Public Release: 

The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation recommit to gastroenterology's future

American Gastroenterological Association

The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Foundation for Digestive Health and Nutrition (FDHN) today announced that The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation has agreed to renew its three-year grant to benefit high school students who demonstrate high potential for careers in digestive disease research. The Student Research Fellowship Awards program was created by the AGA more than a decade ago to stimulate interest in gastroenterological (GI) research careers in high school, college and medical school students.

"The Broad Foundation and the AGA Foundation for Digestive Health and Nutrition have something very precious in common -- the first 15 Eli and Edythe L. Broad Student Research High School Fellows, all of whom have successfully completed their research programs," said Sidney Cohen, MD, AGAF, Chairman of the Foundation. "We are most grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Broad for their understanding and generosity in allowing us to increase our efforts to interest talented young people in science generally and in gastroenterology in particular."

The Eli and Edythe L. Broad Student Research Fellowships provide five students a year for three years with $2,500 each to fund a 10-week session of research in digestive diseases or nutrition under the supervision of an approved preceptor. The Broad Foundation first funded the AGA research fellowships in 2007. With the extension of the grant for an additional three years, the total award from The Broad Foundation comes to $75,000. Preceptors are AGA members who serve as full-time faculty members at accredited North American institutions. Past participants of the program have been admitted to undergraduate programs at prestigious universities nationwide, including Harvard University, University of Southern California, Notre Dame University and University of Virginia among others, and the majority has indicated they will continue their studies in medically-related and research fields.

"As a rising freshman into college, I plan on continuing to do research," said Yunzhou Li of Maggie L. Walker Governor's School, Richmond, VA, who completed his program at the Virginia Commonwealth University. "Research is the basis of all medicine, and because of that fact, it is crucial to understand how it is conducted and to stay up-to-date with the latest research. This award has allowed me to do both, exposing me to the research world and allowing me to help push the boundaries of our medical knowledge through novel research. Taking what I have learned and experienced, I hope to continue to do research in the future, possibly gastroenterological research, en route to a pursuing a career in medicine." Mr. Li was a 2008 recipient of the AGA Foundation - The Eli and Edythe L. Broad Student Research Fellowships for high school students.

High school students interested in applying for the 2010 AGA Foundation Broad Student Research Fellowships can find more information on the Foundation's Web site at www.fdhn.org.

Eli Broad, founder of two Fortune 500 companies -- KB Homes and SunAmerica -- and his wife, Edythe, are lifelong philanthropists. In 2001, they created the Broad Medical Research Program to award grants that advance research of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The program is unique in that it can rapidly fund innovative research proposals that will lead to improvements in diagnosis, therapy or prevention of Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. In recognition of his service to the field of gastroenterology, Mr. Broad was selected to receive the 2007 AGA Outstanding Service Award, which is presented to individuals who have contributed significantly to society's health and welfare.

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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. www.gastro.org.

About FDHN

The Foundation for Digestive Health and Nutrition (FDHN) is the Foundation of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA). The Foundation's ultimate mission mirrors that of the AGA: to improve the human condition through understanding, preventing, diagnosing and curing digestive diseases. The Foundation raises funds for research and public education. Donors to the Foundation include AGA physicians, patients and family members of those who suffer from digestive diseases, national foundations and the pharmaceutical industry. For more information on the awards program or to make a donation, visit www.fdhn.org.

About The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation

The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation is a national venture philanthropy established by entrepreneur Eli Broad to advance entrepreneurship for the public good in education, science and the arts. The Broad Foundation invests in scientific and medical research in the areas of human genomics, stem cell research and inflammatory bowel disease. The Broad Foundation's Internet address is http://www.broadfoundation.org.

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