The New Gastroenterologist

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AGA’s flagship research grant goes to ...

The AGA Research Scholar Award, funded by the AGA Research Foundation, is our premier funding mechanism, providing $100,000 per year for 3 years to early-career faculty working toward independent careers in digestive disease research. Our AGA Research Scholar Award recipients have a proven track record of receiving substantial funding and leadership roles in GI following the receipt of their AGA award. Read about our most recent class of RSA recipients – we’re confident they are future leaders in our field. Learn more about the AGA Research Foundation at www.gastro.org/foundation.

Parambir Dulai, MD
University of California, San Diego

Dr. Parambir Dulai of University of California at San Diego

Dr. Parambir Dulai

Project title: Development and validation of machine learning optimized predictive models for response to different biologic agents in patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Dr. Dulai is using his grant to build and refine a decision-support platform to help providers and patients navigate the complex landscape of choosing between available biologics for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Amy Hemperly, DO
University of California, San Diego
AGA-Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine Research Scholar Award in Pediatric Genomics

Dr. Amy Hemperly of University of California at San Diego

Dr. Amy Hemperly

Project title: Integration of pharmacogenomics and pharmacometabolomics with pharmacokinetics for biomarker discovery in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease

Dr. Hemperly’s research assesses the influence of genetic variations and metabolic and microbial changes on response to anti–tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) therapy in pediatric IBD patients. This work will ultimately elucidate factors that improve a patient’s response to therapy.

Rodney Infante, MD, PhD
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas

Dr. Rodney Infante of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas

Dr. Rodney Infante

Project title: Regulation of gastrointestinal cancer cachexia by a tumor-adipose-hypothalamic axis

Dr. Infante and his lab will use the AGA grant to improve our understanding of the mechanism and clinical relevance of cachexia-associated anorexia and tissue wasting in order to identify effective therapeutic targets.

Suraj Patel, MD, PhD
Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston

Dr. Suraj Patel of Massachusetts General Hospital

Dr. Suraj Patel

Project title: Hepatic IRF3 is a transcriptional regulator of steatosis and insulin resistance in NAFLD

Dr. Patel’s research focuses on the role of innate immunity in cellular metabolism and insulin resistance. Specifically, he’s interested in determining how chronic inflammation fuels the genetic and epigenetic changes we see in overnutritional states such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Jason Pitarresi, PhD
University of Pennsylvania Health System, Philadelphia
AGA-Bern Schwartz Family Fund Research Scholar Award in Pancreatic Cancer

Dr. Jason Pitarresi of the University of Pennsylvania Health System

Dr. Jason Pitarresi

Project title: PTHLH drives epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and metastasis in pancreatic cancer

With this funding, Dr. Pitarresi will continue on his quest to identify novel drivers of pancreatic cancer development and metastasis with use of genetically engineered mouse models and patient-derived 3D organoids. Dr. Pitarresi is hoping that anti-PTHLH may fill a treatment void and ultimately increase the quality of life in these patients.

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