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Money under a microscope
May 7, 2019

The AGA Research Foundation funds 52 promising research projects

The AGA Research Foundation will provide more than $3 million in research funding in the 2019 award year.
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Bethesda, MD (May 7, 2019) — The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) is thrilled to announce the 52 researchers selected to receive funding through the AGA Research Foundation Awards Program. The AGA Research Foundation will provide more than $3 million in research funding in the 2019 award year.

“The 2019 class of AGA Research Foundation awardees represents some of the most innovative and promising early-stage investigators working in the field of gastroenterology,” said Robert S. Sandler, MD, MPH, AGAF, chair, AGA Research Foundation. “We’re proud to support these individuals as they continue on their ultimate mission to improve the treatment and care of digestive disease patients through their discoveries.”

Of the 2019 class of awardees, 40 percent are performing clinical research and 58 percent hold MD, MD/PhD or equivalent degrees. Forty-four percent of awardees are female and 8 percent are from racial or ethnic groups underrepresented in medicine. In line with the AGA Research Foundation’s mission to support the next generation of researchers in digestive diseases, 88 percent of the 2019 awardees are early career investigators.

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 for research that will enhance the diagnosis, management, treatment and potentially cure of 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 www.gastro.org/foundation.

This year’s awardees will be recognized during several AGA Research Foundation events at Digestive Disease Week® (DDW) 2019, taking place May 18-21 in San Diego, California.

RESEARCH SCHOLAR AWARDS

AGA Research Scholar Award
Parambir Dulai, MD, University of California, San Diego
Rodney Infante, MD, PhD, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
Suraj Patel, MD, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
Shailja Shah, MD, MPH, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee
Michael Thompson, MD, PhD, Washington University, Saint Louis, Missouri

AGA-Bern Schwartz Family Fund Research Scholar Award in Pancreatic Cancer
Jason Pitarresi, PhD, University of Pennsylvania Health System, Philadelphia

AGA-Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine Research Scholar Award in Pediatric Genomics
Amy Hemperly, DO, University of California, San Diego

AGA-Shire Research Scholar Award in Functional GI and Motility Disorders*
Eric Shah, MD, MBA, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire
*Funded by Shire Plc, now part of Takeda

AGA-Takeda Pharmaceuticals Research Scholar Award in Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Xiao Tan, MD, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston

SPECIALITY AWARDS

AGA-Caroline Craig Augustyn & Damian Augustyn Award in Digestive Cancer
Pawel Mazur, PhD, DSc, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas

AGA-R. Robert & Sally Funderburg Research Award in Gastric Cancer
Alexander Brodsky, PhD, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence

PILOT AWARDS

AGA-Allergan Foundation Pilot Research Award in Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Julia Ganz, PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing

AGA-Allergan Foundation Pilot Research Award in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Brian DeBosch, MD, PhD, Washington University, Saint Louis, Missouri

AGA-Boston Scientific Technology and Innovation Pilot Award
Patrick Yachimski, MD, MPH, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee

AGA-Elsevier Pilot Research Award
Julian Abrams, MD, MS, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York
Jatin Roper, MD, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina

AGA-Medtronic Research and Development Pilot Award in Technology
Thiruvengadam Muniraj, MD, PhD, MRCP, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut

AGA-Pfizer Young Investigator Pilot Research Award in Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Matthew Olson, PhD, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana
Shailja Shah, MD, MPH, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee
Siddharth Singh, MBBS, MS, University of California, San Diego

AGA-Rome Foundation Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders Pilot Research Award
Joan Chen, MD, MS, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Arpana Gupta, PhD, The Regents of the University of California, Los Angeles

TRAVEL/ABSTRACT AWARDS

AGA-Moti L. & Kamla Rustgi International Travel Awards
Vera Peters, University Medical Center Groningen, The Netherlands
Clement Wu, MBBS, MRCP, M.Med, Singapore General Hospital

AGA Fellow Abstract of the Year
Muyiwa Awoniyi, MD, PhD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

AGA Fellow Abstract Prize
Jennifer Cai, MD, MPH, Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
Amanda Cartee, MD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
Nour Eissa, PhD, BVetMed, PGDip, MVSc, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada
Amy Engevik, PhD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee
Lasha Gogokhia, MD, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York
Houssam Halawi, MD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
Monika Laszkowska, MD, New York Presbyterian – Columbia University Medical Center
Rishi Naik, MD, MSCI, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee
Michael Schumacher, PhD, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, California
Sarah Short, PhD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee
Marianne Spalinger, PhD, University of California, Riverside
Priya Vijayvargiya, MD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
Lan Ye, MD, PhD, Emory University School of Medicine, Decatur, Georgia

AGA Student Abstract of the Year
Amanda Ricciuto, MD, University of Toronto – Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, Ontario, Canada

AGA Student Abstract Prize
Rachel Brown, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee Sihan Ji, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
Rishad Khan, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada
David Kruchko, DO, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, Illinois
Raaj Mehta, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee
Anne Meyer, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
Alberto Perez-Medina, Michigan State University, East Lansing
Stephanie Rock, MD, University of Kentucky, Lexington
Samantha Savitch, Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Erik Snider, MD, University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle
Yoojin Sohn, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee
Omar Viramontes, David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles
Yiling Zhang, MBBS, Johns Hopkins University Bayview Campus, Baltimore, Maryland

Awardee list updated 6/21/19

MORE INFORMATION

View all AGA Research Foundation awards.
Learn more about how the AGA Research Foundation funds its awards program.
Donate to the AGA Research Foundation.

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Contact for media:
Rachel Shubert
media@gastro.org
301-272-1603

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, 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 $51 million in research grants to more than 950 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 www.gastro.org/foundation.

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