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May 24, 2018

Introducing the 2018 class of AGA Research Foundation awardees

AGA provides more than $2 million in research funding to 41 promising investigators.
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Bethesda, MD (May 24, 2018) —  The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) and the AGA Research Foundation are pleased to award 41 investigators with more than $2 million in research funding in the 2018 award year.

“We were impressed by the quality of applications received in 2018,” said Robert S. Sandler, MD, MPH, AGAF, chair, AGA Research Foundation. “The AGA Research Foundation is excited to add 41 investigators into the AGA Research Foundation awards family and we look forward to seeing the results of their research. Based on the proposals, we are confident that the newest class of awardees will continue to push gastroenterology and hepatology research forward and contribute to the next big discoveries in our field.”

The AGA Research Foundation Awards Program recruits, retains and supports the most promising investigators in gastroenterology and hepatology. With AGA Research Foundation funding, recipients have protected time to continue their fundamental research into causes and treatments for digestive disorders. AGA grants have launched the careers of investigators doing important work that translates to new patient care tools for clinicians and better outcomes for patients.

The awards program is made possible thanks to generous donors and funders contributing to the AGA Research Foundation. Learn more about the AGA Research Foundation at

Below are the 2018 AGA Research Foundation award recipients. AGA is proud to acknowledge the diversity of the 2018 class, which includes 46 percent female awardees and 49 percent of awardees identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander. Eighty-eight percent of awardees are early career investigators, and 12 percent are established investigators. Awardees represent institutions across North America, with the majority (27 percent) located in the Northeastern and Southern United States.

To learn about upcoming research funding opportunities, visit

AGA Research Scholar Award
Sarah Andres, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Swathi Eluri, MD, MSCR, University North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Won Jae Huh, MD, PhD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN
Sumera Rizvi, MD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
Niels Vande Casteele, PhD, University of California, San Diego

AGA-Takeda Pharmaceuticals Research Scholar Award in IBD
Jill Hoffman, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles

AGA-R. Robert & Sally Funderburg Research Award in Gastric Cancer
Jingwu Xie, PhD, Indiana University, Indianapolis

AGA-Allergan Foundation Pilot Research Award in Gastroparesis
Yujiro Hayashi, PhD, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN

AGA-Allergan Foundation Pilot Research Award in IBS
David Reed, MD, PhD, Queen’s University (Canada), Kingston, Ontario

AGA-Boston Scientific Technology and Innovation Pilot Award
Sila Kurugol, PhD, Boston Children’s Hospital, MA

AGA-Caroline Craig Augustyn & Damian Augustyn Award in Digestive Cancer
Ravikanth Maddipati, MD, University of Pennsylvania Hospital System, Philadelphia

AGA-Elsevier Gut Microbiome Pilot Research Award
Diego Bohorquez, PhD, Duke University, Durham, NC

AGA-Elsevier Pilot Research Award
David Drew, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston
Chunyue Yin, PhD, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, OH

AGA-Pfizer Pilot Research Award in IBD
Hamed Khalili, MD, MPH, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
Declan McCole, PhD, University of California, Riverside
Johan Van Limbergen, MD, PhD, Dalhousie University (Canada), Halifax, Nova Scotia

AGA-Rome Foundation Functional GI and Motility Disorders Pilot Research Award
Faranak Fattahi, PhD, University of California, San Francisco
Shaoyong Yu, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

AGA-Moti L. & Kamla Rustgi International Travel Awards
Soumya Mahapatra, MD, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
Ariadna Sanchez-Garcia, MD, Hospital Clinic Barcelona, Spain

AGA Fellow Abstract of the Year
Abigail Basson, PhD, MSc, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

AGA Fellow Abstract Prize
Melinda Engevik, PhD, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
Connie Ha, PhD, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
Alejandro Llanos-Chea, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, Boston
Deborah Luzader, PhD, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Rishi Naik, MD, MSc, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
Long Nguyen, MD, MS, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
Sarah Short, PhD, Vanderbilt Medical Center, Nashville, TN
Vladimir Grubisic, MD, PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing
Jianyi Yin, MD, PhD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

AGA Student Abstract of the Year
Louise Wang, MD, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

AGA Student Abstract Prize
Priya Chatterji, MSc, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Min-Shan Chen, MA, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
Yao-Wen Cheng, MD, Indiana University, Indianapolis
Aaron Chow, MSc, Michigan State University, East Lansing
Kristen Engevik, BS, University of Cincinnati, OH
Martin Gregory, MD, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
Chang Kuang Kim, MSc, Stony Brook University, NY
Shih-Ching Lin, MS, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
Daryl Ramai, BS, The Brooklyn Hospital Center, NY

This year’s awardees will be recognized during several AGA Research Foundation events at Digestive Disease Week® 2018, taking place June 2-5 in Washington, D.C.


Contact for media:
Rachel Shubert

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.

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About the AGA Research Foundation

The AGA Research Foundation, formerly known as the Foundation for Digestive Health and Nutrition, is the cornerstone of AGA’s effort to expand digestive disease research funding. Since 1984, the AGA, through its foundations, has provided more than $47 million in research grants to more than 870 scientists. The AGA Research Foundation serves as a bridge to the future of research in gastroenterology and hepatology by providing critical funding to advance the careers of young researchers between the end of training and the establishment of credentials that earn National Institutes of Health grants. Learn more about the AGA Research Foundation or make a contribution at

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