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Meet Noah Ashenafi

Noah Ashenafi is an undergraduate student at the University of North Carolina whose research project on IBS was made possible through an AGA-funded fellowship.

Noah Ashenafi is passionate for holistic health, nutrition and personalized medicine. This passion motivated him to pursue a career in integrative medicine.

“I’m excited to pursue a future career in disease treatment and prevention, possibly in clinical gastroenterology research,” says Noah when asked about his career goal.

Noah’s research project — made possible through an AGA-funded fellowship — analyzes the effect of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) treatment on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients that display symptoms of problematic food avoidance/restriction. His aim for this project is to evaluate the effect of CBT on problematic food avoidance, IBS symptom severity, and IBS quality of life. Results from his project will inform the use of advanced practice provider-delivered CBTs in patients with IBS to best target problematic avoidant/restrictive eating and improve access to behavioral treatments integrated into the gastroenterology setting.

“Research project funding opportunities targeted towards populations underrepresented in biomedical research are key for students in my community,” says Noah. “The impact of funding opportunities like these will help increase the number of minority students in medical-related professions.”

Noah’s story like those of other undergraduate students shows the importance of growing the GI investigators pipeline.

Join the AGA Research Foundation’s AGA Giving Day campaign, now through Oct. 26, and help spark diverse students’ interest in GI research and launch underrepresented investigators’ academic research careers.