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AGA Institute Research Policy Committee

This Organizational Statement was last revised by the AGA Institute Governing Board, (8) VOTED, November 2018


To further the Strategic Plan by fostering scientific discovery and the application of new knowledge to improve care of patients with digestive disease. For more information on the research policy committee’s mission and committee structure please review our organizational statement.

The specific charges to the committee are to:

  • Provide recommendations to the AGA Institute Governing Board regarding policy and programmatic actions concerning the AGA Institute’s and federal government’s funding of gastroenterology and hepatology research.
  • Provide recommendations to the governing board regarding the career development of investigators in gastroenterology and hepatology.
  • Develop and implement plans to assess the breadth of AGA’s research awards program and offer relevant recommendations to the governing board based on this assessment.
  • Oversee the AGA Institute Research Awards Panel (RAP), which conducts peer review of awards funded by the AGA Institute.
  • Work collaboratively with the AGA Research Foundation.

Committee Structure

The committee consists of 12 members (including a chair), plus a trainee. It also includes both basic scientists and clinical investigators. The director of the NIDDK Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition (or his/her designee, who shall not count against the maximum membership) and the chair of the AGA Research Foundation Executive Board (who shall not count against the maximum membership) shall be invited to be non-voting, ex-officio liaisons. The chair of the RAP serves as vice chair of the committee. The basic and clinical research councillors (who shall not count against the maximum membership) shall serve as the governing board’s liaisons to the committee and shall attend all committee meetings/teleconferences to ensure a balance between basic and clinical research needs. Additional members of the governing board (who shall not count against the maximum membership) may be assigned as team members to the committee but are not intended to attend any committee meetings. A chair-elect (who shall not count against the maximum membership) shall be appointed one year before the end of the term of the chair.

Appointment terms of all committee members shall be for two years, with the opportunity to be renewed for an additional year based on attendance and performance. One-third of the maximum terms shall expire annually.

The committee chair is authorized to create small, temporary subgroups consisting of members and nonmembers of the committee to address policy development and oversight of specific issues within the committee’s mission. Costs of all such subgroups must be included in the committee’s approved budget.

Committee chair responsibilities

  • Provides leadership and oversight of committee activities.
  • Convenes and directs meetings and teleconferences.
  • Ensures that projects and activities are carried out in a timely and appropriate manner.
  • Works with staff to prepare meeting agendas, minutes and reports.
  • Evaluates the performance of committee members.
  • Works closely with the AGA Research Foundation to share information on fundraising progress and funder prospects, to establish AGA research priorities and to fully fund established priorities within AGA’s grant portfolio.

Committee vice chair (RAP) responsibilities

The AGA Institute RAP chair ensures that the review process is smooth and equitable. He/she:

  • Serves as vice chair of the AGA Institute RPC and supports the functions of the chair as necessary.
  • Presents policy or programmatic issues identified by the AGA Institute RAP to be discussed and resolved by the AGA Institute RPC.
  • Other duties as specified in the AGA Institute RAP organizational statement.

Committee functions

  • Provides input on strategic trends and opportunities and suggests adjustments to the Strategic Plan for the chair to communicate to the AGA Institute Governing Board.
  • Reviews the Strategic Plan and strategic directions and determines how best to further those dealing with support of GI research; proposes policies and programs in light of those determinations.
  • Creates a set of research priorities for AGA; oversees the research awards program to assure it meets objectives and is appropriately funded and administered.
  • Develops recommendations to the AGA Institute Governing Board regarding an allocation of awards to be supported by the AGA Research Foundation Endowment
  • Fund annually.
  • Develops recommendations to the AGA Institute Governing Board regarding requests for support from organizers of scientific conferences related to gastroenterology and hepatology.
  • Work with staff to track metrics and outcomes related to awardees funded by the AGA Institute, AGA programs for researchers, and general trends in research that impact gastroenterology and hepatology.
  • Conduct an annual review and assessment of progress reports submitted by recipients of the AGA RSA.
  • Ensures that programs are developed to foster communication among basic and clinical scientists and clinicians.
  • Collaborates with the AGA Government Affairs Committee and AGA Research Advocacy Subcommittee to publicize the findings resulting from AGA Institute sponsored research, review and comment on proposed government regulations and other organizations’ policies that directly impact gastroenterology research and to build a case for more research funding from federal agencies.
  • Formulates policy statements on other issues related to biomedical research (e.g., ethical issues, science education, dissemination of research findings and application).
  • Performs other functions as assigned by the governing board.


The committee is authorized to hold two face-to-face business meetings per year, one in September and one at Digestive Disease Week®, and teleconferences as needed.


  • William A. Faubion, MD (chair)
  • Ma Somsouk, MD, MAS, AGAF (vice chair)
  • Andrew T. Chan, MD, MPH, AGAF (governing board liaison)
  • Thaddeus Stappenbeck, MD, PhD, AGAF (governing board liaison)
  • Stephen P. James, MD (NIH liaison) 
  • Courtney W. Houchen, MD
  • Jennifer Lai, MD, MBA, AGAF
  • Rodney Newberry, MD
  • G. Nicholas Verne, MD, AGAF
  • Rebecca Wells, MD, AGAF
  • Jonathan P. Jacobs, MD, PhD
  • Linda C. Samuelson, PhD
  • Anisa Shaker, MD
  • Folasade (Fola) May, MD, MPhil, PhD
  • Joel Rubenstein, MD
  • Anna Silverman, MD (trainee member)
  • Michael Camilleri, MD, AGAF (ex-officio; Research Foundation liaison)