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Vesselin Tomov, MD, PhD

Vesselin Tomov, MD, PhD Physician

Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Tomov is employed by Penn Medicine.

Patient Satisfaction Ratings

Patient Rating Breakdown

The Patient Satisfaction Rating is an average of all responses to the care provider related questions shown below from our nationally-recognized Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Survey. Patients that are treated in outpatient or hospital environments may receive different surveys, and the volume of responses will vary by question.

Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best score.

Comments are submitted by patients and reflect their views and opinions. The comments are not endorsed by and do not necessarily reflect the views of Penn Medicine.

Overall Ratings

Clinical Specialties


  • Gastroenterology

Programs & Centers:

Board Certification:

  • Internal Medicine, 2011

Clinical Expertise:

  • Abdominal Bloating
  • Abdominal Disorders
  • Abdominal Distention
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Abnormal Liver Function
  • Abnormal Stool
  • Acute Pancreatitis
  • Alcoholic Liver Disease
  • Altered Bowel Habits
  • Anal Pain
  • Anal Spasm
  • Annular Pancreas
  • Anorexia
  • Autoimmune Enteropathy
  • Autoimmune Hepatitis
  • Barrett's Esophagus
  • Benign Neoplasm of Colon
  • Blood in Stool
  • Bowel Disorders
  • Bowel Dysmotility
  • Bowel incontinence (Fecal Incontinence)
  • Bright Red Blood in Rectum
  • C. Difficile (Clostridium Difficile Diarrhea)
  • Celiac Disease (Celiac Sprue)
  • Cholangitis
  • Cholecystitis
  • Cholelithiasis
  • Cholestasis
  • Chronic Diarrhea
  • Chronic Pancreatitis
  • Colitis
  • Collagenous Colitis
  • Colonic Inertia
  • Colonic Polyps
  • Colonoscopy
  • Constipation
  • Crigler Najjar Syndrome
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome
  • Difficulty Swallowing (Dysphagia)
  • Digestive Conditions
  • Diverticular Disease
  • Diverticulitis (Colonic Diverticulitis)
  • Duodenal Ulcer
  • Duodenitis
  • Dyspepsia
  • Early Satiety
  • Eosinophilic Colitis
  • Eosinophilic Enteritis
  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE)
  • Eosinophilic Gastritis
  • Epigastric Pain
  • Eructation
  • Esophageal Achalasia
  • Esophageal Disorders
  • Esophageal Motility Disorders
  • Esophageal Spasm
  • Esophageal Stricture
  • Esophageal Thickening
  • Esophageal Ulcer
  • Esophageal Varices
  • Esophagitis
  • Esophagus Tumors
  • Fatty Liver Diseases
  • Fecal Impaction
  • Feeding Tube Management
  • Flatulence
  • Focal Nodular Hyperplasia
  • Gallbladder Disorders
  • Gallbladder Polyp
  • Gastric Anomaly
  • Gastric Ulcer
  • Gastritis
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
  • Gastrointestinal Amyloid
  • Gastrointestinal Bleeding
  • Gastrointestinal Cancer Screening
  • Gastrojejunal Ulcer
  • Gastroparesis
  • Gastroscopy
  • Giardiasis
  • Gluten Sensitivity
  • H. Pylori Infection
  • Hematemesis
  • Hemochromatosis
  • Hepatitis
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Hepatomegaly
  • Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer
  • Hiatal Hernia
  • Ileitis
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Intestinal Obstruction
  • Intestinal Pseudo-Obstruction
  • Intractable Vomiting
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Ischemic Colitis
  • Jaundice
  • Lactose Intolerance
  • Liver Cirrhosis
  • Liver Diseases
  • Liver Mass
  • Lymphocytic Colitis
  • Malabsorption
  • Melena
  • Microscopic Colitis
  • Motility Disorders
  • Nausea
  • Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
  • Obstipation
  • Obstructive Jaundice
  • Odynophagia
  • Pancreas Divisum
  • Pancreatic Cyst
  • Pancreatic Insufficiency
  • Pancreatic Pseudocyst
  • Pancreaticobiliary Disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Peptic Ulcer Disease (Stomach Ulcers)
  • Peritonitis
  • Pernicious Anemia
  • Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome
  • Polyposis Syndrome
  • Portal Hypertension
  • Portal Hypertensive Gastropathy
  • Postprandial Diarrhea
  • Proctitis
  • Proctosigmoidoscopy
  • Rectal Bleeding
  • Rectal Disorders
  • Short Bowel Syndrome (Short Gut Syndrome)
  • Sigmoidoscopy
  • Small Bowel Disease
  • Steatorrhea
  • Stomach Cramps
  • Stomach Disorders
  • Swallowing Disorders
  • Toxic Liver Injury
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Upper GI Endoscopy
  • Vomiting
  • Whipple's Disease
  • Wilson's Disease
  • Zenker's Diverticulum
Show All Expertise

Practice Locations and Appointments

Insurance Accepted

  • Aetna US Healthcare
  • Amerihealth Caritas
  • Amerihealth Caritas Medicare
  • Cigna
  • Cigna HealthSpring
  • Clover Health Plan
  • CVS Health
  • Devon Health Services (Americare)
  • eLAP Services
  • Gateway Health Plan
  • Geisinger Health Plan
  • HealthAmerica / HealthAssurance, a Coventry Plan
  • HealthPartners
  • HealthPartners Medicare
  • HealthSmart
  • Highmark Blue Shield
  • Homestead Smart Health Plans
  • Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
  • Humana / Choicecare
  • Independence Blue Cross (Keystone East)
  • Intergroup
  • Keystone First
  • Keystone First Medicare
  • Multiplan
  • NJ Medicaid
  • NJ Qualcare
  • Oxford Health Plan
  • PA Health and Wellness (Centene) Medicare
  • PA Medicaid
  • PA Medicare
  • Preferred Health Care/LGH
  • Provider Partners Health Plan
  • Rail Road Medicare / Palmetto GBA
  • Remedy Partners at Penn Medicine
  • Tricare
  • United Healthcare
  • UnitedHealthcare Community Plan
  • US Family Health Plan
  • Veterans Choice Program

Education and Training

Medical School: Harvard University
Residency: Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Fellowship: Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania


American Gastroenterological Association, National American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, National Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, National The American Association of Immunologists, National

Hospital Affiliation

Dr. Tomov is employed by Penn Medicine.

Hospital Privileges:

  • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania: Has privileges to treat patients in the hospital.
  • Penn Medicine Radnor: Has privileges to perform procedures.
  • Penn Presbyterian Medical Center: Has privileges to treat patients in the hospital.


Description of Research Expertise:

The Tomov lab is broadly focused on mucosal immunology. Specific areas of research include the following.

(1) Norovirus (NV) immunity and persistence. NVs are important global pathogens that account for significant morbidity and mortality globally. To date, there is no effective vaccine against NV. Moreover, NVs can evade adaptive immunity in healthy hosts and establish chronic infections. We use the mouse NV (MNV) system to study CD8 T cell differentiation and trafficking during chronic infection with MNV. Using genetically-engineered strains of MNV and MHC-epitope tetramer reagents, we have shown that chronic infection drives tissue-resident memory CD8 T (Trm) cells to a unique differentiation state resembling inflationary T cell responses against herpesvirus. These MNV-specific Trm remain highly functional yet appear ignorant of ongoing viral replication. This "ignorance" develops within 72 hours of infection and coincides with sequestration of viral replication in an immune-privileged enteric niche. Our current efforts are focused on defining the anatomical relationship between chronically infected enteric cells and MNV-specific Trm in the mouse intestine. We are also conducting a peptide library screen to define CD4 and CD8 T cells epitopes in human peripheral blood and intestinal mucosa.

(2) Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) including Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) are chronic debilitating illnesses that affect millions of patients around the world. We have assembled a large biobank of live cryopreserved intestinal immune cells from IBD patients at Penn. This biobank, termed the Immunology in IBD Initiative (I3), is linked to extensive clinical metadata and is a unique resource for the broad scientific community at Penn. We are using the I3 to conduct deep immune phenotyping of T cell subsets from the intestinal mucosa of IBD patients, and to correlate these subsets with disease activity, response to therapy, microbial composition, and epithelial cell metabolism.

(3) Immune-checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) are a relatively new class of drugs approved for the treatment of advanced cancers. These drugs target immunoregulatory pathways by blocking cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4), programmed cell death 1 (PD-1), or the PD-1 ligand PD-L1, thereby reinvigorating the intrinsic antitumor activity of exhausted T cells. Used as single agents or in combination, ICIs have shown remarkable efficacy in a subset of patients with metastatic cancers, however their use is limited by frequent immune-mediated adverse events. In particular, checkpoint inhibitor-induced colitis (CIIC) is a severe complication of ICI therapy and occurs in as many as 30% of patients receiving the CTLA-4 inhibitor ipilimumab. We are utilizing the I3 infrastructure and knowledge to collect blood and mucosal samples from patients with CIIC with the goal of understanding the immune mechanisms underlying the development of this serious complication.

Selected Publications:

Konnikova Liza, Boschetti Gilles, Rahman Adeeb, Mitsialis Vanessa, Lord James, Richmond Camilla, Tomov Vesselin T, Gordon Will, Jelinsky Scott, Canavan James, Liss Andrew, Wall Sarah, Field Michael, Zhou Fanny, Goldsmith Jeffery D, Bewtra Meenakshi, Breault David T, Merad Miriam, Snapper Scott B: High-dimensional immune phenotyping and transcriptional analyses reveal robust recovery of viable human immune and epithelial cells from frozen gastrointestinal tissue. Mucosal immunology 11 (6): 1684-1693,2018.

Ni Josephine, Wu Gary D, Albenberg Lindsey, Tomov Vesselin T: Gut microbiota and IBD: causation or correlation? Nature reviews. Gastroenterology & hepatology 14 (10): 573-584,2017.

Tomov Vesselin T, Palko Olesya, Lau Chi Wai, Pattekar Ajinkya, Sun Yuhang, Tacheva Ralitza, Bengsch Bertram, Manne Sasikanth, Cosma Gabriela L, Eisenlohr Laurence C, Nice Timothy J, Virgin Herbert W, Wherry E John: Differentiation and Protective Capacity of Virus-Specific CD8T Cells Suggest Murine Norovirus Persistence in an Immune-Privileged Enteric Niche. Immunity 47 (4): 723-738.e5,2017.

Vesselin T. Tomov, Olesya Palko, Chi Wai Lau, Yuhang Sun, Ralitza Tacheva, Bertram Bengsch, Sasikanth Manne, Gabriela L. Cosma, Laurence Eisenlohr, Timothy J. Nice, Herbert W. Virgin, and E. John Wherry: Enteric MNV persistence is associated with a unique CD8 T cell differentiation state and rapid immune evasion Keystone Symposium : 2017.

Nice Timothy J, Osborne Lisa C, Tomov Vesselin T, Artis David, Wherry E John, Virgin Herbert W: Type I Interferon Receptor Deficiency in Dendritic Cells Facilitates Systemic Murine Norovirus Persistence Despite Enhanced Adaptive Immunity. PLoS pathogens 12 (6): e1005684,2016.

Nice TJ, Osborne LC, Tomov VT, Artis D, Wherry EJ, Virgin HW: Type I Interferon Receptor Deficiency in Dendritic Cells Facilitates Systemic Murine Norovirus Persistence Despite Enhanced Adaptive Immunity PLos Pathogen 12 (6): e1005684,2016.

Barnett Burton E, Staupe Ryan P, Odorizzi Pamela M, Palko Olesya, Tomov Vesselin T, Mahan Alison E, Gunn Bronwyn, Chen Diana, Paley Michael A, Alter Galit, Reiner Steven L, Lauer Georg M, Teijaro John R, Wherry E John: Cutting Edge: B Cell-Intrinsic T-bet Expression Is Required To Control Chronic Viral Infection. Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950) 197 (4): 1017-22,2016.

Vesselin Tomov, Olesya Palko, and E. John Wherry: Human Norovirus-specific T Cell Responses Center for Molecular Studies in Digestive and Liver Diseases at the University of Pennsylvania 2015 Symposium : 2015.

Osborne Lisa C, Monticelli Laurel A, Nice Timothy J, Sutherland Tara E, Siracusa Mark C, Hepworth Matthew R, Tomov Vesselin T, Kobuley Dmytro, Tran Sara V, Bittinger Kyle, Bailey Aubrey G, Laughlin Alice L, Boucher Jean-Luc, Wherry E John, Bushman Frederic D, Allen Judith E, Virgin Herbert W, Artis David: Virus-helminth coinfection reveals a microbiota-independent mechanism of immunomodulation. Science (New York, NY) 345 (6196): 578-82,2014.

Bewtra Meenakshi, Brensinger Colleen M, Tomov Vesselin T, Hoang Tram B, Sokach Carly E, Siegel Corey A, Lewis James D: An optimized patient-reported ulcerative colitis disease activity measure derived from the Mayo score and the simple clinical colitis activity index. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases 20 (6): 1070-8,2014.

View all publications

Academic Contact Info

Division of Gastroenterology
Institute for Immunology
421 Curie Boulevard
BRB II/III, Room 313

Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 531-1820
Patient appointments: 800-789-7366 (PENN)