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Distinguished Achievement Award in Basic Science

Established in 1968, this recognition prize honors a senior investigator who has made major accomplishments in basic research that have significantly advanced the science and/or practice of gastroenterology. For the purpose of this award, the term “gastroenterology” encompasses any gastrointestinal discipline, including hepatology. To read about all 2021  AGA recognition prize winners, please read the press release

Recognition Award nominations are under review. AGA will announce the 2024 recipients by press release in Spring 2024.

Recognition Award nominations are open through Sept. 28, 2023.

AGA will announce the 2023 Recognition Award Recipients in early 2023.


Established in 1968, the Distinguished Achievement Award in Basic Science recognizes an individual whose accomplishments in basic research have significantly advanced the science and practice of gastroenterology. Beginning in 2013, the prize is awarded annually.


  • The nominee’s contributions must have significantly impacted the understanding of basic biology as it relates to the gastrointestinal tract; nominees need not be gastroenterologists and consideration is given to scientists and medical professionals from all fields.
  • Nominees must have a current AGA membership and be long-standing members.

Selection process

  • The recipient is selected by the AGA Recognition Prizes Panel constituting members of the AGA Diversity Committee, AGA Institute Clinical Guidelines Committee, AGA Institute Education and Training Committee, AGA Institute Practice Management and Economics Committee, and AGA Institute Research Policy Committee.
  • The AGA Governing Board ratifies the recipient.

Nominations are reviewed according to the eligibility criteria listed above and the following review and selection criteria. Nominees:

  • Have an impactful body of basic research discoveries. The collective body of research has advanced our understanding of basic biology associated with the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Have demonstrated exemplary service to AGA through service or leadership on AGA committees, journal editorial boards and/or the governing board. Recognition as an AGA Fellow is also considered.
  • Have generously contributed their expertise and leadership to the field, through for example:
    • Peer-review of grants.
    • Service on journal editorial boards.
    • Leadership and/or service on graduate and/or medical school committees.


The recipient will receive a $5,000 monetary prize and recognition at the AGA Awards Ceremony during Digestive Disease Week®. AGA will reimburse the recipient’s travel expenses and provide hotel accommodations for up to two nights. Travel expenses for one guest are also reimbursed.

Nomination process

All nominations are submitted online by a primary nominator who is an AGA member. The names of additional AGA members who support the nomination should be listed on the nomination form and included as signatories in the nomination letter.

Complete nomination packages include the following supporting materials, uploaded in PDF format. Please title the files using the nominee’s last name, first initial and the type of file (i.e., DoeJ_Letter.pdf, DoeJ_CV.pdf).

  • A nomination letter, not to exceed three pages, signed by the primary nominator and additional AGA members who support the nomination. Additional signature pages beyond the three-page limit are allowed when the letter has multiple signatures.
  • Nominee’s curriculum vitae.

Current members of the AGA Recognition Prizes Panel and AGA Governing Board are prohibited from submitting or supporting nominations.


Please direct all questions about this and other AGA recognition prizes to 301-941-2619 or via email at [email protected].

Recipients (1968-2023)

2023 James R. Goldenring, MD, PhD, AGAF
2022 Michael Gershon, MD
2021 Kim Barrett, PhD, AGAF
2020 R. Balfour Sartor, MD
2019 Harry B. Greenberg, MD: Viral Pathogenesis
2018 T. Jake Liang, MD, AGAF: Viral Hepatitis
2017 Juanita Merchant, MD, PhD: Gastric Physiology and Pathophysiology
2016 Mark Donowitz, MD, AGAF: Intestinal Sodium Absorption/Diarrhea
2014 John A. Williams, MD, PhD: Regulation of the Exocrine Pancreas
2013 Pelayo Correa, MD: Pathology and Epidemiology of Gastrointestinal Cancers
2011 Sidney J. Winawer: Polyps and the Prevention of Colorectal Cancer
2010 Mary K. Estes, PhD: Gastroenteritis Virus Pathogenesis and New Vaccines
2008 John G. Forte: Discovery and Characterization of the H,K-ATPase
2007 Daniel K. Podolsky: Healing and Repair within the GI Tract
2005 Henry J. Binder: Colonic Ion Transport/Diarrhea
2004 Raymond DuBois, Jr.: COX-2
2001 Nicholas F. LaRusso: Cholangiopathies
2002 Gabriel M. Makhlouf: Regulation of Gastrointestinal Function by Gut Peptides
1998 John Walsh: Neurohumoral Control of Gastric Secretion in Humans or Animals/Human Peptic Ulcer Disease
1996 Young S. Kim: Mucosal Glycoproteins
1995 Barry Marshall: Helicobacter Pylori
1993 James D. Jamieson: Exocytosis from the Pancreatic Acinar Cell: The Outs and Ins of It
1991 Jeffrey Gordon: The Use of Transgenic Mice to Study Gut Epithelial Cell Differentiation
1990 Martin C. Carey: Reflections from Moving Objects: Micelles in Bile and Gut Revisisted
1989 James L. Boyer: What Makes Bile Flow?
1987 Joseph H. Szurszewski: Myo-Neural Mechanisms of GI Motility and Dysmotility, Predictors and Disease
1986 Michael D. Levitt: Gaseous Insights into Intestinal Physiology
1984 Michael Field: The Cell Biology of Diarrheal Disease
1983 Kurt Isselbacher: Biochemical Studies of the Structure and Function of the Gut
1981 Warren Strober: Immunoregulatory Defects in Inflammatory Diseases of the Gastrointestinal Tract
1980 Rudi Schmid: Bilirubin: Old and New
1978 John M. Dietschy: The Biological and Clinical Importance of Diffusion Barriers
1977 Cyrus E. Rubin: Blood and Guts: More than a Quarter Century of Morphologic Research
1975 Jared M. Diamond: Functional Organization of Epithelia: Dead End Channels and Leaky Cement
1974 James McGuigan: Development and Current Status of Radioimmunoassay of Gastrin
1973 Charles S. Lieber: Hepatic Injury and Metabolic Adaptation in Alcoholism
1972 Donald M. Small: Biliary Lipids, Bile and Gallstones
1971 John S. Fordtran: Models for the Intestinal Transport of Ions, Water and Sugars
1970 Alan F. Hofmann: Functions and Dysfunctions of Bile Acids
1969 Robert K. Crane: Digestive Absorptive Function: Lessons from the Brush Border
1968 Irwin M. Ariazs: Inheritable Jaundice in Man and Other Animals