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Steven Itzkowitz

  • PROFESSOR Medicine, Gastroenterology
  • PROFESSOR Oncological Sciences
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  • Gastroenterology

  • American Board of Internal Medicine

Training Areas


  • MD, Mount Sinai School of Medicine

  • Residency, Internal Medicine
    Bellevue/NYU Hospital Center

  • Residency, Internal Medicine
    Bellevue/NYU Hospital Center

  • Fellowship, Gastroenterology
    University of Cal. San Francisco


    Steven H. Itzkowitz, M.D. is Professor of Medicine, Associate Director of The Dr. Henry D. Janowitz Division of Gastroenterology, and Director of the GI Fellowship Program at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Dr. Itzkowitz is past Chair of the Gastrointestinal Oncology Section of the American Gastroenterological Association, and past President of the New York Gastroenterological Association.  He is a recipient of a distinguished Jacobi Medallion from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

    Dr. Itzkowitz has served as a Study Section member for the National Cancer Institute, Veteran's Affairs Merit Review Board, Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America, and US-Israel Binational Science Foundation, and as an editor of the International Journal of Colorectal Disease, and associate editor of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and Gastric Cancer. He also serves on the Steering Committee of the NY City Department of Health Citywide Colon Cancer Control Coalition ("C5 Coalition").  He spearheaded efforts to secure NCI funding for the East Harlem Partnership for Cancer Awareness: a program based at Mount Sinai, designed to raise awareness in the East Harlem community regarding the risks and treatment for several common cancers including colon cancer.  

    Dr. Itzkowitz's research interests are in the field of gastrointestinal cancer.  His laboratory conducts research into the mechanisms of cancer inhibition and promotion by trefoil factors.  Clinical studies have focused on detecting and preventing colon cancer in inflammatory bowel disease, reducing disparities in colon cancer screening, and developing new non-invasive stool DNA tests for colon cancer.

    In the News: Dr. Steven Itzkowitz discusses screening as the best early warning against colorectal cancer in The Daily News feature The Daily Check Up.


  • 2009 -
    Best Doctors
    New York Magazine


Dr. Itzkowitz conducts basic science and clinical studies focussed on gastrointestinal oncology. The laboratory has been studying the role of trefoil factors in GI cancer biology. Trefoil factor family-3 (TFF3) has mainly been viewed as a protein which promotes healing following mucosal injury, but our laboratory discovered that TFF3 expression may contribute to aggressive behavior of GI cancer cells since it is associated with a worse survival of patients with gastric cancer, independent of cancer stage. This is the first evidence in any human cancer type that TFF3 contributes to cancer cell behavior.  In addition, we demonstrated in a rat colon cancer model system that TFF3 promotes migration and invasion of cancer cells, prevents apoptosis, and is correlated with enhanced metastatic behavior in vivo resulting in increased mortality. Other studies have disclosed that mutations of the gastric tumor suppressor gene, TFF1, makes human gastric cancer cells more migratory and invasive. Studies are ongoing to elucidate the mechanisms involved in the cancer-associated functions of TFFs.

Clinical studies are focussed on colorectal cancer prevention and early detection. Clinical trials are exploring the utility of stool DNA testing for detecting early colonic neoplasia in average risk individuals and separately in the high-risk group of patients with inflammatory bowel disease. In average risk individuals, stool DNA testing was superior to fecal occult blood testing for detecting colon cancer. An improved and more simplified version of the test shows promise for enhancing colon cancer detection. Other studies are exploring the risk factors for developing colon cancer in IBD and the possible role of anti-inflammatory medications to help reduce this risk.

Dr. Itzkowitz helped spearhead community outreach efforts to enhance awareness of colon cancer in East Harlem. He and his colleagues have demonstrated the effectiveness of new strategies to improve the completion rates of screening colonoscopy among minority individuals by employing patient navigators within an open access referral system. This model is gaining increased acceptance and use in other medical centers. 


Itzkowitz S, Brand R, Jandorf L, Durkee K, Millholland J, Rabeneck L, Schroy PC 3rd, Sontag S, Johnson D, Markowitz S, Paszat L, Berger BM. A simplified, noninvasive stool DNA test for colorectal cancer detection. Am J Gastroenterol 2008 Nov; 103(11): 2862-2870.

Ullman T, Croog V, Harpaz N, Hossain S, Kornbluth A, Bodian C, Itzkowitz S. Progression to colorectal neoplasia in ulcerative colitis: effect of mesalamine. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2008 Nov; 6(11): 1225-1230.

Babyatsky M, Lin J, Yio X, Chen A, Zhang JY, Zheng Y, Twyman C, Bao X, Schwartz M, Thung S, Lawrence Werther J, Itzkowitz S. Trefoil factor-3 expression in human colon cancer liver metastasis. Clin Exp Metastasis 2008 Nov 2; Epub ahead of print.

Chen LA, Santos S, Jandorf L, Christie J, Castillo A, Winkel G, Itzkowitz S. A program to enhance completion of screening colonoscopy among urban minorities. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2008 Apr; 6(4): 443-450.

Christie J, Itzkowitz S, Lihau-Nkanza I, Castillo A, Redd W, Jandorf L. A randomized controlled trial using patient navigation to increase colonoscopy screening among low-income minorities. J Natl Med Assoc 2008 Mar; 100(3): 278-284.

Gupta RB, Harpaz N, Itzkowitz S, Hossain S, Matula S, Kornbluth A, Bodian C, Ullman T. Histologic inflammation is a risk factor for progression to colorectal neoplasia in ulcerative colitis: a cohort study. Gastroenterology 2007 Oct; 133(4): 1099-1105.

Itzkowitz SH, Jandorf L, Brand R, Rabeneck L, Schroy PC 3rd, Sontag S, Johnson D, Skoletsky J, Durkee K, Markowitz S, Shuber A. Improved fecal DNA test for colorectal cancer screening. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2007 Jan; 5(1): 111-117.

Itzkowitz SH. Molecular biology of dysplasia and cancer in inflammatory bowel disease. Gastroenterol Clin North Am 2006 Sep; 35(3): 553-571.

Yio X, Diamond M, Zhang JY, Weinstein H, Wang LH, Werther L, Itzkowitz S. Trefoil factor family-1 mutations enhance gastric cancer cell invasion through distinct signaling pathways. Gastroenterology 2006 May; 130(6): 1696-1706.

Imperiale TF, Ransohoff DF, Itzkowitz SH, Turnbull BA, Ross ME. Colorectal Cancer Study Group. Fecal DNA versus fecal occult blood for colorectal-cancer screening in an average-risk population. N Engl J Med 2004 Dec 23; 351(26): 2704-2714.

Industry Relationships

Physicians and scientists on the faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai often interact with pharmaceutical, device and biotechnology companies to improve patient care, develop new therapies and achieve scientific breakthroughs. In order to promote an ethical and transparent environment for conducting research, providing clinical care and teaching, Mount Sinai requires that salaried faculty inform the School of their relationships with such companies.

Below are financial relationships with industry reported by Dr. Itzkowitz during 2015 and/or 2016. Please note that this information may differ from information posted on corporate sites due to timing or classification differences.

Scientific Advisory Board:

  • EXACT Sciences Corporation

Royalty Payments:

  • Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc.

Mount Sinai's faculty policies relating to faculty collaboration with industry are posted on our website. Patients may wish to ask their physician about the activities they perform for companies.

Insurance Information

Physicians who provide services at hospitals and facilities in the Mount Sinai Health System might not participate in the same health plans as those Mount Sinai hospitals and facilities (even if the physicians are employed or contracted by those hospitals or facilities).

Information regarding insurance participation and billing by this physician may be found on this page, and can also be obtained by contacting this provider directly. Because physicians insurance participation can change, the insurance information on this page may not always be up-to-date. Please contact this physician directly to obtain the most up-to-date insurance information.

Insurance and health plan networks that the various Mount Sinai Health System hospitals and facilities participate in can be found on the Mount Sinai Health System website.

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