias in the reporting of cancer risk in Barrett's esophagus?


2000 BACKGROUND & AIMS: The published risk of adenocarcinoma in the setting of Barrett's esophagus (BE) varies. Publication bias, the selective reporting of studies featuring positive or extreme results, may result in overestimation of this cancer risk in the literature. The aim ...

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