Sofia Verstraete, MD

Co-director, Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital
Pediatric gastroenterologist

Dr. Sofia Verstraete is a gastroenterologist specializing in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) — both ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease — in children. She performs diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, including colonoscopies and other endoscopies, and cares for hospitalized patients as well as those visiting the clinic. Her special interests include IBD that develops at an early age, the ways in which rare conditions of chronic immunodeficiency relate to IBD, liver disease in patients with IBD and how to safely transition IBD patients to other providers' care.

Verstraete is a strong advocate for diversity. As a native Spanish speaker, she can evaluate treat patients who speak only Spanish, bringing particular value to medically complex cases where language and cultural barriers pose challenges. She is co-director of the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital's Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program and leads its clinical, research and quality improvement teams. She is passionate about improving remission rates among IBD patients at UCSF by offering a support group, hosting educational events, connecting patients with resources and creating subspecialty clinics to address the needs of patients who have other conditions along with IBD.

One focus of Verstraete's current research is how medical professionals classify IBD in pediatric patients. Her research also investigates how ethnicity impacts the condition's characteristics. In addition, she is active in clinical trials of cutting-edge medications for pediatric IBD.

After earning her medical degree from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Verstraete completed a residency in pediatrics at the University of Miami Health System. She then completed a master of advanced studies degree in epidemiology and biostatistics as well as a fellowship in pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at UCSF.

Verstraete belongs to the American Academy of Pediatrics; North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition; American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases; Crohn's & Colitis Foundation; and American Gastroenterological Association. She is a John A. Watson Faculty Scholar at UCSF, an honor that has allowed her to dedicate time to research and caring for underserved populations. She also manages the educational programs that give UCSF medical students and residents an opportunity to expand their knowledge of pediatric gastroenterology.


Gastroenterology and Liver
1825 Fourth St., Sixth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-2813
Fax: (415) 476-1343

IBD Program
1825 Fourth St., Sixth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-2813
Urgent Appointment Requests: (415) 353-1235
Fax: (415) 476-1343

San Mateo Primary and Specialty Care Clinic
1100 Park Place, Suite 100
San Mateo, CA 94403
Appointments: (415) 502-8942

More about Sofia Verstraete

Additional Languages



Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México 2008
UCSF 2014


University of Miami Health System, Pediatrics 2012


UCSF, Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition 2016

Selected Research and Publications

  1. Suh JH, Degagné É, Gleghorn EE, Setty M, Rodriguez A, Park KT, Verstraete SG, Heyman MB, Patel AS, Irek M, Gildengorin GL, Hubbard NE, Borowsky AD, Saba JD. Sphingosine-1-Phosphate Signaling and Metabolism Gene Signature in Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Matched-case Control Pilot Study. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2018 May 18; 24(6):1321-1334.
  2. Verstraete SG, Wojcicki JM, Perito ER, Rosenthal P. Bisphenol a increases risk for presumed non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in Hispanic adolescents in NHANES 2003-2010. Environ Health. 2018 Feb 01; 17(1):12.
  3. Robson JO, Verstraete SG, Shiboski S, Heyman MB, Wojcicki JM. A Risk Score for Childhood Obesity in an Urban Latino Cohort. J Pediatr. 2016 05; 172:29-34.e1.
  4. Fernandes MA, Verstraete SG, Garnett EA, Heyman MB. Addition of Histology to the Paris Classification of Pediatric Crohn Disease Alters Classification of Disease Location. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2016 Feb; 62(2):242-5.
  5. Urban LE, Weber JL, Heyman MB, Schichtl RL, Verstraete S, Lowery NS, Das SK, Schleicher MM, Rogers G, Economos C, Masters WA, Roberts SB. Energy Contents of Frequently Ordered Restaurant Meals and Comparison with Human Energy Requirements and U.S. Department of Agriculture Database Information: A Multisite Randomized Study. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2016 Apr; 116(4):590-8.e6.
  6. Verstraete SG, Heyman MB, Wojcicki JM. Breastfeeding offers protection against obesity in children of recently immigrated Latina women. J Community Health. 2014 Jun; 39(3):480-6.

Publications are derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and provided by UCSF Profiles, a service of the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at UCSF. Researchers can make corrections and additions to their publications by logging on to UCSF Profiles.