An accredited webcast featuring Stephen O’Keefe, MD, MSc has been posted on the GI Journal Club webcast site. Dr. O’Keefe’s lecture, What is Known About Promoting Intestinal Adaptation in Adults with Short Bowel Syndrome, was presented on February 11, 2013 during the 2013 Clinical Nutrition Week meetings in Phoenix, AZ. Dr. O’Keefe is a professor of medicine with the University of Pittsburgh Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, and his clinical practice and research efforts reflect interests in nutrition support, short bowel syndrome, and the epidemiology of colorectal cancer.
The Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and related University of Pittsburgh colleagues have been awarded numerous oral and poster abstract presentations at the Digestive Disease Week annual GI research meeting. This May 2013 meeting will occur in Orlando, FL.
New hepatitis C treatments available at the UPMC Center for Liver Disease (CLD) were featured in the Spring 2013 issue of UPMC Today, a publication which focuses on patient health. The CLD is a leading center for complex liver disease care and is uniquely managed to care to provide comprehensive patient care. For more information about hepatitis C or other liver disease care, contact the CLD at 1-800-447-1651.
Jana Al Hashash, MD, a Year III gastroenterology fellow with the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, has been awarded a 2013 American Gastroenterological Association (AGA)-Horizon Pharma Fellow Abstract Prize from the AGA Research Foundation. Dr. Al Hashash will receive this honor at the 2013 Digestive Disease Week (DDW) international GI research meeting in May 2013. This award will be presented in recognition of her DDW Research Forum oral presentation in the Confocal Endomicroscopy, Enhanced Endoscopy, and Other Emerging Technologies II session, Nuclear Nano-Morphology Markers from Rectal Tissue Predict Colonic Dysplasia/Neoplasia in Ulcerative Colitis Patients. Dr. Al Hashash’s sponsor for this project is Miguel D. Regueiro, MD.
Rawad Mounzer, MD and Jennifer Seminerio, MD have been awarded 2013 Fellowship2Leadership Salix Fellow travel grants. Only 50 gastroenterology fellows nationwide receive this annual award, so we offer our warm congratulations to the University of Pittsburgh’s 2013 participants. Through this program, each awardee will have the opportunity to attend one gastroenterology or hepatology national meeting. Both Dr. Mounzer and Dr. Seminerio are year II gastroenterology fellows, and Dr. Seminerio will also serve as the 2013-14 chief gastroenterology fellow.
A new book designed for physicians treating patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), has been published by Miguel D. Regueiro, MD and Jason M. Swoger, MD, MPH. Clinical Challenges and Complications of IBD is organized into sections to allow for quick access. Information helps physicians to identify potential pitfalls in treatment as well as focus on health maintenance and specific challenges, such as pregnancy, nutrition and psychological issues. For more information or to order this book, visit healio.com/books/Gastroenterology or call 800-257-8290.
Rawad Mounzer, MD, year II gastroenterology fellow, has been awarded a Clinical Research Award from the American College of Gastroenterology for his project entitled, “A Randomized controlled Pilot Trial of Indomethacin in Acute Pancreatitis.” Dr. Mounzer’s mentor for this research study is Georgios Papachristou, MD, associate professor of medicine.
An abstract by Jana Al Hashash, MD, year III gastroenterology fellow, has been selected to be presented at the March 2013 North American Conference of Gastroenterology Fellows. Dr. Al Hashash is one of only 25 fellows to receive this honor in 2013.
Georgios I. Papachristou, MD has accepted an invitation to serve as the chair of the American College of Gastroenterology’s (ACG) Biliary/Pancreas Abstract Review Committee. Dr. Papachristou is an associate professor of medicine with the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.
A new healthful recipe by Julia Greer, MD, MPH, Penne with Summer Squash, Zucchini, and Sugar Snap Peas, is highlighted in Shape Magazine’s 12 Pasta Dishes Under 500 Calories feature. Dr. Greer’s new cookbook, The Anti-Breast Cancer Cookbook, as well as her highly acclaimed Anti-Cancer Cookbook are both available at amazon.com.
Miguel D. Regueiro, MD and the UPMC IBD Center are featured as an “IBD Center of Educational Expertise” location on the GI Health Foundation website. This website serves as a physician educational resource. Dr. Regueiro is a professor of medicine with the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, and he is the co-director and clinical head of the UPMC IBD Center.
Robert E. Schoen, MD, MPH was honored with The Lemuel Herrera Lecture award in October 2012. This prize is given by the Collaborative Group of the Americas on Inherited Colorectal Cancer. Dr. Schoen’s topic was Immunological Prevention of Colorectal Cancer. Dr. Schoen is a professor of medicine and epidemiology with the University of Pittsburgh Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.
Patricia K. Eagon, PhD received the Curriculum Service Award from the University of Pittsburgh Office of Medical Education in October 2012. Dr. Eagon received this honor in appreciation of her dedication to students and faculty and her commitment to excellence in medical education. Dr. Eagon is an associate professor of medicine with the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.
Asif Khalid, MD received a 2012 Word Endoscopy Organization (WEO) Research Award in recognition of his contributions to the digestive endoscopy subspecialty. Only three physician scientists receive this award annually. Award merit is based on the relevance of their research and quality of publications. Dr. Khalid was recognized for his paper entitled, “Pancreatic cyst fluid DNA analysis in evaluating pancreatic cysts: a report of the PANDA study.” He will receive his award in December 2012 in Bangkok, Thailand.
Dr. Khalid is an associate professor of medicine with the University of Pittsburgh Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. He is also the chief of VA Gastroenterology Serivces at the VAMC Pittsburgh.
Kevin M. McGrath, MD was interviewed in November by Today Health to discuss the increased incidence of heartburn diagnoses in the U.S. Approximately 20 percent of Americans who suffer from GERD, heartburn or upper-GI distress do not respond to proton-pump inhibitors (acid blockers), and Dr. McGrath discussed general alternative interventions. Dr. McGrath is an associate professor of medicine with the University of Pittsburgh Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. He also directs the Division’s GI Lab as well as its Endoscopic Ultrasound program.
A genetic link between alcohol drinking and chronic pancreatitis in men was recently published in Nature Genetics, which explains why men have chronic alcoholic pancreatitis more often than women. A region on chromosome X called the “CLDN2 locus” seems to cause a rapid progression from acute pancreatitis to chronic pancreatitis instead of recovery in persons who continue to drink alcohol after an acute pancreatitis episode. About 4% of men in the U.S. are at risk, since these men have both the X-factor and are drinking alcohol (>4 drinks/day). Men have the XY chromosome pair, while women have XX. Women are most often protected, since they possess these two X chromosomes with at least one X chromosome is usually normal. Only 0.6% of U.S. women are at risk. The study also demonstrated that a genetic factor on chromosome 7 decreases expression of trypsin reduces the risk of recurrent actue and chronic pancreatitis. For more information, please visit the Nature Genetics or UPMC websites.
Robert E. Schoen, MD, MPH discusses simple colonoscopy technique improvements in a new UPMC Discovery/CME podcast. This educational podcast offers gastroenterologists suggestions to make colonoscopy more comfortable and effective for patients. Additional gastroenterology podcasts are available on this UPMC Discovery site from Dr. David Whitcomb and Dr. Miguel Regueiro.
Dr. Schoen is a professor of medicine and epidemiology with the University of Pittsburgh Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.
Matthew Coates, MD PhD received a one-year, $40,000 grant award from the IBD Working Group (IBDWG) GI Fellows Research Award Committee to support his inflammatory bowel disease research interests. Dr. Coates is a Year III fellow with the University of Pittsburgh’s Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. For more information about the IBDWG, please visit www.ibdwg.org.
Yang Liu, PhD has received a research grant from The Broad Foundation for Scientific & Medical Research in support of her proposal, Rectal Spectral Markers for the Surveillance of Colorectal Cancer in Patients with Ulcerative Colitis.
Dr. Liu is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Bioengineering with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Here research focuses on the emerging interdisciplinary field of biomedical optical imaging and spectroscopy, which involves electrical engineering, physics, optics, medicine and biology.
The Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition has been ranked as the 5th best digestive center in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The UPMC GI program was ranked as the 10th top center in 2011, and this jump reflects the Division’s commitment to excellent patient care, targeted research and medical education.
“Any listing within the top 50 hospitals is a great achievement,” commented Division Chief Dr. David Whitcomb. “However, to be ranked fifth among our peer GI programs across the nation is a true honor. This ranking is a fitting tribute to the successful work of our GI and hepatology medical professionals, our terrific patients, and all who work to support GI health in the Greater Pittsburgh region.”
Howard Dubner, MD has received The William M. Cooper, MD, JD Excellence in Teaching Award. Dr. Dubner was awarded this educational honor by the UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside Internal Medicine Housestaff for the 2011-2012 academic year.
Dr. Dubner is a faculty member with the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and works primarily in the Division’s Shadyside Office.
Year III Fellow, Shari Rogal, MD, MPH, has received The Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute Young Investigator Grant Award. Dr. Rogal received this one-year, $25,000 award for her research project titled, "Chronic Pain in Candidates for Liver Transplantation." Dr. Rogal and her colleagues will prospectively investigate the etiologies of chronic pain in patients with end-stage liver disease by evaluating co-morbid psychiatric and sleep disorders, inflammatory cytokines, and neurobiology of hepatic tissue.
The Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute Young Investigator Award provides funds for junior faculty and postdoctoral scholars to develop preliminary data for use in competitive future grant applications. While still in gastroenterology training, Dr. Rogal maintains a solid liver research commitment and is an NIH T32 research trainee as well.
Current Year II GI Fellow, Jana Al Hashash, MD, has received a "We Care Small Grant Award" in support of her inflammatory bowel disease clinical and research interests. We Care is an organization devoted to the promotion and facilitation of professional development and advancement of women in the IBD field.
David C. Whitcomb, MD, PhD provided a keynote address on the promise of personalized medicine approaches to improve chronic pancreatitis management at the annual meeting of the Spanish Association of Gastroenterology (AEG) in March 2012. An article featuring Dr. Whitcomb's master class was published in the primary medical newspaper in Spain, Diario Médico.
John Scherer, MD, current Year II Gastroenterology Fellow with the University of Pittsburgh GI Fellowship Program, has been accepted into the prestigious Fellowship2Leadership Awards program. This award is limited to 50 GI fellows annually and is sponsored by Salix Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Scherer will receive a travel grant to one national gastroenterology or hepatology annual conference of his choice in 2012 as part of this award. Dr. Scherer will serve as the Chief GI Fellow for the 2012-13 academic year.
Klaus Bielefeldt, MD, PhD has been honored as a F1000 Faculty Member of the Year. These international awards recognize researchers who have made the most significant contributions to the F1000 service over the past year. Launched in 2002, the Faculty of 1000 (F1000) identifies and evaluates the most important articles in biology and medical research publications. Articles are selected by a peer-nominated global group of the world's leading scientists and clinicians who then rate them and explain their importance. These evaluations form a fully searchable database containing more than 100,000 records and identifying the best research available. On average, 1500 new evaluations are published each month, which corresponds to approximately 2% of all published articles in the biological and medical sciences.
Dr. Bielefeldt is an associate professor of medicine with the University of Pittsburgh Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. His career concentrates on GI motility and pain management issues, with a research emphasis on changes in sensory nerves innervating the gastrointestinal tract.
Online education opportunities for busy healthcare professionals are a UPMC priority, and an outstanding presentation by Kevin McGrath, MD is the latest physician education installment on UPMC’s website. In this accredited video lecture, Dr. McGrath discusses diseases of the esophagus with a special emphasis on eosinophilic esophagitis. Dr. McGrath is an associate professor of medicine with the University of Pittsburgh Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, and he directs the UPMC GI Lab and the system’s EUS program.
Jana Al Hashash, MD has received an award from the American College of Gastroenterology to attend the North American Conference of Gastroenterology Fellows, which will be held in Orlando, FL from March 22 – 25, 2012. Dr. Al Hashash is one of only 27 fellows to receive this 2012 award. Her award-winning abstract is titled, “Fractal Dimension of Rectal Tissue Predicts the Presence of Dysplasia in Patients with Ulcerative Colitis.” Dr. Al Hashah is a current Year II fellow in the University of Pittsburgh’s Gastroenterology/Hepatology Fellowship Program.
Randall E. Brand, MD was recognized in January 2012 as a "Pittsburgh Newsmaker" by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review for his 2011 receipt of the first Moore Memorial Award presented by the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research. Dr. Brand was selected for this inaugural honor due to his outstanding care for patients and families struggling with pancreatic cancer and for his commitment to medical research.
Dr. Brand is a professor of medicine with the University of Pittsburgh Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and serves as UPMC's director of the Division's Gastroenterology Malignancy, Early Detection, Diagnosis and Prevention Program. Dr. Brand's research concentrates on early detection of pancreatic cancer.
Dr. Chopra is an associate professor of medicine with the University of Pittsburgh Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and is directs hepatology for its Center of Liver Disease. Dr. Ganesh is a clinical instructor of medicine with the Center for Liver Disease. For more information about Drs. Chopra or Ganesh or the Center for Liver Diseases, call 412-647-1170.
Shahid Malik, MD received a Clinical Educator of the Year Award during the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine's (UPSOM) 2011 Curriculum Colloquium ceremony. Dr. Malik received this award for his outstanding clinical education of third- and fourth-year medical students. Dr. Malik is a clinical assistant professor of medicine with the University of Pittsburgh's Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition's Center for Liver Diseases, and he also serves as the associate program director for the Division's transplant hepatology fellowship.
Division faculty are featured on a new online physician information opportunity made possible through UPMC's partnership with Discovery Health Online. Dr. David Whitcomb and Dr. Adam Slivka are featured in Personalized Care: A New Approach to Diagnosing & Treating Pancreatic Disease, which explores their team's approach to pancreas disease clinical treatment and research advances. Dr. Miguel Regueiro is featured in Crohn's Disease: A New Paradigm for Patient Care, which discusses medical advancements which can, in some patients, lessen IBD surgery.
The work of Julia Greer, MD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine with the University of Pittsburgh Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, was featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in November.
Dr. Greer conducts research with the Division and has written a nationally acclaimed cookbook, The Anti-Cancer Cookbook.
Vijay P. Singh, MD, assistant professor of medicine with the University of Pittsburgh Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, is a pancreas disease researcher and clinician. His research about how fat can induce complications after sudden inflammatory, non-infectious illnesses is gaining national attention, especially related to the treatment of acute pancreatitis patients, as may be found in this MedIndia article.
Patricia Eagon, PhD was recognized at the October 2011 Curriculum Colloquium by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (UPSOM) for her outstanding master educator contributions to the training of medical students. Dr. Eagon received the Kenneth E. Schuit Award, which honors basic sciece and clinical faculty for education-related contributions to the UPSOM curriculum.
Dr. Eagon is an associate professor of medicine with the University of Pittsburgh Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. Her research examines the role of sex hormones in mediating the effects of alcohol on liver injury and sex hormone-responsive liver parameters, and in regulation of sexually dimorphic hepatic function.
Adam Slivka, MD, PhD was featured on MSNBC.com. As an expert gastroenterologist, Dr. Slivka was interviewed about the risks of travelers smuggling cocaine in their GI tracts. Dr. Slivka is a Professor of Medicine and serves as the Chief of Clinical Services for the University of Pittsburgh Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.
Jana Al Hashash, MD, Year II Gastroenterology Fellow, has been accepted into the IBD Mentoring Program for GI Fellows. This program will be held in October 2011 in Chandler, AZ.
Miguel Regueiro, MD, Professor of Medicine and Co-Director & Clinical Head of the Division's IBD Center, will serve as the 2011-2012 National Chair for Professional Education on the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America's National CCFA Medical & Science Advisory Board.
Dr. Kapil Chopra was featured in the August 22, 2011 issue of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Dr. Chopra discussed national increases in the prevalence of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Dr. Chopra is an associate professor of medicine with the University of Pittsburgh's Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and serves as the director of Hepatology and medical director for Liver Transplantation for the UPMC Center for Liver Disases.
Dr. Kevin McGrath was featured on Pittsburgh's ABC affiliate, WTAE television in August 2011. In WTAE's health segment, Dr. McGrath discussed the Seven Foods Some People Shouldn't Eat, a feature to help patients with diseases related to acid reflux. Dr. McGrath is an associate professor of medicine with the University of Pittsburgh's Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. He directs the UPMC GI Lab and the Division's Endoscopic Ultrasound program.
Dr. Whitcomb serves as chief of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition with the University of Pittsburgh Department of Medicine. He co-founded and directed the Center for Genomic Sciences, which formed the foundation for the current Genomic and Proteomic core Laboratories at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Whitcomb earned his MD and PhD in physiology at Ohio State University and completed his residency and gastroenterology fellowship at Duke University. His laboratory group discovered the gene causing hereditary pancreatitis and other causes of pancreatic disease. He is involved in studies of mutations in the trypsinogen gene (PRSS1), SPINK1 gene and the CFTR gene.
University of Pittsburgh Year I Gastroenterology Fellow, Jana Al Hashash, MD, has received the prestigious Fellowship2Leadership Gastroenterology/Hepatology Fellows’ Travel Grant. Fifty GI fellows received this competitive award, which was supported by Salix Pharmaceuticals. Through this program, Dr. Al Hashash will receive a travel grant to attend her choice of one of the following 2011 annual meetings: DDW, ACG, AASLD Liver Meeting, or the Advances in IBD CCFA Conference.
Post-surgery inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) research was featured in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine's alumni magazine, PITTMED (page 5, Spring 2011 issue). Reflecting work from Miguel Regueiro, MD, outcomes from The Crohn's Disease Activity Index indicate that patients' self-reporting of disease activity does not reflect actual disease recurrence. Dr. Regueiro and his colleagues suggest that more objective disease monitoring, such as endoscopy, may need to replace or augment patient self-reports.
The General Manufacturing Company was recognized at the close of 2010 for their outstanding support of pancreatic research at UPMC. Former owner, Joseph Fastuca, lost his fight against pancreatic cancer in 2007, and his wife Lynn and sons Michael and Matthew have continued generous support of pancreatic cancer research at UPMC and its Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition in his honor.
In July 2010, UPMC welcomed an international slate of more than 100 pancreas disease researchers to Pittsburgh for its annual PancreasFest 2010 program. General Manufacturing engineered commemorative versions of the "Stanley Cup" inscribed in honor of their father and his enjoyment of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
After a shop tour this month, Dr. David Whitcomb stated, "General Manufacturing has provided excellent service to our military for years, and their support of UPMC's pancreatic cancer research in memory of their father mirrors this commitment and dedication. We thank the Fastuca's for partnering with our researchers to understand and someday cure pancreatic cancer."
General Manufacturing Company is a family owned and operated machining facility established as a coal mine and steel mill supply company. Changing with the times, General Manufacturing has evolved into a high-technology production company servicing the U.S. Defense Department and the U.S. Army, Navy and Airforce.
Jason M. Swoger, MD MPH, assistant professor of medicine with the University of Pittsburgh Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, has one of the top ten most-read, full-text gastroenterology journal publications read on Medscape Gastroenterology in 2010. Dr. Swoger is an inflammatory bowel disease subspecialist gastroenterologist.
Swoger JM, Regueiro M. Preventive Therapy in Postoperative Crohn's Disease. Curr Opin Gastroenterol 2010;26(4):337-343.
David C. Whitcomb, MD PhD was honored as one of the top 75 gastroenterologists in America in the November 2010 issue of ASC Review, a business, legal and clinical guidance publication for ambulatory surgery centers. Top national gastroenterologists are selected for this honor based on awards they received from major organizations in the field, leadership in those organizations, work on GI journal and related publications, and distinguished service in a GI ambulatory surgery center.
Dr. Whitcomb is the chief of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh. He co-founded and directed the Center for Genomic Sciences, which formed the foundation for the current Genomic and Proteomic Core Laboratories at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Whitcomb earned his MD and a PhD in physiology at Ohio State University and completed his residency and gastroenterology fellowship at Duke University. His laboratory group discovered the gene causing hereditary pancreatitis and other causes of pancreatic disease.
David C. Whitcomb, MD PhD was honored as the inaugural Giant Eagle Foundation Professor of Cancer Genetics in 2006. He has first endowed chair in the University of Pittsburgh's Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. As a result of this honor, he was invited to present a lecture on his pancreas genetics research by Dr. Patricia Beeson, University of Pittsburgh provost.
On November 9, 2010, Dr. Whitcomb delivered a discussion of his lab's genetics findings and research related to pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer and pancreas diseases. He discussed his personal future research goals as well as the applicability of advancements in the field of genetic medicine.
An article by Dr. Jason Swoger and Dr. Miguel Regueiro entitled Preventive Therapy in Postoperative Crohn’s Disease was the second most read MedScape article by gastroenterologists in September 2010. Dr. Swoger is an assistant professor of medicine with the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, and Dr. Regueiro is an associate professor of medicine as well as the co-director and clinical head of the UPMC IBD Center. Both are gastroenterologists who subspecialize in inflammatory bowel disease.
Dr. Greer is an assistant professor of medicine with the University of Pittsburgh Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. She works as an epidemiologist focusing on pancreatic, ovarian and breast cancer prevention. And, she’s one darned good cook!