Department of Medicine

University of Pittsburgh

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


Overcoming Barriers to the Translation of Pain Research Symposium Presented by The Pittsburgh Center for Pain Research

Celebrating 10 years of research innovations June 11-12, 2015 – University of Pittsburgh Faculty Club. This two-day meeting will explore why the explosion of knowledge regarding underlying mechanisms of pain has not translated into novel approaches and treatments for chronic pain. Six sessions will focus on specific types of pain and potential pain targets with discussion focused on solutions to the barriers associated with moving targets to therapy. Each session will include speakers actively working with patients and pre-clinical models. For more information, visit


Visiting Professor Dr. Bretthauer Honored as 2014 Gerson Scholar

Michael Bretthauer, MD, PhD from Norway has received the 2014 Sadie Gerson Distinguished Scholar Award. Dr. Bretthauer is a professor of medicine at the University of Oslo, where he also serves as a gastroenterologist at the Oslo University Hospital. His award lecture, “Colorectal Cancer Screening Programs: Why Norway is Going a Different Way,” was presented as part of the December 9th University of Pittsburgh | UPMC Medicine Grand Rounds series and was shared with an audience of physicians, trainees and community members. The Sadie Gerson Distinguished Scholar Award was established in 2009 by Sandy Gerson Snyder in memory of her mother, Sadie Gerson, who passed away from colon cancer at the young age of 51. Robert E. Schoen, MD, MPH was the recipient of the inaugural Sadie Gerson Distinguished Scholar Award and is pictured here (right) with Dr. Bretthauer (photo: G. Zidek).


Dr. Levinthal Receives AGA Research Honor

David Levinthal, MD, PhD has been selected as a member of the inaugural AGA Future Leaders class. He is one of 18 inductees nationwide who will receive extensive scientific and leadership training designed to help him to assume and maintain key leadership roles in the field of gastroenterology. Dr. Levinthal is an assistant professor of medicine with the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. His clinical practice focuses on GI motility diseases, and his research seeks to understand the role of the central nervous system related to pain and autonomic function.


Division Researchers Honored at AASLD Liver Meeting

Division hepatology researchers received acceptance of 11 oral abstract presentations and 33 poster presentations at the The Liver Meeting sponsored by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). This meeting was held in Novmeber, 2014 in Boston, MA.


Dr. Regueiro Featured in UPMC Physician Spotlight

IBD subspecialist Miguel Regueiro, MD was among other UPMC physicians featured in “We Are UPMC,” a short video advertisement which will precede regional movie theater previews and You Tube videos.


Division Researchers Honored at ACG Annual Meeting

The following University of Pittsburgh researchers received abstract awards at the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) Annual Meeting, which occurred in October 2014 in Philadelphia, PA:

  • ACG Presidential Poster Award: Perceived Effectiveness of Endoscopic and Surgical Treatments Among North American Women With Complications of Chronic Pancreatitis. Jyothsna Talluri, MD, Joseph Romagnuolo, MD, MSc, Dhiraj Yadav, MD, MSc, David Whitcomb, MD, PhD
  • ACG Governors Award for Excellence in Clinical Research and ACG Presidential Poster Award: Stratification of Crohn’s Disease Patients Using the Lemann Index to Quantify Gut Damage: A 5 Year Prospective Study. Bhavana Bhagya Rao, MD, Claudia Ramos Rivers, MD, Jean-Frederic Colombel, MD, PhD, Miguel Regueiro, MD, Jason Swoger, MD, Marc Schwartz, MD, Leonard Baidoo, MD, Jana Hashash, MD, Arthur Barrie, MD, PhD, Michael Dunn, MD, David Binion, MD
  • ACG Fellow Award (oral presentation): Association of Mean Vitamin D Level with Clinical Status in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A 5 Year Prospective Study. Toufic A. Kabbani, MD, MPH, Claudia Ramos Rivers, MD, Jason Swoger, MD, MPH, Miguel D. Regueiro, MD, Arthur M. Barrie, MD, PhD, Marc Schwartz, MD, Jana G. Hashash, MD, Leonard Baidoo, MD, Michael A. Dunn, MD, David G. Binion, MD


Dr. Whitcomb Lauded as a Gastroenterologist to Know in 2014

David C. Whitcomb, MD, PhD has been recognized as one of “160 Gastroenterologists to Know in 2014” by Becker’s AC Review.


Dr. Levinthal Receives K Award

David Levinthal, MD, PhD received a National Institutes of Health K Award for his research, “Cerebral Cortical Influences on the Stomach.” This grant began in July 2014.


Dr. Whitcomb’s Cystic Fibrosis Research Featured Nationally

Scientific American featured the cystic fibrosis classification research led by David C. Whitcomb, MD, PhD in its July, 2014 issue. Similar articles were printed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Tribune Review.


Dr. Baidoo Continues Mentoring Support

Leonard Baidoo, MD received the 2014 GI Fellow Teaching Award in June, 2015. This honor is awarded annually by the division’s gastroenterology fellows in appreciation of a faculty members’ teaching acumen. Additionally, Dr. Baidoo has been reappointment to a three-year term as the School of Medicine’s representative on the University of Pittsburgh Senate Admissions and Student Aid Committee.


Dr. Malik Featured in New York Times

Shahid Malik, MD discussed the impact of fatty liver disease on the nation’s obesity crisis in the New York Times in June 2014. Dr. Malik is an assistant professor of medicine with the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition who specializes in hepatology.


GI Division Leads Personalized Medicine Charge

David C. Whitcomb, MD, PhD and Adam Slivka, MD, PhD were highlighted in the Summer 2014 Pitt Med feature article, Trying on Personalized Medicine. These division leaders described the novel and collaborative process of tailoring disease treatments to individual patient requirements to reduce costs and, importantly, improve care.


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. 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. 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.


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.


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.