Public Release:  AGA Research Foundation Research Scholar Awards advance the work of promising gastroenterologists

American Gastroenterological Association

Bethesda, MD (May 19, 2013) -- The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Research Foundation is pleased to announce its 2013 research scholars. This year's honorees are outstanding young gastroenterologists working toward independent careers in gastroenterology, hepatology or related areas, and with this award, their research time will be protected.

"These young researchers are the future of our field. AGA is committed to supporting young scholars who are paving the way for promising research developments and new therapies," said Nicholas F. LaRusso, MD, AGAF, chair of the AGA Research Foundation. "This year's honorees have embarked on their extraordinary research careers and demonstrate exceptional promise, and we look forward to seeing what they will accomplish with the help of this funding."

The 2013 AGA research scholars are:

  • Edaire Cheng, MD, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas; Eosinophilic Esophagitis Fibrogenesis.
  • Barham Abu Dayyeh, MD, MPH, Mayo Clinic, Rochester; Gastric and Hypothalamic Functions in Human Satiation.
  • Hamed Khalili, MD, MPH, Massachusetts General Hospital; Oral Contraceptive Use in the Etiopathogenesis of Crohn's Disease.

AGA is also pleased to announce the AGA Institute President's Research Scholar honoree, a new award that will be presented every two years to an applicant of exceptional merit:

  • Carol M. Aherne, PhD, University of Colorado, Denver; Epithelial Netrin-1 Controls CD4 Th1 T Cell Trafficking to the Inflamed Intestine.

The prestigious Research Scholar Awards provide $90,000 per year for two years (total $180,000) to the honorees to support their research. The goal of the Research Scholar Awards is to guarantee the perpetuation of strong science through the encouragement of young physician investigators and, ultimately, to improve patient care through digestive diseases research.

These extremely competitive awards ensure that bright, young scientists devote their careers to advancing the field of digestive health through research. Awards are based on the qualifications of the candidate, the quality of the candidate's research proposal and the commitment of the candidate's institution to support the required protected time for his or her research and adequate laboratory space.

The Research Scholar Awards program was launched in 1984 to provide crucial early support to investigators who show promise in academic gastroenterological research. The program's premise recognized that resources awarded early on could provide a stable platform from which future research funding would be derived. During and after their time as an AGA research scholar, recipients have made important contributions to the field of gastroenterology, and many former award recipients have gone on to hold distinguished appointments in major medical institutions in the U.S. and Canada.

The 2013 scholars were chosen by the AGA Research Awards Panel, a distinguished national advisory committee chaired by M. Bishr Omary, PhD, MD, professor and chair of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Members of the committee include leading gastroenterologists from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA; Mayo Medical Center, Rochester, MN; Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, NY; Stanford University School of Medicine, CA; University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; among others.

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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 $40 million in research grants to more than 700 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 http://www.gastro.org/foundation.

About the AGA Institute

The American Gastroenterological Association is the trusted voice of the GI community. Founded in 1897, the AGA has grown to include 17,000 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. http://www.gastro.org.

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