SCHOOL OF MEDICINE  |  PITT HOME  |  FIND PEOPLE  |  FIND A DOCTOR AT UPMC

Department of Medicine

Department of Medicine

  Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

EDUCATION AND TRAINING



NEWS

 


GI News


Honors and Awards

UPMC GI in the Top 10 Again: US News & World Report
The Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition has been ranked as the 6th Best Hospital for Adult Gastroenterology and GI Surgery in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.  This ranking is a fitting tribute to the successful work of our gastroenterology and hepatology medical professionals, our surgery partners, the terrific patients, and all who work to support gastrointestinal health in western Pennsylvania and throughout the U.S."

GI Fellows in National Spotlight
Two UPMC Gastroenterology Fellows received travel awards for national annual meetings this year.  Dr. Mohannad Dugum received a travel grant to attend the Annual Rocky Mountain Interventional Endoscopy Course in Colorado.  Dr. Siobhan Proksell received a travel grant to attend DDW 2017 from the Cornerstones educational group.

Dr. Szigethy Lauded with Inaugural Sherman Prize
Eva Szigethy, MD, PhD was awarded a $100,000 Sherman Prize for her work to develop psychosocial care models for IBD patients.  Dr. Szigethy was honored with this recognition during the Bruce & Cindy Sherman Foundation's inaugural prize year.  The Sherman Prize in Crohn's and Colitis rewards the delivery of excellent care and seeks to honor efforts which are not only life-changing for patients but duplicative among the IBD physician and medical professional community.

Division’s Pancreas Center Receives NIH Grant
The Pancreas & Biliary Center of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition has received a National Institutes of Health U01 Award to participate in the Consortium for the Study of Pancreatitis. This five-year project will support pancreas research advancements. David Whitcomb, MD, PhD is the PI for this Pittsburgh Clinical Center.

GI Fellows Earn Recognition
We are proud to honor the achievements of the following UPMC Gastroenterology Fellows:

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.



Professional Service

Drs. Papachristou and Yadav Selected for Acute Pancreatitis Steering Committee
Dhiraj Yadav, MD, MPH (9th from left) and Georgios Papachristou, MD, PhD (6th from right), pancreatologists with the University of Pittsburgh | UPMC Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition commemorate the inaugural meeting of SHARP (PsHincterotomy for the Treatment of Acute Recurrent Pancreatitis) in Bethesda, MD in January 2017.

Dr. Regueiro to Chair National  Conference
Miguel Regueiro, MD has been chosen to chair Advances in Inflammatory Bowel Disease, the national IBD subspecialty annual meeting in Orlando, FL.  Advances in IBD will occur from November 9-11, 2017.  Dr. Regueiro will be joined by fellow co-chairs Richard MacDermott, MD from the Albany Medical Center and Stephane Hanauer, MD from the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine.  Dr. Regueiro is a professor of medicine with the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, where he co-directs and provides clinical leadership for the IBD Center and Total Care-IBD, UPMC's IBD subspecialty medical home.

Dr. Whitcomb Named to Journal Post
David C. Whitcomb, MD, PhD has been named editor in chief for the Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology journal.  This publication is the top-ranking open access journal in Gastroenterology & Hepatology, with a 2015 impact factor of 3.472.  Dr. Whitcomb is the Giant Eagle Foundation Professor of Cancer Genetics and a Professor of Medicine, Cell Biology & Physiology and Human Genetics with the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. 

CLD Faculty Assume AASLD Leadership Posts
The Division's Center for Liver Disease faculty have accepted key leadership positions with the Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD):

Dr. Brand Named ACG Regional Governor
Randall Brand, MD has been named the Governor for the American College of Gastroetnerology’s (ACG) Western Pennsylvania Region. His three-year term will begin in October 2016 during the ACG’s national annual meeting in Las Vegas, NV. Dr. Brand is a professor of medicine with the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and serves as the Division’s Director of GI Malignancy Early Detection, Diagnosis & Prevention Program and is the Academic Director for the GI Division at UPMC Shadyside.

Dr. Regueiro Appointed to CCFA Task Force
Miguel Regueiro, MD has been appointed to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) “Cost of IBD” Task Force. Dr. Regueiro and his colleagues will work to quantify the wide-ranging costs, direct and indirect, of IBD on our healthcare system and its individual constituents. Dr. Regueiro is a Professor of Medicine with the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, where he serves as co-director and clinical head of the UPMC IBD Center.

Dr. Brand to Serve on NCI Pancreas Task Force
Randall Brand, MD has been invited to serve a three-year term on the National Cancer Institute's Pancreas Task Force. In this role, Dr. Brand will work with gastroenterology and pancreatology colleagues to identify and promote the "best science" in clinical pancreatic cancer research. Dr. Brand is a Professor of Medicine with the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, where he directs the Division's GI Malignancy Early Detection, Diagnosis & Prevention Program.

Dr. Levinthal Represents UPMC at AGA Advocacy Day
David Levinthal, MD, PhD was one of 60 participants in the American Gastrointestinal Association’s (AGA) Advocacy Day in September 2015 in Washington, DC. Dr. Levinthal was accompanied by GI faculty emeritus, Barry Kisloff, MD, and their group met with Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey in the U.S. Senate Offices to discuss the lifesaving benefits of colonoscopies.




Innovating Patient Care

Dr. Levinthal Highlighted in Pitt Med
Novel research by David Levinthal, MD, PhD and collaborators is featured in the Fall 2016 and Summer 2017 issues of Pitt Med Magazine.  Dr. Levinthal discusses proof of the brain's connection with organs and bodily functions as well as potential treatment strategies in "Mind is Matter:  The Circuitry of the Mind Body Connection."  Dr. Levinthal is an assistant professor of medicine with the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, where he also directs the Division's Neurogastroenterology and Motility Center.

Dr. Regueiro Speaks Nationally on Total Care-IBD
Miguel Regueiro, MD spoke about Total Care-IBD, UPMC's IBD medical home, at the Advances in IBD national annual meeting.  Information from this presentation was featured in GI & Hepatology News as well.  Total Care-IBD is a multidisciplinary and collaborative patient care model for the IBD subspecialty.  Dr. Regueiro, medical home co-director Eva Szigethy, MD, PhD, and the Total Care-IBD care team have cut both emergency room visits and hospitalizations by more than 50% within one year.  Dr. Regueiro is a professor of medicine with the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, where he co-directs and serves as the clinical leader for UPMC's IBD Center.

Dr. Szigethy & Partners Explore New Mental Health Delivery Systems
Lantern, an evidence-based online mental health wellness service, will collaborate with UPMC to upgrade how emotional wellbeing services are delivered and accessed by patients in need. Eva Szigethy, MD, PhD, will work closely with the Lantern team to provide accessible online mental health services. Dr. Szigethy is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Medicine and Pediatrics with the University of Pittsburgh | UPMC, and she is the founder and director of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition's Visceral Inflammation & Pain (VIP) Center.

Dr. Regueiro to Lead UPMC Medical Home Projects
Miguel Regueiro, MD has been named the UPMC Senior Medical Lead of Specialty Medical Homes. In this role, Dr. Regueiro will work with specialists and UPMC payer-provider leadership to incorporate specialty care into medical homes. The strategic vision of these homes is to provide coordinated care for chronic conditions for UPMC patients and subscribers. This structure will promote the overall UPMC vision of providing the highest quality care and the best member/patient experiences at an affordable cost. Dr. Regueiro is a Professor of Medicine with the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, where he serves as the co-director and clinical head of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center. Dr. Regueiro co-directs the UPMC IBD Medical Home, Total Care-IBD, with fellow GI faculty member, Eva Szigethy, MD, PhD. For more information about Total Care-IBD, please call 412-647-2183.

Dr. O’Keefe Leads Study on African Diet to Diminish Colon Cancer Risk
Research led by Stephen O’Keefe, MD, MSc was featured throughout the U.S. and Western Europe in Spring 2015, when his findings on colon cancer diet variance among rural Africans and African Americans were published in the prestigious Nature Communications journal in April 2015. His research, Fat, Fibre and Cancer Risk in African Americans and Rural Africans, explores the power of diet to alter colon cancer risk. Excerpts from his research were discussed in the New York Times, Reuter’s agencies, Huffington Post, Forbes Magazine, NBC News, CBS News, and the BBC, among other signification media outlets. Dr. O’Keefe is a Professor of Medicine with the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, where his research interests concentrate on nutrition support and the gut microbiome.



High-Impact Publications

Drs. Click and Regueiro Featured in Journal Video
Benjamin Click, MD, Year II GI Fellow, and Miguel Regueiro, MD were featured in a clinical case video in the May 2017 online issue of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.  Drs. Click and Regueiro discuss the relevance of stress, behavioral health, and mind-gut for IBD patients in IBD LIVE Series Case 7: The Brain-Gut Connection and the Importance of Integrated Care in IBD.

Pancreasfest Fosters Novel Research
PancreasFest is an annual, international accredited conference, which draws more than 200 pancreatologists and physician scientists to Pittsburgh to advance pancreas treatments.  Collaboration among academic pancreas centers of excellence is discussed in this May 2017 Pancreatology publication, Academic Pancreas Centers of Excellence:  Guidance from a Multidisciplinary Chronic Pancreatitis Working Group at PancreasFest.

Looking at IBD Outside of the Gut
Novel research from Division faculty, Drs. Regueiro, Greer and Szigethy, was featured in the February 2017 issue of Gastroenterology.  This article, Etiology and Treatment of Pain and Psychosocial Issues in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, discusses different treatment options for pain and psychosocial conditions as well as new models of team-based IBD care.

Dr. Levinthal and Pitt Research Team Connect the Mind Influences the Body
Novel research findings from David Levinthal, MD, PhD, Peter Strick, PhD and Richard Dum, PhD have identified the neural networks that connect the cerebral cortex to the adrenal medulla, which is responsible for the body's rapid response in stressful situations.  These findings were featured in the August 2016 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Motor, Cognitive, and Affective Areas of the Cerebral Cortex Influence the Adrenal Medulla.  Dr. Levinthal is an assistant professor of medicine with the University of Pittsburgh Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, where he leads the Division's Neurogastroenterology Program.

Dr. O'Keefe's Research: A 2015 NCI Highlighted Publication
A Nature Communications publication on Fat, Fiber and Cancer Risk in African Americans and Rural Africans by the research team of Stephen J.D. O’Keefe, MD, MSc has been selected as a Research Highlight for 2015 by NCI's Epidemiology & Genomics Research Program (EGRP). The EGRP staff nominated and voted for 2015 manuscripts by EGRP grantees which were deemed to have the greatest potential for scientific and/or public health impact. Dr. O'Keefe is a Professor of Medicine with the University of Pittsburgh Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.

Dr. Szigethy Challenges Opioid Use for Abdominal Pain
Eva Szigethy, MD, PhD was featured as the lead contributor for “Opioid Scripts for Chronic Bowel Pain Persist Despite High Risks, Few Rewards,” an article in the November 2015 issue of "Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News." In this article, she discusses the lack of evidence to support long-term opioid use for chronic abdominal pain. Dr. Szigethy is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry with the University of Pittsburgh | UPMC Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, where she is the founder and director of the Division’s Visceral Inflammation & Pain (VIP) Center.



In the Media

Dr. Schwartz: A Best of Pittsburgh Doctor
Marc Schwartz, MD has been selected for the 2017 “Best of Pittsburgh Awards” in the Doctor category.  This honor was listed in the Pittsburgh City Paper.  Dr. Schwartz is an IBD subspecialist with the Division, and he also leads IBD clinical research and is the program director for the Division’s Advanced Fellowship in IBD.

Dr. Regueiro Featured as Part of ACG's "Best of the Day" Series
Miguel Regueiro, MD was featured in "Best of the Day" segments to share IBD highlights from the American College of Gastroenterology's (ACG) 2016 Annual Scientific Meeting (Las Vegas, NV - October 2016).  Dr. Regueiro discussed the most recently presented data and the clinical implications of this significant research for IBD patients, especially related to anti-TNF, small molecule therapy, and clinical implications for IBD risk management.

Dr. O'Keefe Promotes Fiber-Rich Diet on PBS
Stephen J.D. O’Keefe, MD, MSc was featured on the original PBS documentary, In Defense of Food, and discussed his microbiome and fiber research studies. This December 2015 program stars U.S. journalist Michael Pollan and discusses a prescription for reversing the damage being done to health by today's industrially driven Western diet. Dr. O'Keefe is a Professor of Medicine with the University of Pittsburgh | UPMC Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.

Dr. Levinthal Discusses IBS in Pittsburgh Tribune Review
David Levinthal, MD, PhD discussed Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms and treatments in one of Pittsburgh’s regional newspapers. A copy of this discussion with Dr. Levinthal may be read here. Dr. Levinthal is an Assistant Professor of Medicine with the University of Pittsburgh | UPMC Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.

 

Dr. Regueiro: UPMC "Medical Mondays"
Miguel Regueiro, MD was highlighted in September as part of the UPMC Medical Mondays feature. Dr. Regueiro and a patient were featured in a WPXI-NBC television segment, and information to help patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis were provided. Dr. Regueiro is a Professor of Medicine with the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, and is a co-director and the clinical head for the UPMC Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center.




Dr. Levinthal Discusses Diet and Stomach Size in Smithsonian Magazine
David Levinthal, MD, PhD contributed information to Does Dieting Actually Make your Stomach Shrink?, an article in Smithsonian Magazine in June 2015. Dr. Levinthal is an Assistant Professor of Medicine with the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, where his practice and research interests concentrate on functional motility diseases of the digestive system.

Dr. Schwartz Discusses Probiotics and Fecal Transplantation
Marc Schwartz, MD was featured in a Tribune-Review newspaper article, Probiotics Key in War on "Superbugs," in March 2015 to discuss the use of probiotics and “good” bacteria for GI health. Dr. Schwartz highlighted his novel work with fecal transplantation designed to rebuild a more complete and health bacteria community in the gut. Dr. Schwartz is an Assistant Professor of Medicine with the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, where his practice concentrates on inflammatory bowel disease and celiac disease patients.

Dr. Schoen Highlights Colonoscopy Importance
Robert Schoen, MD, MPH voiced support for U.S. task force colon cancer screening methods in a June 2016 feature in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Dr. Schoen is the Interim Chief for the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and is a Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He is a world-recognized colon cancer screening expert.