Regino P. Gonzalez-Peralta, M.D., Assistant Dean

Regino P. Gonzalez-Peralta, MD
Assistant Dean for Diversity and Health Equity
Professor of Pediatrics

Division

Gastroenterology

Academic Title

Professor
Assistant Dean, Office of Diversity and Health Equity

Contact Information

(352) 273-9350 (phone)
(352) 273-9055 (fax)
regino@peds.ufl.edu

Research Overview

Dr. González-Peralta academic pursuits are focused on developing a research and clinical program in Pediatric Hepatology. His initial laboratory work defined the importance of immune-mediated mechanisms in the pathogenesis of liver-cell damage in chronic hepatitis C. His laboratory also developed a novel technique to study HCV heterogeneity (quasispecies) based on single-strand conformational polymorphism. Using this technique, his group was one of the first to demonstrate that HCV heterogeneity played an important role in the pathobiology of this viral infection, particularly as it pertained to treatment response. Despite progress of the understanding of the molecular biology of HCV infection, it became apparent that the study of HCV replication and pathogenesis was hampered by a lack of a suitable animal or in vitro model of viral infection. Thus, his laboratory then focused on developing an efficient cell culture model of HCV replication, with financial support from the NIH, University of Florida and the Blowitz-Ridgeway Foundation. Although Dr. González-Peralta derived very encouraging preliminary results in the research laboratory, he began to ‘miss’ the interactions with his patients and their families. Accordingly, as a way to reconcile personal and academic-research interests, Dr. González-Peralta became actively involved in studying the clinical impact of HCV infection in children. With support from the pharmaceutical industry and NIH, he has participated in several investigator-initiated and industry-sponsored trials of interferon and pegylated interferon alone or with ribavirin. Through the participation in the NIH-sponsored PEDS-C consortium, his group spearheaded pivotal studies assessing the effects of HCV infection and antiviral therapy on the quality of life of children infected with this virus. More recently he has also focused on studying hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in children. He is actively involved in trials assessing pharmacokinetic, safety, and efficacy of nucleos(t)ide in children with chronic HBV infection. In addition, his team has been an active member in the Studies for Liver Transplantation (SPLIT), a consortium of North American centers that prospectively tracks the outcome of children who need (and undergo) liver replacement.

About

Dr. González-Peralta was born in Cuba and emigrated to the U.S. as a refugee in 1969. After living in New Jersey for six months, his family moved to Miami, where he spent the remainder of his childhood and adolescent years. After graduating valedictorian from Miami Jackson High School in 1977, he pursued a career goal to become a physician at Cornell University, where he earned a BA in Chemistry (1981). He worked as a state health inspector and chemist at Key Pharmaceuticals, before enrolling in the School of Medicine at Universidad Central del Este (Dominican Republic) in 1982. He received my medical degree in 1985, and became certified by the ECFMG in 1986. Dr. González-Peralta first became interested in Pediatrics through his interactions with children in medical school when he discovered a special talent in working with young patients and found such experience exceedingly gratifying. Accordingly, he began my post-graduate work in Pediatrics at Cook County (Chicago, IL) in 1987, where he completed two years of training. In order to broaden the subspecialty knowledge base and to be “closer to home”, Dr. González-Peralta then moved to the University of Florida in 1990, where he completed the residency in Pediatrics. At the University of Florida Dr. González-Peralta also served as Chief Resident, completed training in Pediatric Gastroenterology and joined the faculty in July 1994 as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2000 and Professor in 2008 and Assistant Dean of the Office of Diversity and Health Disparity in 2011.

Administratively, Dr. González-Peralta have been the director of Pediatric Hepatology (a section developed within the Division of Gastroenterology) since its creation in 2000. The “Liver Service” provides inpatient and outpatient care to all children with liver disorders and transplantation in our institution. In 2006 we expanded the Hepatology services by establishing a Liver Clinic at Nemours Children’s Clinic and in 2008 at Arnold Palmer Hospital (in Orlando, Florida). In addition, Dr. González-Peralta served as the director of the Pediatric Gastroenterology Fellowship Training Program from 1997 to 2004. In that capacity, he oversaw the successful re-accreditation process for our program without incident. He is actively involved within the North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (National Councilor), the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (Chair Elect, Pediatric Interest Group) and the Latin American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. Finally, during my tenure as faculty, Dr. González-Peralta have served as mentor to several pediatric residents and medical students.

Research Interests

  • Childhood HBV and HCV infection
  • Pediatric Liver Transplantation
  • Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Deficiency
  • Wilson’s Disease
  • Clinical Trials
  • Gastroenterology
  • Hepatology
  • Liver transplant

Publications

  1. RP González-Peralta, DA Kelly, B Haber, JP Molleston, KF Murray, MM Jonas, M Shelton, G Mieli-Vergani, Y Lurie, S Martin, T Lang, A Baczkowski, M Geffner, S Gupta, M Laughlin for the International Pediatric Hepatitis C Therapy Group. Interferon alfa-2b in combination with ribavirin for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C in children: efficacy, safety, and pharmacokinetics. Hepatology 2005;42:1010-8.
  2. CJ Jolley, RP González-Peralta. Hepatitis C. In: Walker WA, Goulet OJ, Kleinman RE, Sanderson IR, Sherman PM, Shneider BL (eds), Pediatric Gastrointestinal Disease:5th Edition, Hamilton, Ontario, BC Decker, 2008:847-58.
  3. A Delgado-Borrego, SH Jordan, B Negre, RP González-Peralta. Hepatitis C en niños. In C Velasco (ed). Temas selectos de Hepatología, Gastrohnup Ltda. Editorial, 2008.
  4. U Shah, D Kelly, MH Chang, T Fujisawa, S Heller, RP González-Peralta, P Jara, G Mieli-Vergani, N Mohan, KF Murray, KF Murray. Management of chronic hepatitis B in children. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 2009;48:399-404.
  5. RP González-Peralta, MR Langham, JM Andres, P Mohan, PM Colombani, MK Alford, KB Schwarz. Hepatocellular carcinoma in two young adolescents with chronic hepatitis C. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 2009;48:630-5.
  6. JR. Rodrigue, W Balistreri, B Haber, MM Jonas, P Mohan, JP Molleston, KF Murray, MR Narkewicz, P Rosenthal, LJ Smith, KB Schwarz, P Robuck, B Barton, RP González-Peralta. Impact of Hepatitis C Virus Infection on Children and their Caregivers: Quality of Life, Cognitive, and Emotional Outcomes. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 2009;48:341-7.
  7. N Mohan, RP González-Peralta, T Fujisawa, MH Chang, S Heller, P Jara, D Kelly, G Mieli-Vergani, U Shah, KF Murray. Chronic hepatitis C virus infection in children. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 2010;50:123-31.
  8. Schwarz KB, González-Peralta RP, Murray K, Molleston J, Haber B, Jonas M, Mohan P, Balistreri W, Rosenthal P, Narkewicz M, Smith L, Robuck P, and Barton B for the PEDS-C Clinical Research Network. Peginterferon with or without Ribavirin for chronic hepatitis C in children and adolescents: final results of the PEDS-C Trial. Gastroenterology 2011;140:450-8.
  9. JR Rodrigue, W Balistreri, B Haber, MM Jonas, P Mohan, JP Molleston, KF Murray, MR Narkewicz, P Rosenthal, LJ Smith, SJ Lobritto, KB Schwarz, PR Robuck, B Barton, RP González-Peralta. Peginterferon with or without ribavirin has minimal effect on quality of life, behavioral/emotional, and cognitive outcomes in children. Hepatology 2011;53:1468-75.
  10. A Delgado-Borrego, L Smith, MM Jonas, CA Hall, B Negre, M Ogrodowiczc, R Raza, SH Jordan, DA Ludwig, T Miller, SE Lipshultz, RP Gonzalez-Peralta, RT Chung. Expected and actual case ascertainment and treatment rates for Hepatitis C-infected children in Florida and the US: epidemiological evidence from statewide and nationwide surveys. Journal of Pediatrics (in press).
  11. CL Mack, RP Gonzalez-Peralta, N Gupta, D Leung, MR Narkewicz, EA Roberts, P Rosenthal, KB Schwarz. North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition practice guidelines: diagnosis and management of Hepatitis C infection in infants, children and adolescents. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition (in press).