The annual AGA Recognition Awards honor the achievements of innovators and leaders in gastroenterology. During a reception Sunday evening, AGA celebrated members who contribute to the profession.
“AGA members honor their colleagues and peers for outstanding contributions to the field of gastroenterology by nominating them for the AGA Recognition Awards,” said AGA Institute President David A. Lieberman, MD, AGAF. “We are proud to honor the
2019 AGA Recognition Award winners, who are just a few of the distinguished and talented members who help make AGA such an accomplished organization.”
Julius Friedenwald Medal
AGA awarded its highest honor, the Julius Friedenwald Medal, to John I. Allen, MD, MBA, AGAF, for contributions to the field of gastroenterology and to AGA that span decades. The Julius Friedenwald Medal, presented annually since 1941, recognizes a physician for lifelong contributions to the field of gastroenterology.
Dr. Allen is internationally renowned for bringing unique and critical knowledge about health care delivery and health care economics to the field of gastroenterology, as well as for his decades of AGA leadership. His experience includes private practice, non-academic health systems and leadership within two academic medical centers.
As AGA Institute President, Dr. Allen led the development of AGA’s five-year strategic plan and made AGA a national player at the federal, state and local levels in a time of massive health care delivery transformation. He is clinical professor of medicine in the division of gastroenterology and hepatology and chief clinical officer of the University of Michigan Medical Group at the University of Michigan School of Medicine, Ann Arbor.
Distinguished Achievement Award in Basic Science
AGA honored Harry B. Greenberg, MD, with the AGA Distinguished Achievement Award in Basic Science for work that has significantly advanced the science and practice of gastroenterology. Dr. Greenberg’s contributions over several decades contributed to the development of rotavirus vaccines and an increased understanding of viral pathogenesis, particularly rotavirus, norovirus and hepatitis. Dr. Greenberg is an associate dean for research at the Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA.
William Beaumont Prize in Gastroenterology
AGA awarded Timothy C. Wang, MD, AGAF, the William Beaumont Prize in Gastroenterology, which recognizes an individual who has made a unique, outstanding contribution of major importance to the field of gastroenterology. Dr. Wang’s contributions to the understanding and practice of modern gastroenterology and digestive science are exemplified through his work, which includes defining the mechanisms and cellular origins of Barrett’s esophagus and gastroesophageal cancer.
Dr. Wang, who has served AGA in numerous positions, including as president of the AGA Institute, is chief of the division of digestive and liver diseases at the Columbia University Medical Center and the Dorothy L. and Daniel H. Silberberg Professor of Medicine at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY.
Distinguished Educator Award
AGA recognized Deborah D. Proctor, MD, AGAF, with the Distinguished Educator Award, which honors an individual who has made outstanding contributions as an educator in gastroenterology on the local and national level. Dr. Proctor is a national expert in gastroenterology training and education who has taught and inspired generations of future gastroenterologists, nurses and physician assistants.
Dr. Proctor currently serves as the AGA Institute Education & Training Councillor. She is professor of medicine and the medical director of the inflammatory bowel disease program at the Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.
Distinguished Clinician Awards
The AGA Distinguished Clinician Awards honor members of the practicing community who, by example, combine the art of medicine with the skills demanded by the scientific body of knowledge in service to their patients.
AGA presented the Distinguished Clinician Award, Private Practice, to Naresh T. Gunaratnam, MD, AGAF. Dr. Gunaratnam has made a significant impact on patient care in his community and improved gastroenterology-oncology care by creating the Endoscopic Ultrasound & Interventional GI Program at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor Hospital in Ypsilanti, MI. Dr. Gunaratnam is director of research and obesity management at Huron Gastro, Ypsilanti.
Edward V. Loftus Jr., MD, AGAF
AGA presented the Distinguished Clinician Award, Clinical Academic Practice, to Edward V. Loftus Jr., MD, AGAF. Dr. Loftus is recognized as a role model in practice and an effective researcher. He’s known for his devotion to treating patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease with high-quality clinical care, including understanding the predictors of treatment response. Dr. Loftus is a practicing gastroenterologist and professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, Rochester, MN.
Distinguished Mentor Award
The Distinguished Mentor Award was presented to Fred S. Gorelick, MD. The award recognizes an individual who has made contributions to the mentoring of trainees in the field of gastroenterology and for achievements as an outstanding mentor throughout a career. Dr. Gorelick has been an inspiration to generations of trainees, many of whom have gone on to successful academic careers as faculty members, section chiefs, program directors, department chairs and institute directors. Dr. Gorelick is professor of medicine and cell biology at Yale School of Medicine and deputy director of the Yale MD, PhD Program, New Haven, CT.
Research Service Award
Ann G. Zauber, PhD, received the Research Service Award, which honors individuals whose work has significantly advanced gastroenterological science and research. Dr. Zauber’s accomplishments have changed and advanced the practice of
gastroenterology. Her research involving colorectal cancer screening and surveillance studies has had far-reaching effects on public policy. She is well known for her leadership role in the development of colorectal cancer screening guidelines, which
have significantly reduced mortality and incidence rates. Dr. Zauber is attending biostatistician in the department of epidemiology and biostatistics at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York.
Young Investigator Award
The AGA Young Investigator Award recognizes two young investigators, one in basic science and one in clinical science, for outstanding research achievements.
AGA honored Sonia S. Kupfer, MD, with the Young Investigator Award in Clinical Science. Dr. Kupfer is nationally and internationally recognized as an expert in colorectal cancer in high-risk populations, such as individuals with hereditary cancer
syndromes and African Americans. During her clinical and translational research to better understand factors that increase the risk of colorectal cancer, Dr. Kupfer identified distinctions in the African American population compared with Caucasians. Dr. Kupfer is director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Risk and Prevention Clinic and associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, IL.
AGA honored Costas A. Lyssiotis, PhD, with the Young Investigator Award in Basic Science. His research, work ethic and innovative approaches have made him a distinguished leader in the study of pancreatic cancer. His work has broad implications for harnessing the power of the immune system to treat disease, and his laboratory is working to develop drug therapies that target a pancreatic cancer metabolism-specific enzyme. Dr. Lyssiotis is assistant professor in the department of molecular and integrative physiology in the division of gastroenterology at the University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor.
2019 Research Mentor Award Recipients
The AGA Institute also presented Council Section Research Mentor Awards during section-sponsored sessions at DDW®. These awards recognize AGA members for their achievements as outstanding mentors in a specific area of research. Here are the 2019
Research Mentor Award recipients:
Basic & Clinical Intestinal Disorders
Wayne I. Lencer, MD, AGAF
Harvard Medical School Pediatrics, Boston, MA
Cellular & Molecular Gastroenterology
Mark Donowitz, MD, AGAF
Hopkins Center for Epithelial Disorders, Hopkins NIH Conte Digestive Diseases Basic & Translational Research Core Center, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
Linda Rabeneck, MD, MPH
Cancer Care Ontario, University of Toronto
Esophageal, Gastric & Duodenal Disorders
Stuart Jon Spechler, MD, AGAF
Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas; Center for Esophageal Research Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, Dallas, TX
Richard M. Peek Jr., MD, AGAF
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN
Imaging, Endoscopy & Advanced Technology
Irving Waxman, MD
University of Chicago, IL
Immunology, Microbiology & Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Edward V. Loftus Jr., MD, AGAF
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
Liver & Biliary
David A. Brenner, MD
University of California San Diego School of Medicine, CA
Microbiome & Microbial Therapy
R. Balfour Sartor, MD
University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill
Neurogastroenterology & Motility
Gianrico Farrugia, MD, AGAF
Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL
Obesity, Metabolism & Nutrition
Kelly A. Tappenden, PhD, RD
University of Illinois, Chicago
Fred S. Gorelick, MD
West Haven VA Medical Center, CT
Pediatric Gastroenterology & Developmental Biology
Anne Marie Griffiths, MD
The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario