Gail Hecht, MD


Microbiology and Immunology
Division Director, Gastroenterology, Residency Program Director, Gastroenterology

Languages Spoken




Dr. Hecht is Professor of Medicine and Microbiology/Immunology and Chief, Gastroenterology and Nutrition at Loyola University Chicago. She earned her MD from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine, completed Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and her Fellowship in Gastroenterology at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Her initial faculty appointment was at the University of Illinois Chicago where she rose through the ranks to Professor and was appointed Chief of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition. She relocated to Loyola in her current position in January 2013. She serves as Editor-in-Chief of a new journal Gut Microbes published by Landes Bioscience. Dr. Hecht has been very active in the American Gastroenterological Association functioning as Chair of the Intestinal Disorders Section of the AGA Council, as Basic Research Councilor to the Governing Board and ultimately serving as President from 2009-2010, only the second woman to serve in that capacity.


Medical Education

Medical School
Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine
University of Minnesota Hospital and Clinics - Internal Medicine
Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School - Gastroenterology

Board Certification

Gastroenterology - Subspecialty Cert: AM Board of Internal Medicine
Internal Medicine - General Cert: AM Board of Internal Medicine


  • Expression of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli map is significantly different than that of other type III secreted effectors in vivo Nguyen, M.; Rizvi, J.; Hecht, G., INFECTION AND IMMUNITY
  • Actin pedestal formation by enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli enhances bacterial host cell attachment and concomitant type III translocation Battle, S. E.; Brady, M. J.; Vanaja, S. K.; Leong, J. M.; Hecht, G. A., INFECTION AND IMMUNITY
  • AGA's approach to the microbiome Hecht, G., Gastroenterology
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  • Enteropathogenic E. coli effectors EspG1/G2 disrupt microtubules contribute to tight junction perturbation and inhibit restoration, Glotfelty, L. G.; Zahs, A.; Hodges, K.; Shan, K.; Alto, N. M.; Hecht, G. A., Cellular microbiology
  • Microtubules Are Required for Efficient Epithelial Tight Junction Homeostasis and Restoration Glotfelty, L. A.; Zahs, A.; Iancu, C.; Shen, L.; Hecht, G. A., American journal of physiology.Cell physiology
  • What is the value of a food and drug administration investigational new drug application for fecal microbiota transplantation to treat Clostridium difficile Infection? Hecht, G. A.; Blaser, M. J.; Gordon, J.; Kaplan, L. M.; Knight, R.; Laine, L.; Peek, R.; Sanders, M. E.; Sartor, B.; Wu, G. D.; Yang, V. W., Clinical gastroenterology and hepatology : the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association
  • Bacterial infections of the small intestine Hodges, K.; Hecht, G., CURRENT OPINION IN GASTROENTEROLOGY
  • Interspecies communication in the gut from bacterial delivery to host-cell response, Hodges, K.; Hecht, G., The Journal of physiology

The focus of Dr. Hecht’s research is host-pathogen interactions with specific emphasis on enteropathogenic Escherichia coli and enterohemorrhagic E. coli. Her goal is to determine how the bacterial effector proteins that are translocated into intestinal epithelial cells by these pathogens alter host cell physiology including tight junction barrier function, active ion transport processes, and the innate immune response. Her research is funded by both the NIH and the VA. She also has an interest in the gut microbiome and its impact on intestinal function and health.