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  April 29, 2021

The AGA Research Foundation awards 45 gifted researchers with over $2.5 million in research funding

The Foundation introduced new awards in the 2021 awards cycle addressing diversity of GI investigators and the need for GI-specific COVID-19 research.
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Bethesda, MD (April 29, 2021) — The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) is excited to announce the researchers inducted into the 2021 class of AGA Research Foundation Awards Program recipients.

In the awards cycle, the AGA Research Foundation will provide over $2.5 million in research funding to investigators working on projects that will further enhance our understanding of gastrointestinal and liver conditions and ultimately lead to the development of better treatment options for digestive diseases patients.

“This year, we made several enhancements to our awards portfolio to address current priorities for AGA and the field – we launched a new COVID-19 research award and established a summer undergraduate research fellowship to introduce talented underrepresented minority students into GI research,” said Robert S. Sandler, MD, MPH, AGAF, chair, AGA Research Foundation. “We continue to change our funding program to meet the needs of GI research. What does not change is our long-standing commitment to support the research careers of talented early career investigators.”

AGA Research Foundation Awards Program recruits, retains and supports the most promising researchers in gastroenterology and hepatology. With funding from the foundation, recipients have protected time to take their research to the next level.

The AGA Research Awards Program is made possible thanks to generous donors and funders. Learn more about the AGA Research Foundation at http://foundation.gastro.org.  

RESEARCH SCHOLAR AWARDS

AGA RESEARCH SCHOLAR AWARD 

  • Kathleen E. DelGiorno, PhD, MS, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Wenjie Ma, MBBS, ScD, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Dennis Shung, MD, MHS, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
  • Brian A. Sullivan, MD, MHS, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina,

AGA RESEARCH SCHOLAR AWARD IN DIGESTIVE DISEASE HEALTH DISPARITIES 

  • Victoria G. Weis, PhD, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

AGA-TAKEDA PHARMACEUTICALS RESEARCH SCHOLAR AWARD IN INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE 

  • Kristin E. Burke, MD, MPH, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

SPECIALTY AWARDS

AGA-CAROLINE CRAIG AUGUSTYN & DAMIAN AUGUSTYN AWARD IN DIGESTIVE CANCER 

  • Nilay Sethi, MD, PhD, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts

AGA-R. ROBERT & SALLY FUNDERBURG RESEARCH AWARD IN GASTRIC CANCER 

  • Dawit Kidane-Mulat, PhD, The University of Texas, Austin, Texas 

AGA-AMAN ARMAAN AHMED FAMILY SUMMER UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP

  • Noah Ashneafi, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • Evans Berreondo Giron, Harvard College, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Secunda Kariuki, Columbia University, New York, New York
  • Jordan Mubako, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Rafael Montero, Haverford College, Haverford, Pennsylvania
  • Rebecca Zasloff, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

PILOT AWARDS

AGA-MEDTRONIC PILOT RESEARCH AWARD IN TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATION

  • Naruhiko Ikoma, MD, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas

AGA-PFIZER PILOT RESEARCH AWARD IN INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE

  • Parakkal Deepak, MBBS, MS, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Joanna M.P. Melia, MD, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Sufeng Zhang, PhD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

AGA PILOT RESEARCH AWARD

  • Hossam Abdelsamed, PhD, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Ling Shao, MD, PhD, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
  • Shuang Wang, PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York

COVID-19 RESEARCH AWARDS

AGA-TAKEDA COVID-19 RAPID RESPONSE RESEARCH AWARD

  • Jeffrey W. Brown, MD, PhD, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri
  • David A. Drew, PhD, and Long H. Nguyen, MD, MS, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

ABSTRACT AWARDS

FELLOW ABSTRACT AWARDS

  • Kibrom Alula, PhD, MS, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado
  • Rahul Dalal, MD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Phillip Gu, MD, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, Texas
  • Wenjie Ma, MBBS, MS, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Anita Rao, MD, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
  • Nicolette Rodriguez, MD, MPH, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Saeed Soleymanjahi, MD, MPH, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
  • Kartikeya Tripathi, MD, University of Massachusetts Medical School – Baystate Campus, Springfield, Massachusetts

STUDENT ABSTRACT AWARDS

  • Rishi Bansal, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada
  • Natasha Golovchenko, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, Newark, New Jersey
  • Adam Hamilton, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Luo Jia, MS, Rutgers University-New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey
  • Rachel Levantovsky, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York
  • James Luo, MD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Kushal Saha, MS, Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania
  • Jiho Sohn, State University of New York, Buffalo, Buffalo, New York
  • Matthew Townsend, MS, MPP, Harvard University Medical School, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Parth Trivedi, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York
  • Grace Wang, MD, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
  • Vanessa Yu, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Joyce Zhou, Harvard University Medical School, Cambridge, Massachusetts

More information

View all AGA Research Foundation awards
Learn more about AGA Research Foundation. 
Donate to the AGA Research Foundation. 

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Contact for media: 

Courtney Reed 
media@gastro.org  
301-272-0025 

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  

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About the AGA Research Foundation 

The AGA Research Foundation is the cornerstone of AGA’s effort to expand digestive disease research funding. Since 1984, AGA, through its foundation, has provided more than million in research grants just over 1,000 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 talented 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 foundation.gastro.org

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