Bethesda, MD (May 13, 2020) — M. Bishr Omary, MD, PhD, AGAF, will begin his term as the 115th president of the AGA Institute on June 1, 2020.
Dr. Omary, an international leader in GI biology and physiology, currently serves as senior vice chancellor for academic affairs and research for Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences schools, centers and institutes at Rutgers University.
Eldest of three siblings, Dr. Omary was born and raised to Syrian parents in New York City. After his father obtained his MS degree in political science from Columbia University, the family returned to Damascus, Syria where his father worked in the Ministry of Urban Planning. The family emigrated to the U.S. in 1968.
“I am eternally grateful to my parents from whom I learned the meaning of hard work and unconditional love. The opportunities in the U.S. open so many doors compared with many other countries, including Syria then and especially now given the ongoing 9-year civil war that has ravaged the country,” shared Dr. Omary.
When asked about how he will approach his presidency during a global pandemic, Bishr expressed his commitment to urgently working with and for patients, and our community of gastroenterologists, researchers, trainees and other AGA members, to overcome the disruptions created by our pandemic and ultimately be in a better place than we were before. Dr. Omary remains steadfast to AGA’s vision, a world free from digestive diseases.
Dr. Omary’s primary focus, as an internationally recognized biomedical investigator, is understanding the mechanism and developing therapies for several diseases including lipodystrophies, acute liver failure and porphyrias. He served as chief of gastroenterology and hepatology at Stanford University, then chair of physiology and chief scientific officer while at the University of Michigan before moving to Rutgers.
Bishr has been a long-time AGA leader, most notably chairing the AGA Institute Research Awards Panel and serving as senior associate editor (2006-2011) then editor-in-chief (2011-2016) of Gastroenterology, AGA’s premier journal.
Dr. Omary has sat on the AGA Governing Board for two years as vice president then president-elect; his term as AGA president concludes May 2021.
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About the AGA Institute
The American Gastroenterological Association is the trusted voice of the GI community. Founded in 1897, the AGA has grown to more than 16,000 members from around the globe who are involved in all aspects of the science, practice and advancement of gastroenterology. The AGA Institute administers the practice, research and educational programs of the organization. www.gastro.org.