Future Leaders Biographies

Christen Klochan Dilly, MD, MEHP
Christen Klochan Dilly, MD, MEHP

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Indiana University School of Medicine
Roudebush VA Medical Center

Christen Klochan Dilly, MD, MEHP, is an assistant professor of medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM). She graduated from Rush Medical College and then trained at Vanderbilt University and Indiana University before joining the faculty in 2013. She obtained a master of education degree from Johns Hopkins University, where she developed skills to devote significant time to education-related work. She is the director of the Clinician-Educator Training Pathway at IUSM, through which she prepares residents and fellows to be effective educators. She leads her division’s effort in educating residents and students. At the faculty development level, she leads two faculty learning communities centered on the scholarship of teaching and learning. She is the faculty advisor for the house staff forum at IUSM. Her research centers on professional identity formation, particularly in medical educators. She does her clinical work at the Roudebush VA Medical Center, where she is the medical director of the MOVE program, director of the intragastric balloon and Barrett’s esophagus programs, and she is a member of the Advanced Colon Procedures team.

Dr. Dilly is the incoming codirector of the AGA Academy of Educators. With the incoming and outgoing directors, she hopes to expand this community in several ways. First, she would like to develop a peer-mentoring group to help support education scholarship projects, foster collaboration on these projects and to celebrate that work at Digestive Diseases Week® and other national meetings. Second, she would like to help colleagues be recognized their work in medical education, particularly for the purposes of promotion and tenure. Thirdly, she hopes that members will see the AGA Academy of Educators as their community of practice within AGA and that they will build long-term, supportive relationships with other members.

Daniel Freedberg, MD, MS
Daniel Freedberg, MD, MS

Assistant Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology
Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases
Mailman School of Public Health
Department of Epidemiology
Columbia University

Daniel Freedberg, MD, MS, is a clinical gastroenterologist, epidemiologist, and translational investigator focused on enteric infections and the gastrointestinal microbiome in the setting of critical illness. His current research is funded by the NIH and AGA. His team’s studies show the importance of colonizing pathogens, such as Clostridium difficile and vancomycin-resistant enterococcal species, as determinants of the patient’s own health as well as the health for patients who share the same hospital environment. Dr Freedberg’s work focuses on the intensive care unit (ICU), where he and his team are investigating how ICU interventions impact the gut microbiome and how that leads to subsequent risk for enteric or nonenteric infections. The ultimate goal of this research is to find therapies that alter the gastrointestinal microbiome to ameliorate risk for gut-derived, ICU-acquired infections.

Wendy A. Henderson, PhD
Wendy A. Henderson, PhD

Investigator and Chief
Digestive Disorders Unit
Division of Intramural Research
NINR
NIH

Wendy A. Henderson, PhD, is the chief of the Digestive Disorders Unit within NINR’s Division of Intramural Research at the NIH. Her interest in symptomatology in gastrointestinal and liver disorders stems from her clinical and research experience at the Pediatric Gastroenterology Department of the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. She has completed a patient safety fellowship through the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. In 2007, Dr. Henderson obtained her doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh where she was also a Clinical and Translational Science Institute fellow. The same year she joined the Intramural Program of NIH as a staff scientist. After completing two years of postdoctoral training at NIH, Dr. Henderson was appointed as an assistant clinical investigator in 2009 and then joined the NIH tenure-track as an investigator in the NIH Division of Intramural Research in 2011. She founded and leads a clinical and translational postdoctoral program in the Intramural Program of NIH.

As a principal investigator on multiple studies at the NIH, Dr. Henderson’s science focuses on the brain–gut microbiota axis and chronic effects of stress on intestinal health across the lifespan.

Dr. Henderson is an inventor and holds multiple patents and licensed technologies. She serves as a member of the NIH Women Scientist Advisors Committee and on the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act. She is credentialed to the medical staff for the gastrointestinal pediatric consult service at the NIH Clinical Research Center. Among other awards, Dr. Henderson has received NINR Director’s Awards for Innovation and Leadership and is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.

Ruben Hernaez, MD, MPH, PhD
Ruben Hernaez, MD, MPH, PhD

Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine
Baylor College of Medicine
Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center

Ruben Hernaez, MD, MPH, PhD, is a Spanish-trained physician who is board certified in internal medicine, gastroenterology and transplant hepatology. Dr. Hernaez’s area of research is acute-on-chronic liver failure, complications and rehabilitation of cirrhosis and methodologic assessment of articles in gastroenterology and hepatology. Clinically, Dr. Hernaez is one of the two liver transplantation physicians at the Houston VA Medical Center, among the few practicing transplant physicians at the VA.

Originally from Orense, Spain, he graduated from the University of Navarra in Pamplona and completed postgraduate medical education in endocrinology and nutrition at the Clinic Hospital in Barcelona. His motivation in strengthening quantitative skills led him to come to the United States in 2005 to the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, where he earned a masters of public health in 2006 and later a doctorate in 2010 in epidemiology.

Because he missed patient care, Dr. Hernaez joined the Internal Medicine Program Residency at the Medstar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C., in 2013; in 2016, he earned gastroenterology and transplant hepatology fellowships at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Since he joined the VA in August 2016, Dr. Hernaez’s focus has been on chronic liver disease and its complications. One of his articles, a review of acute-on-chronic liver failure, was one of the most read articles in Gut for 2017 and had 16,000 reads. He is the lead author of the largest database in the West of acute-on-chronic liver failure, a database that contains more than 17,000 patients. He has won several peer-review recognitions, including the Saul Zukerman, MD, Humanitarism in Medicine Award in 2013, Best Teaching Fellow at Johns Hopkins in 2013 and Best Teaching Faculty in 2016 from the Baylor Fellowship Program.

After joining Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Hernaez was inducted into the prestigious Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety as a core faculty investigator under the mentorship of Dr. Kanwal in 2017. He received the Top Reviewer award from Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

He is the statistics editor for Gut, the second most influential journal in the world of gastroenterology and hepatology. Dr. Hernaez has peer reviewed more than 500 original publications, many of which were for major impact factor journals. He was appointed member of the steering committee of the practice guidelines of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and will continue to serve until 2021.

Dr. Hernaez is also the site-principal investigator, along with Dr. Amit Singal, of a $2.2-million- grant awarded from the NCI to understand the physical, psychological and financial risks of liver cancer screening versus usual care in a pragmatic, randomized clinical trial.

In his free time, Dr. Hernaez loves to spend time dining out and traveling and watching movies with his wife Laura and his children, Mateo and Nicolas.

Animesh Jain, MD
Animesh Jain, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Animesh Jain, MD, is an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the University of North Carolina (UNC). He is a member of the UNC Multidisciplinary Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Center. Dr. Jain completed his undergraduate education at Duke University and his medical degree from the University of Virginia. He completed internal medicine residency at New York University and gastroenterology and hepatology training at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Dr. Jain’s specializes in the care of patients with IBD, including a complex referral population of patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. He is actively involved in numerous clinical trials and registry studies being conducted in the UNC Multidisciplinary IBD Center. Dr. Jain’s research interests focus on the role of obesity as a disease-modifying factor in patients with IBD.

Professionally, Dr. Jain has a particular interest in medical and professional education. He is actively involved in the education of medical students, medicine residents and gastroenterology fellows at UNC. Dr. Jain is an active member of AGA and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, where he serves as a member of the Professional Education Committee.

Avinash Ketwaroo, MD
Avinash Ketwaroo, MD

Assistant Professor
Staff Physician
Baylor College of Medicine
Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center

Avinash Ketwaroo, MD, is a therapeutic endoscopist at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center and an assistant professor at the Baylor College of Medicine. He is also the director of quality improvement and innovation for the Division of Gastroenterology at the DeBakey VA Medical Center. His academic and research interests focus on quality improvement, advanced endoscopy and pancreaticobiliary disease. He is a clinician educator and is a member of the AGA Academy of Educators. Originally from the Caribbean, he has strong interests in global health; his current projects focus on enhancing the quality of digestive care in Jamaica. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his young family and is an avid cricketer and fan of reggae music.

Bharati Kochar, MD, MSCR
Bharati Kochar, MD, MSCR

Instructor of Medicine
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Bharati Kochar, MD, MSCR, attended college and medical school at Brown University as part of the Program in Liberal Medical Education. She completed her residency in internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. She then pursued a fellowship in gastroenterology at the University of North Carolina (UNC), where she also obtained advanced training in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and completed a master’s of science in clinical research at UNC’s Gilling’s School of Global Public Health. She is currently a faculty member at UNC.

Her clinical area of interest is the management of IBD in medically complicated adults. She received a career development award from the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation to study the pharmacoepidemiology of IBD in older adults. She is an active member of the IBD subcommittee of the AGA Quality Measures Committee.

David Leiman, MD, MSHP
David Leiman, MD, MSHP

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Division of Gastroenterology
Duke Clinical Research Institute
Duke University Medical Center


David Leiman, MD, MSHP, is an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology at Duke University Medical Center, where he is also a member of the Duke Clinical Research Institute and Duke Cancer Institute. Dr. Leiman is a health services researcher with a particular focus on health care delivery and has received several awards for interdisciplinary research aimed at improving practice quality and patient outcomes. He is studying the unique interaction between esophageal motility and advanced lung disease, with attention to its impact on clinical outcomes after lung transplantation. As a practicing gastroenterologist, he has a substantial interest in gastrointestinal cancer prevention and screening as well as a primary clinical interest in esophageal diseases and acid-peptic disorders.

Dr. Leiman serves as a member of the AGA Quality Measures Committee. He is active in trainee education and mentorship and was recognized with an ACG Train-the-Trainers scholarship. Dr. Leiman graduated with honors from the Johns Hopkins University and earned his medical degree from Vanderbilt University. He completed his internal medicine residency and gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania, where he also earned a master’s of science in health policy research as part of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics.

James Lin, MD
James Lin, MD

Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine
City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte


James Lin, MD, is a clinical assistant professor of medicine at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California.

Dr. Lin graduated from Emory University with a degree in anthropology and human biology. He received his master's degree in population dynamics and reproductive health from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and earned his medical degree from Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. He completed his internal medicine residency at the University of California in Irvine, his gastroenterology fellowship at the John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County in Chicago, followed by an advanced endoscopy fellowship at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. He subsequently joined the faculty at City of Hope in 2009, where he serves as the director of endoscopy and chief of the division.

Dr. Lin’s clinical interests are in gastric cancer, therapeutic endoscopy, and advanced endoscopic resection techniques. He completed training in endoscopic submucosal dissection at the National Cancer Center in Tokyo and Seoul National University Hospital. As a member of the multidisciplinary gastric cancer group at City of Hope, he is working on community outreach for high-risk populations, research in advance imaging, and the management of dysplasia and early gastric cancers.

Michelle Long, MD
Michelle Long, MD

Assistant Professor
Boston Medical Center


Michelle Long, MD, is an assistant professor of medicine in the Section of Gastroenterology at the Boston University School of Medicine and a staff physician in gastroenterology and hepatology at Boston Medical Center.

Dr. Long graduated magna cum laude from Middlebury College with a degree in neuroscience and biochemistry. She attended Tufts University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital before completing her gastroenterology fellowship at Boston Medical Center.

Dr. Long practices as a hepatologist at Boston Medical Center, where her clinical and research focus is in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. She is the director of the Boston Medical Center Fatty Liver Clinic and Clinical Trials Program and also serves as the director of clinical research for the Section of Gastroenterology. Dr. Long is an ancillary study principal investigator in the Framingham Heart study where she conducts research on liver fat and fibrosis and the impact on cardiovascular health. Dr. Long has published and presented at national meetings on the association between liver fat and clinical and subclinical cardiovascular disease. Her work is funded by the NIH, Boston University, Echosens Corporation and Gilead Sciences. 

Aimee Lee Lucas, MD, MS
Aimee Lee Lucas, MD, MS

Associate Professor of Medicine
Henry D. Janowitz Division of Gastroenterology
Icahn School of Medicine
Mount Sinai


Aimee Lee Lucas, MD, MS, is an associate professor of medicine in the Henry D. Janowitz Division of Gastroenterology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Lucas received her undergraduate degree with honors from Brown University. She earned her medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine and completed a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research fellowship. She subsequently trained in internal medicine at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University where she served as the chief medical resident. She remained at Columbia for fellowship training in gastroenterology during which time she obtained a master's degree in patient-oriented research and biostatistics from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. She is board certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology.

Her clinical practice encompasses the full spectrum of digestive disorders and endoscopy, with particular interest in caring for patients with hereditary cancer syndromes and those at high risk for developing gastrointestinal cancers, including pancreatic cancer. Her research interest is in developing screening regimens to detect early pancreatic cancer and precancerous lesions in high-risk patients with a family history of pancreatic cancer or genetic cancer syndromes. Her work has been published in numerous gastroenterology and oncology journals, and she has received support from the NIH, the American Cancer Society and other nonprofit organizations. Dr. Lucas currently serves on the AGA Graduate Training Examination Subcommittee and the AGA Women’s Committee.

Miguel Malespin, MD
Miguel Malespin, MD

Transplant Hepatologist
Tampa General Hospital


Miguel Malespin, MD, is a transplant hepatologist at Tampa General Hospital. He earned his medical degree at Ponce Health Sciences University. Dr. Malespin completed an internal medicine residency and gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Illinois at Chicago followed by further training in transplant hepatology at Loyola University Medical Center. He previously served as medical director of hepatology and was the associate program director for the gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Florida in Jacksonville. His research interests include nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, viral hepatitis, and health disparities. He is an active AGA member and serves on the diversity committee.

Simon C. Mathews, MD
Simon C. Mathews, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Assistant Director
Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality
Johns Hopkins Bayview
Head of Clinical Innovation
Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality
Johns Hopkins Medicine


Simon C. Mathews, MD, leads efforts in clinical innovation at the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality. He is focused on transforming hospitals and health systems into highly reliable organizations that excel in delivering high-quality care. He works closely on strategic initiatives in artificial intelligence, including the development of learning health care systems, the expansion of governance structures for quality and safety and collaborations with strategic partners (e.g., Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Ernst & Young). 

Dr. Mathews works clinically in the Division of Gastroenterology at Johns Hopkins where he is immersed in quality and safety research efforts focused on improving outcomes and experience. He earned his medical degree at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and completed his clinical training in internal medicine and gastroenterology at Johns Hopkins. Prior to his medical training, he worked briefly in investment banking at Goldman Sachs in New York City. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he studied economics as a Jefferson Scholar.
 

Karthik Ravi, MD
Karthik Ravi, MD

Gastroenterologist
Mayo Clinic at Rochester


Karthik Ravi, MD, completed his medical school training at Temple University in Philadelphia in 2005. In 2008, he completed his internal medicine residency training at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, subsequently remaining at the Mayo Clinic for both an advanced gastrointestinal motility and clinical gastroenterology and hepatology fellowships from 2018 to 2012. In 2012, Dr. Ravi joined the staff at the Mayo Clinic's Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology. 

Dr. Ravi’s clinical and research interests are in the realm of esophageal disorders, with a focus on clinical outcomes related to and secondary causes of esophageal dysmotility. He is director of the esophageal motility laboratory at the Mayo Clinic and is engaged in several leadership roles within the Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology.

Florian Rieder, MD
Florian Rieder, MD

Associate Staff
Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Digestive Diseases and Surgery Institute Department of Inflammation and Immunity
Lerner Research Institute
Cleveland Clinic Foundation


Florian Rieder, MD, received his medical degree from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Medical School in Munich, Germany. He underwent training in internal medicine and gastroenterology at the Klinik und Poliklinik für Innere Medizin I at the Universitätsklinikum in Regensburg, Germany, and a residency in internal medicine and fellowship in gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at The Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Rieder earned research fellowships at Harvard Medical School and The Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Rieder is an investigator at the Department of Inflammation and Immunity and an associate staff member at the Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at The Cleveland Clinic. His clinical focus is patients with inflammatory bowel disease, with a special emphasis on the field of pathogenesis, prediction and therapy of intestinal fibrosis.

Dr. Rieder has published more than 80 articles and book chapters and has been recognized for his expertise, as indicated through invitations to the steering committee of the second European Crohn’s and Colitis Organization (ECCO) scientific workshop on intestinal healing; group leader of the fourth ECCO scientific workshop on intestinal fibrosis; invitations as a full member of the consensus panel of the ECCO guidelines on Crohn’s disease; lead author of the ECCO guidelines on ulcerative colitis; lead author of the first ECCO clinical consensus on the diagnosis and management of intestinal fibrosis; and multiple international invitations as a speaker, session chair or conference faculty. 

Dr. Rieder serves as an abstract reviewer for all major gastrointestinal conferences. He is an associate editor for Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology and sits on several editorial boards of medical journals (Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Fibrogenesis and Tissue Repair, and the American Journal of Physiology Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology). He is proud of his significant ties to the ECCO, for which he served as the chair of Y-ECCO, member of the ECCO operational board, prior Y-ECCO committee member and member of the scientific committee. He is the chair of REACH-IBD and is a member of the Professional Education Committee of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.

Kyle Staller, MD, MPH
Kyle Staller, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School


Kyle Staller, MD, MPH, earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and trained at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) for his residency and gastroenterology fellowship. During his fellowship, he completed formal training in epidemiology, culminating in a master's of public health from the Harvard School of Public Health. He completed formal subspecialty training in neurogastroenterology and motility before joining the faculty of MGH in 2015 as an instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and an assistant in medicine at MGH in the Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit. In 2017, he was appointed as director of the Gastrointestinal Motility Laboratory at MGH, where he oversees the clinical operations of a busy gastrointestinal motility operation and was promoted to assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in 2018. 

Dr. Staller’s research focuses on improving the understanding of chronic constipation, fecal incontinence, and irritable bowel syndrome by leveraging insights gained from large epidemiologic databases to inform physiologic, psychosocial and, ultimately, translational research approaches to these diseases. He was awarded a Research Scholar Award from AGA, has been named a “Rising Star in Irritable Bowel Syndrome” by United European Gastroenterology and serves as the principal investigator of three investigator-initiated clinical trials.

Christina Twyman-Saint Victor, MD
Christina Twyman-Saint Victor, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Division of Gastroenterology
Assistant Professor
Department of Radiation Oncology 
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania


Christina Twyman-Saint Victor, MD, is an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology and an assistant professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a physician-scientist at an independent laboratory examining mechanisms of response and resistance to immune checkpoint inhibitors, including combining therapies with radiotherapy and immune agonists. She is also the associate program director of the Penn GI Fellowship.

She did her undergraduate studies at Duke University, attended medical school at Johns Hopkins University and completed residency training at Johns Hopkins Hospital Osler Medical Housestaff Training Program. She completed her gastrointestinal fellowship and earned a master's of science in translational research at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Dr. Twyman-Saint Victor is a past recipient of the AGA Research Scholar Award and member of the Research Awards Panel.
 

Ryan Ungaro, MD, MS
Ryan Ungaro, MD, MS

Assistant Professor
The Susan and Leonard Feinstein IBD Center 
Dr Henry D. Janowitz Division of Gastroenterology
Icahn School of Medicine
Mount Sinai


Ryan Ungaro, MD, MS, is an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Ungaro received his undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University and his medical degree from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai where he graduated alpha omega alpha and with distinction in research. He completed his internal medicine training and served as chief resident at the Mount Sinai Medical Center and then completed his fellowship training in gastroenterology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center and served as the chief gastroenterology fellow. Dr. Ungaro received training in translational inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) research as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Fellow and completed a master's in biostatistics and clinical research methods at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

Dr. Ungaro specializes in the care of patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. He is director of the Comprehensive Care for the Recently Diagnosed IBD Patient Program at the Susan and Leonard Feinstein IBD Clinical Center. His research focuses on the impact of early intervention on IBD outcomes and precision medicine approaches to improve risk stratification and the optimization of therapy for patients recently diagnosed with IBD. His work has been supported by a Crohn's and Colitis Foundation's Career Development Award and a KL2 Scholars Award for research career development. Dr. Ungaro is on the staff of contributors for the Gastroenterology Selected Summaries Section and has received various distinctions, including the Eric R. Lemmer Memorial Award and won the American College of Gastroenterology GI Jeopardy Competition.