Public Release:  AGA showcases its commitment to improving the pipeline of minority researchers

10 college students selected to receive fellowships in digestive disease and nutrition research

American Gastroenterological Association

Bethesda, MD (April 28, 2014) -- Showcasing its commitment to the support of underrepresented minority researchers, the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Research Foundation is pleased to announce the 2014 AGA Investing in the Future Student Research Fellowship Award recipients. Supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), this award helps underrepresented minority college students to further their research careers in digestive disease and nutrition research.

"The future of gastroenterology relies on developing a pipeline of talented young researchers," said Jesus Rivera-Nieves, MD, AGAF, chair of the AGA Underrepresented Minorities Committee. "AGA is committed to encouraging medical students from diverse backgrounds to consider specializing in gastroenterology. We are honored to recognize the 2014 recipients and look forward to seeing the mark they make on gastroenterology in the years to come."

The AGA Institute established the Investing in the Future Student Research Fellowship program in 2013 after receiving a competitive NIDDK R25 grant for education projects. With this support, AGA will, for the second year in a row, provide 10 honorees with $5,000 to perform eight to 10 weeks of research related to digestive diseases or nutrition. The stipend will cover lodging and travel for the students, as well as a stipend for expenses. In this way, AGA hopes to stimulate an interest in gastroenterological research and to provide these students with the experience they need to gain admittance into GI training programs.

The 2014 AGA Investing in the Future Student Research Fellowship Award recipients are:

  • Loretta K. Allotey, University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Alejandro R. Alvarez, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, OH
  • Ayeetin M. Azah, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN
  • Kali K. Deans, University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Andre E. Enowtaku, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison
  • Maria F. Linares, Canisius College, Buffalo, NY
  • Jonathan M. Mazique, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
  • Kashif G. Smith, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY
  • Michelle Toledo, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Hanh-My T. Tran, Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Athens

These highly qualified students will have the opportunity to work directly with the Investing in the Future mentors, top investigators in the fields of gastroenterology and hepatology who have expressed their commitment to improving the pipeline of underrepresented minority researchers. To view the full Investing in the Future mentor roster, visit

This award shines light on African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, Alaska natives and natives of the U.S. Pacific Islands from accredited U.S. institutions. Winners were selected by the Investing in the Future mentors.


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 $43 million in research grants to more than 780 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

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.

Follow us on Twitter @AmerGastroAssn. Become an AGA fan on Facebook.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.