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AGA Presents Prestigious Recognition Awards to GI Leaders

AGA’s highest honor is awarded to C. Richard Boland, MD, AGAF.

Contact: Aimee Frank

San Diego, CA (May 23, 2016) — The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) has announced the recipients of its annual recognition awards, given in honor of outstanding contributions and achievements in gastroenterology.

“The AGA members who were recipients of the recognition awards were honored and nominated by their colleagues — a high compliment and illustration of admiration,” said Michael Camilleri, MD, AGAF, president of the AGA Institute. “We are privileged that such distinguished and accomplished individuals, with much to contribute to the field of gastroenterology, are representative of AGA. The recognition award recipients are just a few of the notable and talented members who help make AGA such an accomplished organization.” 

For more information on this year’s recipients, visit

Julius Friedenwald Medal

AGA’s highest honor is awarded to C. Richard Boland, MD, AGAF. The Julius Friedenwald Medal, presented annually since 1941, recognizes a physician for lifelong contributions to the field of gastroenterology. Dr. Boland, a former president of the AGA Institute, has dedicated his distinguished, 40-year career to the field of gastroenterology and to the service of AGA and its membership. AGA is sincerely thankful for his commitment and compassion.

Dr. Boland’s key research contributions, which form the basis for the genetic diagnosis of Lynch syndrome, in addition to his support of both young and established academicians throughout this country and abroad, make him an exceptional leader and role model within the industry and the community at large. Dr. Boland currently serves at the chief of gastroenterology at Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX, where he also manages the GI Cancer Research Laboratory, in addition to his adjunct appointments at the University of Texas Southwestern, Texas A&M College of Medicine and Baylor University.

Read more.

William Beaumont Prize

AGA honors Anna S. Lok, MD, AGAF, with the William Beaumont Prize in Gastroenterology, which recognizes an individual who has made a unique, outstanding contribution of major importance to the field of gastroenterology, for her outstanding and substantial work in clinical hepatology. Ever committed to her field, Dr. Lok takes part in several organizations to help impact the community at large, including AGA, of which she’s been a member for 20 years and for which she has served on the AGA Committee on Women, AGA International Committee and AGA Research Award Panel.

She is considered one of the most outstanding clinical investigators in the study of hepatitis B and has made crucial contributions to hepatitis C research. Dr. Lok is currently the Alice Lohrman Andrews Research Professor in Hepatology, director of the hepatology program, and assistant dean for clinical research at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Read more.

Distinguished Achievement Award in Basic Science

AGA bestows the Distinguished Achievement Award in Basic Science to Mark Donowitz, MD, AGAF, for his major accomplishments in basic science research, which have significantly advanced the science and practice of gastroenterology. Dr. Donowitz continues to work selflessly for AGA in many capacities, including serving as a president of AGA. He currently sits on the board of editors of Gastroenterology and serves as a mentor for the AGA Future Leaders program

Dr. Donowitz has brought together many consortia of basic, translational and clinical scientists, both at his home institution and internationally, to ensure the application to patients of his 40 years of ground-breaking work of deciphering the basic mechanisms that underpin and regulate intestinal Na absorption. He is exemplary in his leadership and commitment to moving the field forward for all involved. Dr. Donowitz is the LeBoff Professor for Research Disorders and Digestive Diseases at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, as well as the director for the Hopkins Center for Epithelial Disorders, the director of basic research, GI division, and the director of the Hopkins Conte Digestive Diseases Basic & Translational Research Core Center.

Read more.

Distinguished Educator Awards

The Distinguished Educator Award acknowledges exemplary educators in the field of gastroenterology. AGA is proud to be awarding this honor to two deserving individuals.

AGA honors David A. Johnson, MD, MACG, FASGE, FACP, with the first of two Distinguished Educator Awards. Dr. Johnson’s accomplishments as a mentor and academician over the last 25 years have continually fostered the successful careers of the next generation of physicians in the field of gastroenterology. His dedication and compassion as a physician make him an essential role model within the community. Read more

AGA recognizes and honors Suzanne Rose, MD, MDEd, AGAF, with the second Distinguished Educator Award. Dr. Rose is a unique leader in gastroenterology education who has achieved unparalleled milestones at the local, regional and national level. She is a valued consultant for a variety of medical organizations and academic institutions, serving her colleagues and community with fresh ideas that are complemented by her impeccable organizational skills and ability to create, synthesize and actualize programs that are highly impactful. Dr. Rose’s record of accomplishments, clarity of thought and inspirational demeanor have put her at the forefront of education and training. Read more.

Distinguished Mentor Award

The Distinguished Mentor Award recognizes two individuals for achievements as outstanding mentors over a lifelong career.

AGA bestows the first of two Distinguished Mentor Awards to P. Kay Lund, PhD. Dr. Lund has a holistic approach to mentoring and has fostered the success of creative and rigorous scientists, many of whom hold leadership roles in both academia and industry. As a long-standing, exceptional mentor, educator and innovator, as well as a renowned scientist, her accomplishments and credentials transcend any one field to encompass gastroenterology, physiology, biochemistry and genetics. Read more

AGA presents the second Distinguished Mentor Award to Anil K. Rustgi, MD, AGAF. A consummate physician, Dr. Rustgi has played an instrumental role as an advocate in the research and practice of GI oncology, doing important work in esophageal and colon cancer biology, with landmark publications in numerous high-impact journals. Read more.

Distinguished Clinician Awards

AGA recognizes two individuals, one in private practice and one in clinical academic practice, who have exemplified leadership and excellence in the practice of gastroenterology.

AGA presents the Distinguished Clinician Award, Private Practice, to Robert S. Bartolomeo, MD, AGAF. Dr. Bartolomeo has dedicated most of his adult life to the practice of gastroenterology, making significant contributions to the community as a leader in a variety of areas, all while delivering the highest level of care to his patients. As a well-respected and sought after physician, Dr. Bartolomeo embodies knowledge and passion, offering his own empathetic approach to each patient individually, to which they are beyond appreciative. As a leader, motivator and skilled physician, his tireless dedication to his patients, peers and community make Dr. Bartolomeo the perfect person to honor with this award. Read more.

AGA is honored to present the Distinguished Clinician Award, Clinical Academic Practice, to Kim L. Isaacs, MD, PhD, AGAF. Dr. Isaacs is considered the consummate physician by her peers in the field and by her patients, who come from all over for her specific expertise and care. As a leader in the IBD community, she combines her technical skills and tremendous breadth of knowledge with extreme empathy and compassion for her patients. Dr. Isaacs exemplifies what being a doctor in this modern age is really about, using her vast experience of taking care of IBD patients for the past 25 years and propelling the community forward through new clinical trials and promoting a multidisciplinary approach to helping patients manage their illnesses. Read more.

Young Investigator Awards

The AGA Young Investigator Award recognizes young investigators who have performed basic research in the field of gastroenterology, demonstrated specific achievements in the areas of digestive and/or liver diseases research, or have performed major clinical or outcomes research in the field.

AGA honors John T. Chang, MD with the AGA-GRG Young Investigator Award in Basic Science. Dr. Chang is a talented, intelligent, innovative and ambitious physician-scientist who is having a major impact in the field of fundamental immunology. Throughout his career, Dr. Chang has focused on understanding basic mechanisms underlying lymphocyte fate specification in systemic and mucosal immune responses. This research theme has important relevance to human health and disease, particularly vaccine design for infectious lymphocyte fate specification in systemic and mucosal immune responses. Read more.

AGA honors Aasma Shaukat, MD, MPH, with the AGA-GRG Young Investigator Award in Clinical Science. Dr. Shaukat has an undisputed reputation for emphasizing quality and excellence in patient care and clinical research. She is recognized nationally as a driving force in the area of colon cancer screening and prevention, and has made seminal contributions in the specific areas of chemoprevention, screening (both fecal occult blood tests and colonoscopy), and the molecular biology of interval colorectal cancers. Read more.

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Digestive Disease Week® (DDW) is the largest international gathering of physicians, researchers and academics in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery. Jointly sponsored by the AGA Institute, American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) and the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract (SSAT), DDW takes place May 21-24, 2016, at the San Diego Convention Center, CA. The meeting showcases more than 5,000 abstracts and hundreds of lectures on the latest advances in GI research, medicine and technology. More information can be found at

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