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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.