Department of Medicine

University of Pittsburgh

Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
Mezzanine Level,
C-Wing-PUH
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone: (412) 648-9115

News

Division DDW 2014 Research

The Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition is pleased to share its research productivity for Digestive Disease Week (DDW) 2014 [Chicago, IL – May 3-6, 2014].

 

Dr. Regueiro Selected for UPMC Leadership Initiative

Miguel Regueiro, MD has been selected to participate in the 2014 class of the UPMC Physician Leadership Program. This program will run from September through December, 2014. Dr. Regueiro is a professor of medicine with the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, where he also serves as the co-director and clinical head of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center.

 

Dr. Khalid: VA Healthcare "Physician of the Year"

Dr. Khalid:  VA Healthcare Physician of the Year

Dr. Ali Sonel, chief of staff; Dr. Asif Khalid, recipient of Outstanding Physician of the Year award; Dr. Frederick DeRubertis, vice-president of medicine service and Dr. Khalid's nominator, and Director Terry Gerigk Wolf.

Asif Khalid, MD has been honored as Outstanding Physician of the Year for the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System. Dr. Khalid is an associate professor of medicine with the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and serves as the chief of Gastroenterology and Hepatology for the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System. Dr. Khalid received this award in recognition of his expert endoscopy skills as well as his considerable support for VA mentorship and teaching training. "Students and colleagues especially note his patience and skill in leading by example," said Dr. Frederick DeRubertis, Dr. Khalid’s nominator and the vice president of the Medicine Service.

 

Dr. Yadav Elected to the AGA PAN Nominating Committee

Dhiraj Yadav, MD, MPH, associate professor of medicine with the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, has been elected to serve as a member of the Pancreatic Disorders (PAN) section of the American Gastroenterological Association’s Nominating Committee. This committee selects the slate of candidates for the vice chairposition and the nominating committee for the next PAN section election, which will be held in 2016.

 

Dr. Regueiro featured in Everyday Health

Miguel Regueiro, MD discussed biologic therapies in a March 2013 edition of Everyday Health, an online health education website. Dr. Regueiro is a professor of medicine with the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and serves as the clinical head of UPMC’s IBD Center.

 

Dr. Yadav Contributes Chronic Pancreatitis Advancements to ACP

Dhiraj Yadav, MD, MPH was featured in ACP Internist, an online publication from the American College of Physicians. Dr. Yadav discusses clinical treatment methods to address the pain and complications inherent in chronic pancreatitis in this article, "Long-term View for Chronic Pancreatitis." Dr. Yadav is an associate professor of medicine with the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh.

 

Dr. McGowan and Colleagues Awarded Major Grant

The Pittsburgh-led Microbicide Trials Network (MTN) has been awarded a $70 million grant to develop and test products that aim to reduce the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The MTN was created in 2006, and this continued funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) will ensure the MTN’s continued fight to reduce the spread of HIV through 2021. Ian McGowan, MD, PhD, professor of medicine with the University of Pittsburgh’s Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, is the co-principal investigator for MTN, sharing study leadership with Sharon Hillier, PhD, professor and vice chair for faculty affairs with the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences. Information about this research was featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on December 12, 2013.

 

Dr. Dunn Honors Military Family at Pens’ Game

Michael A. Dunn, MD FACP (left) and members of the U.S. Armed Forces honored veterans and military families at the November 13, 2013 Pittsburgh Penquins vs. Philadelphia Flyers hockey game. This flag presentation was sponsored by the National Flag Foundation, and Dr. Dunn sits on this nonprofit’s board of directors. Dr. Dunn is a professor of Medicine and Biomedical Informatics with the University of Pittsburgh’s Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, where he also serves as the associate chief for Translational Research. Dr. Dunn’s clinical practice concentrates on liver patients. As a U.S. Army general, he served as commander of the Walter Reed Health Care System in addition to many other significant assignments.

 

GI Staff Co-Writes Book

Michelle Kienholz and Dr. Jeremy Berg have co-authored "How the NIH Can Help You Get Funded," a book designed for researchers interested in submitting proposals to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This book discusses grant writing, submission strategies, and relationship-building among stakeholders in a novel, approachable way. Ms. Kienholz is a grant writer for the University of Pittsburgh Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and has participated in numerous successful NIH grant submissions among diverse institutions and departments. Dr. Berg is the University of Pittsburgh’s associate senior vice chancellor for Science Strategy and Planning in the Health Sciences and is a faculty member in the Department of Computational and Systems Biology. Additional book information is available from the Oxford University Press and Amazon.

 

Dr. Regueiro to Co-Director ACG Course

Miguel Regueiro, MD has been selected to co-direct the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) Eastern Regional Course. This conference will be held in Washington, DC from June 6 to 8, 2014. Dr. Regueiro is a professor of medicine with the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, where he co-directs and leads clinical services for the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center.

 

International Nausea & Vomiting Course Successful in Pittsburgh

More than 100 medical researchers and physicians gathered in Pittsburgh in October for Biology and Control of Nausea and Vomiting 2013, an accredited education symposium. Information about this well-regarding program may be found by following the conference link. Course co-director Charles Horn, PhD is an associate professor of Medicine and Anesthesiology and is on faculty with the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. Bill Yates, PhD, with the University’s Departments of Otolaryngology and Neuroscience, co-directed with Dr. Horn.

 

Division Honored with Recap of Top US News Ranking

The Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition has been ranked as the 6th best digestive center for gastroenterology and GI surgery in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

"Any listing within the top 50 hospitals is a great achievement," commented Division Chief Dr. David Whitcomb. "However, to be ranked so highly among our peer GI programs across the nation is a true honor. This ranking is a fitting tribute to the successful work of our gastroenterology and hepatology medical professionals, our terrific patients, and all who work to support gastrointestinal health in western Pennsylvania and throughout the U.S."

 

Dr. Baidoo Elected as ACG Western PA Governor

Leonard Baidoo, MD has been elected as the Governor for the American College of Gastroenterology’s Western Pennsylvania region. His three-year term will begin in October 2013. In this position, Dr. Baidoo will serve as a the liaison to further ACG gastroenterology advancements throughout western PA. Dr. Baidoo is an assistant professor of medicine with the University of Pittsburgh Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, where he also serves as the subspecialty education coordinator for medicine trainees.

 

Dr. O’Keefe Featured in National Publication

Stephen J.D. O’Keefe, MD, MSc was featured in the June 2013 issue of Men’s Journal. Dr. O’Keefe’s article, Why Gut Health Matters, discussed his research that links increased diversity in the gut microbiome with lower colon cancer rates and overall gastrointestinal health. Dr. O’Keefe is a professor of medicine with the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. His research focuses on nutrition support, feeding during pancreatitis and exploration of colon cancer prevalence among Africans and African Americans.

 

Dr. O’Keefe’s Research Featured on Journal Blog

The nutrition support research of Stephen J.D. O’Keefe, MD, MSc has been highlighted by Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. In this blog, Dr. O’Keefe discussed his study and the implications of this research to support short bowel syndrome patients: Allard, JP, Jeppesen RG, Messing B, O’Keefe S, PertkiewicsM. Safety and Efficacy of Teduglutide after 52 Weeks of Treatment in Patients with Short Bowel Intestinal Failure. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2013;11:815-23.e3. Dr. O’Keefe is a professor of medicine with the University of Pittsburgh Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.

 

Gastroenterology-Dermatology Clinic Opens

Dr. Lisa Grandinetti, assistant director of dermatology, has been named director of the region’s first Gastrointestinal Dermatology Clinic. This clinic will provide coordinated care to patients with skin conditions due to inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease or other GI conditions. Services will be provided at the Falk Clinic, located at UPMC’s main campus in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh.

 

Pancreas Center of Excellence

The Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition has received a generous grant from AbbVie Pharmaceuticals to support the development of a Pancreas Center of Excellence. Under the direction of division chief, David C. Whitcomb, MD, PhD, this Center will provide patient care education and treatment enhancements and will work with available technology to augment research exploration into a better understanding of pancreatic diseases.

 

Dr. Dubner Receives UPMC Award

Howard Dubner, MD, clinical assistant professor of medicine with the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, has received the “Adriana M. Selvaggio, MD Dedication to Commitment and Quality Award” in recognition of his thoughtful service to UPMC Shadyside and his gastroenterology patients.

 

Dr. Levinthal Received Research Award

David Levinthal, MD, PhD was honored with the “Research Day Award” at the Department of Medicine’s 11th Annual Research Day in May. Dr. Levinthal was one of only two internal researchers who received this 2013 award in the Junior Faculty Category. Dr. Levinthal investigates mechanisms of pain perception and control of autonomic function in the central nervous system and specializes in treatment of patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders.

 

Dr. O’Keefe Webcast Featured on GI Journal Club

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.

 

Hepatitis C Advancements Featured

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.

 

Drs. Mounzer and Seminerio Honored with Fellowship2Leadership Awards

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.

 

New IBD Book Authored by Drs. Regueiro and Swoger

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.

 

Dr. Mounzer Honored with ACG Clinical Research Award

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.

 

Dr. Papachristou Honored with ACG Chairmanship

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.

 

Shape Magazine Features Dr. Greer’s New Cookbook Recipe

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.

 

Dr. Regueiro Featured on GI Health Foundation Site

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.

 

Dr. Schoen Honored in Boston

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.

 

Dr. Eagon Receives Teaching Honor

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.

 

Dr. Khalid Honored with WEO Research Award

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.

 

Dr. Whitcomb & Colleagues Discover New Pancreas Genetics Link

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.

 

Dr. Liu Supported by Prestigious Broad Foundation

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.

 

For more information about UPMC and the Division of Gastroenterology, visit UPMC’s Facebook News Album and the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals website.

 

Dr. Rogal Earns Starzl Honor

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.

 

Dr. Bielefeldt Honored as F1000 Faculty Member of the 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.

 

Dr. Malik Recognized for Teaching Expertise

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.