U.S. News & World Report ranks UCLA Gastroenterology and GI Surgery among top in the Nation

We are pleased and proud to share the news that UCLA Gastroenterology and GI Surgery placed #3 in the nation for the 2022-23 annual U.S. News & World Report rankings.

We are equally proud that U.S. New & World Report recognized our hospitals in the top five in the nation.

UCLA Health ranking


Kirsten Tillisch, MD, interviewed on benefits of integrative medicine, such as Tai Chi, for PTSD
Dr. Tillisch, chief of integrative medicine at the Greater Los Angeles VA Medical Center and member of the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience, was interviewed by MeTV Los Angeles / California & Me on the benefits of integrative medicine and how it is transforming health care. Dr. Tillisch’s work is an integral part of the division’s Integrative Digestive Health and Wellness Program. The program aired in celebration of Veteran’s Day.


GI Division at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center receives significant award from the County of Los Angeles
The “Adapt, Create, Achieve” Special Merit Award is given by LA County, via the Board of Supervisors, every year as part of a county-wide Quality and Productivity Commission. Candidates are drawn from every branch of Los Angeles County including the Department of Health Services (DHS), Public Health, Fire, Sheriff, Parks and Recreation, Public Works, and the Housing Authority. The GI Division, led by Simon W. Beaven, MD, PhD, chief of gastroenterology, was selected based on their work improving access to specialty care in GI over the past five years.


Most people who get colon cancer have bowel movement issues first
Poop isn't something most people enjoy openly discussing, but it's an important topic to talk about with a health care provider. Paying attention to your bowel habits and talking to a doctor about them can be life-saving. Knowing if there's blood in your stool is one of the digestive health issues your physician should know about as it could indicate a larger problem like Crohn's disease, colitis or colon cancer. Colon cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the United States and early detection is key to beating the odds. James H. Tabibian, MD, PhD, director of endoscopy at Olive View UCLA Medical Center, provided expert commentary on timely colon and rectal cancer screening in this Eat This! Not That! article.


How does racism make you sick?
Arpana Gupta, PhD, co-director of the Microbiome Center, and Tien S. Dong, MD, PhD, assistant clinical professor of medicine, publish new research in Biological Psychiatry on how stress, racism and discrimination impact biology. Read more about their systems biology analysis in How does racism make you sick?


Here's what the smell of your poop reveals about your health (and it's so insightful)
Look, we all know that poop is not supposed to smell good. But what if the stench of your stool suddenly becomes out-of-this-world bad? A stench that overpowers what’s already considered pungent must signal something is wrong, right? Not exactly. Nipaporn Pichetshote, MD, assistant clinical professor of medicine, provided expert commentary on what causes foul-smelling poop in this Glamour UK magazine article.


Your doctor recommended a bland diet. What's that?
A bland diet may sound…unappetizing. But in some circumstances, it’s just what the doctor ordered — literally. Shahrad Hakimian, MD, clinical instructor of medicine, provided expert commentary in a HealthCentral article, stating eating this way in a pinch is “safe for a few days, perhaps three to five days, in a case of a viral gastroenteritis [stomach flu]. The risk of nutritional deficiencies is low in this setting.” But if your gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are ongoing, it’s important to get evaluated by a doctor because you may need more specific dietary modifications (and other forms of treatment). In this instance, you’ll require the guidance of a dietitian who is familiar with your condition and can help make sure you’re still getting the right nutrients.


Daily 'breath training' can work as well as medicine to reduce high blood pressure
There's accumulating evidence that strengthening the muscles we use to breathe is beneficial. New research shows that a daily dose of muscle training for the diaphragm and other breathing muscles helps promote heart health and reduces high blood pressure. NPR reported on this new training and provided a link to a diaphragmatic breathing demonstration video by Suzanne R. Smith, MSN, NP, CMT-P, nurse practitioner in the division’s Integrative Digestive Health and Wellness Program.


Study questioning colonoscopy screening’s benefits stirs controversy; Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, comments in STAT News
Voicing her reactions to a New England Journal of Medicine publication of interim trial results that cast doubt on accepted views of colonoscopy’s efficacy, Dr. May of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Vatche & Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases, told STAT News, "I have patients texting and calling me and saying, ’should I come in for that colonoscopy on Thursday?’ That’s a devastating result of this publication. The reality is that every day, there are people with polyps and cancer growing because colorectal cancer is so asymptomatic and it’ll grow for years. You will never know. Hopefully we get the message through that colorectal screening saves lives.”


UCLA GI physicians make Super Doctors® of Southern California Hall of Fame lists
Super Doctors® are selected in a rigorous, multi-step process designed to identify health care providers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The organization also recognizes with special designations providers who have made the annual list 10 or more times: Legacy Hall of Fame for those selected all 15 years that Super Doctors has published its list and Hall of Fame for those selected 10 to 14 years.

Legacy Hall of Fame - Recognized for 15 Years
Peter Anton, MD; Lin Chang, MD; Viktor Eysselein, MD; Steven-Huy B. Han, MD; Dennis Jensen, MD; Thomas Kovacs, MD; Emeran A. Mayer, MD; Sammy Saab, MD, MPH; Kirsten Tillisch, MD

Hall of Fame - Recognized for 10 to 14 Years
Eric Esrailian, MD, MPH


Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, recognized at Dodger Healthcare Appreciation Night
Dr. May, director of the Melvin and Bren Simon GI Quality Improvement Program, was among six UCLA Health physicians honored on the field at Dodger stadium during Dodger Healthcare Appreciation Night. Other UCLA physicians included Drs. Tamara Horwich, cardiology; Sarah Larson, oncology; May Nour, neurology; Marissa Vasquez Machuca, sports medicine; and Karol Watson, cardiology.


Pharma-funded FDA gets drugs out faster, but some work only ‘marginally’ and most are pricey
Steven-Huy B. Han, MD, Philip L. Palumbo chair in clinical hepatology, commented in a Kaiser Health News article on the uncertainty of prescribing some drugs granted accelerated approval. While Dr. Han has prescribed Ocaliva to a handful of patients, he’s not sure it helps because, like many accelerated-approval drugs, its approval was based on a surrogate marker of effectiveness — in the case of Ocaliva it’s the enzyme alkaline phosphatase — not on long-term improvements to patients’ primary biliary cholangitis. Dr. Han says that no one knows for sure at this point whether less enzyme equates to less liver cancer or cirrhosis in the long run.


UCLA AGI Hirshberg Center achieves dual National Pancreas Foundation Center of Excellence designations in pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer
The UCLA Agi Hirshberg Center for Pancreatic Diseases was recently recognized by the National Pancreas Foundation as a Clinical and Academic Center of Excellence for both pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. The center’s designations, which are awarded separately, were the result of an extensive auditing process based on criteria developed by a task force of subject matter experts and patient advocates. At the core of UCLA’s clinical program in pancreatic diseases is an integrated practice unit (IPU), which brings together a variety of services and expertise for the successful management of these complex and challenging conditions. Medical specialties represented include surgery, gastroenterology, radiology, pathology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, nuclear medicine, endocrinology and interventional radiology. Support services include genetic counseling, nutrition and dietetics, palliative care and psychosocial services. In addition, UCLA is an active center of research with a strong portfolio of grant-funded projects and growing strength in taking therapeutic ideas from the research laboratory all the way into clinical trials. The effort was led by Timothy Donahue, MD, chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology and surgical director of the UCLA Agi Hirshberg Center for Pancreatic Diseases, and V. Raman Muthusamy, MD, MAS, director of Endoscopy at UCLA Health. UCLA Health patient story | UCLA Pancreas Disease Program


30 UCLA GI physicians named Super Doctors and Rising Stars of Southern California
Super Doctors are selected in a rigorous, multi-step process designed to identify health care providers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process for Rising Stars is the same as for Super Doctors, except to be eligible for inclusion in Rising Stars candidates must be active and fully-licensed to practice for approximately 10 years or less. While approximately 5% of the doctors within the respective state or region are named to Super Doctors, no more than 2.5% are named to the Rising Stars list. Full lists

Super Doctors: Peter Anton, MD; Lin Chang, MD; Hartley Cohen, MD; Daniel Cole, MD, MPH; Lynn S. Connolly, MD, MSCR; Eric Esrailian, MD, MPH; Viktor Eysselein, MD; Terri Getzug, MD; Steven-Huy B. Han, MD; Wendy Ho, MD, MPH; Dennis Jensen, MD; Thomas O. Kovacs, MD; Emeran A. Mayer, MD; V. Raman Muthusamy, MD, MAS; Sammy Saab, MD, MPH; Jenny Sauk, MD; Kirsten Tillisch, MD; Tram T. Tran, MD

Rising Stars: Gina Choi, MD; Kevin Ghassemi, MD; Scott Hahm, MD; Danny Issa, MD; Ara Kardashian, MD; Stephen Kim, MD; Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil; Hamed Nayeb-Hashemi, MD; Nipaporn Pichetshote, MD; Mona Rezapour, MD, MHS; Alireza Sedarat, MD; Adarsh M. Thaker, MD


Arpana Gupta, PhD, and Lisa Kilpatrick, PhD, co-investigators on largest brain development study
Racial, ethnic and sexual minority youths are at an increased risk of tobacco use and related undesired health consequences. How social and biological factors explain such increased risk, however, remains unknown. “Nicotine Exposure Alters Tissue Glucocorticoid Metabolism and Leads to Hypertension” will analyze existing data of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, the largest brain development study conducted in the U.S. to date. Investigators propose that low socioeconomic status (SES), high stress (measured across five domains), and weaker SES effects may be why high tobacco initiation and susceptibility are observed in minority youths. A $1 million grant will fund a three-year collaboration among Shervin Ansari, MD, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science; William J. McCarthy, PhD, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health; Nicholas J. Jackson, PhD, MPH, UCLA Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research; Lisa Kilpatrick, PhD, UCLA G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience; and Arpana Gupta, PhD, director of the Neuroimaging Core for the UCLA G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience, UCLA Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases.


For months, a new mom was told her stage 4 colon cancer symptoms were in her head
Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, director of the Melvin & Bren Simon GI Quality Improvement Program added expert commentary on the rise of colorectal cancer in young people in an article published in Today. Full article


What does the latest science tell is about our brain, our gut and our mental health?
Emeran A. Mayer, director of the UCLA G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience, told the Times, “We’re in the middle of a paradigm shift in medicine, where the brain is being reintegrated back into the rest of the body.” Full article


Addressing barriers that make Black Americans more vulnerable to colorectal cancer
“We can’t eliminate disparities until we acknowledge the social barriers and provide support, better insurance, and improved access,” says Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, director of the Melvin & Bren Simon GI Quality Improvement Program. Dr. May explains the factors fueling the disparities in care for Black Americans and shares how this became her mission in this Everyday Health article.


Environmental factors and IBD risk
In a Time magazine article on the increasing incidence of IBD in industrialized nations, Emeran A. Mayer, MD, director of the UCLA G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience, commented on the important role played by early-life exposure to germs for the developing microbiome and immune system. Full article


Jeffrey L. Conklin, MD

In memoriam - Jeffrey L. Conklin, MD - February 20, 1950 - August 8, 2022
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our colleague, friend, and mentor, Dr. Jeffrey L. Conklin. We know this news is devastating personally and professionally to so many of us. It is no exaggeration to say Dr. Conklin was a legend in esophageal diseases and a pioneer in testing gastrointestinal motor function. Even more importantly, he was beloved and known for his kindness, humility, warmth, generosity, compassion and the rare talent for bringing people together so that the whole was greater than the sum of its parts.

Dr. Conklin completed his undergraduate work at the University of Iowa with a bachelor of science degree in journalism. He obtained his MD degree at the University of Iowa where he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. He completed internal medicine and gastroenterology training at the University of Iowa. During his training he coauthored seminal papers exploring the physiological mechanisms controlling esophageal and colonic motor function. He then went to the University of Massachusetts Medical School where he completed a postdoctoral fellowship and became an instructor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics. While at the University of Massachusetts, he studied physiological and pharmacological control of gastrointestinal smooth muscle. Dr. Conklin then returned to the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the University of Iowa where he became professor of medicine. After 15 years at the University of Iowa, he joined the faculty of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester. During his tenure at the Mayo Clinic, he became director of the esophageal function lab and continued his study of esophageal motor function. He then moved to Los Angeles to become director of the Esophageal Center of Excellence at Cedars Sinai-Medical Center. Dr. Conklin was recruited to UCLA in 2013 and went on to help launch and direct the Robert G. Kardashian Center for Esophageal Health and the GI Motility Program. He was a member of the American Gastroenterological Association, American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society and was a fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology. He was selected to the Best Doctors in America list since 2012.

Dr. Conklin was a giant in the initial discovery phase of how the esophagus works. He undertook ground-breaking studies demonstrating nitric oxide is the neurotransmitter that controls relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter and peristalsis in the smooth muscle esophagus. That work explored the biophysical and biochemical mechanisms by which nitric oxide exerts its effects. His studies in humans were among the first to support the hypothesis that achalasia results from a loss of esophageal neurons that produce nitric oxide. He was also among the first investigators to provide evidence that interstitial cells of Cajal are pacemaker cells that control colonic motor function. While at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, he and his colleagues were among the first to develop and adopt the technology of high-resolution manometry. He coauthored the first and most widely used book describing the clinical use of this technology. Despite his great success and stature in the field, and the impact he had helping countless patients, his greatest professional joy seemed to come from teaching and training the next generation of physicians.

Dr. Conklin enthusiastically instructed fellows, colleagues and investigators and was known as “the guy to learn gastrointestinal motor function from,” winning multiple teaching awards. His knowledge base was intimidating but he presented it in a way that was relatable and intelligible. Former students comment that his comparison of reading motility tracings to mountain ranges is still engrained and used when interpreting gastrointestinal motility testing. This analogy came from his early hiking trips using maps to navigate trails (prior to GPS). Always seeking to inspire, he recently joined Twitter and started #ManoMondays, a peer-to-peer educational series devoted to all things manometry. He described Twitter as a young physician’s platform, but of course he excelled. He successfully created a center of excellence at UCLA that is now poised to take the next step thanks to his efforts.

More than just a clinician, he was passionate about art, culture, gardening and all things creative. He shared music, culinary and exhibit recommendations…and we loved it! No matter his age, he was always young at heart. When away at DDW, he would connect with longtime friends and colleagues during the day, but at night he would hang out with fellows until the early morning hours. Above all, Dr. Conklin was a family man, and he will be remembered as a one who cherished and doted on his wife and  two sons.


Hon Wai (Michael) Koon, PhD, awarded $1.5 million NIH R01 grant
Dr. Koon, adjunct professor, is a leader in Crohn’s disease-associated intestinal fibrosis research. Our understanding of the pathogenic mechanism of intestinal fibrosis is still poorly developed, and we currently have no effective treatments. Over the last decade, Dr. Koon has discovered multiple novel biomarkers and therapeutic approaches for treating intestinal fibrosis. He was awarded the NIH grant to develop an orally active elafin formulation for treating intestinal fibrosis. Elafin is an antimicrobial and anti-protease peptide from humans that has an anti-fibrotic effect in cells. Stricturing CD patients have low intestinal levels of elafin.

The hypothesis is an orally active elafin formulation can benefit stricturing CD patients. This grant will sponsor Dr. Koon’s team to perform further optimization and assessment of efficacy. The study will involve multidisciplinary collaboration with UCLA clinicians; UCLA core facilities; an industrial production facility; and world-class experts in proteomics, microbiome and immunology. Dr. Koon Lab


Stand Up To Cancer’s® (SU2C) Colorectal Cancer Equity Dream Team wins LA Business Journal’s Health Care Leadership Award
UCLA Health was named a key partner and major grant recipient in an initiative launched by Stand Up To Cancer® (SU2C). The initiative aims to improve colorectal cancer screening rates in underserved populations nationwide. Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, director of the Melvin & Bren Simon GI Quality Improvement Program, serves as co-leader of the new Colorectal Cancer Health Equity Dream Team, which received an $8 million grant in 2021. This collaborative effort with Exact Sciences, Providence St. John’s and UCLA Health won the outstanding collaboration category in the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Health Care Leadership Awards.


This Common Immune Response Might Be Behind IBS Pain – A New Study Finds
Dr. Chang, co-director of the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience, commented in an Inverse article on the role that histamine potentially plays in mediating abdominal pain in IBS.


Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, awarded $2 million NIH R01 grant
Dr. May and a multidisciplinary UCLA team that includes informatics, health services, pathology and health economics have been awarded an NIH grant to evaluate a multilevel health system intervention to increase guideline-concordant surveillance colonoscopy for UCLA Health patients with high-risk colorectal polyps. The intervention uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing to identify the patients at highest risk for developing colorectal cancer, and intervention components directed at the patients, their doctors and the UCLA Health electronic health record to ensure timely surveillance colonoscopy. Dr. May is director of the Melvin and Bren Simon GI Quality Improvement Program, associate director of the UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity in the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, and assistant director of the UCLA Specialty Training and Advanced Research Program.


Elaine Y. Hsiao, PhD, receives 2022 Blavatnik National Award for Young Scientists
The Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences created this award to inspire and encourage talented, young scientists to take risks and push the boundaries of science. The 2022 Blavatnik National Awards competition received 309 nominees from 150 research institutions across 38 states. Laureates must be faculty-level scientific researchers, 42 years of age or younger. Dr. Hsiao leads a laboratory studying fundamental interactions between the microbiome, brain and behavior and their applications to neurological disorders. She is the De Logi Associate Professor of Biological Sciences in the Department of Integrative Biology & Physiology and faculty in the Vatche & Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases.


Why does my poop smell so bad?
Nipaporn Pichetshote, MD, health sciences assistant clinical professor of medicine, provided expert commentary in a SELF magazine article that explains possible causes of next-level stench.


Jenny Sauk, MD, named Honored Hero at 2022 Los Angeles Crohn's and Colitis Take Steps
Each year, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation organizes Take Steps, an event for IBD patients and their loved ones to connect with the greater IBD community, helping them understand that they are never alone in this fight. Dr. Sauk, director of clinical care for the UCLA Center for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, was selected as an Honored Hero. Honorees use their stories to raise awareness of these diseases, raise funds in support of the Foundation’s mission and inspire hope to those living with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.


Can a Healthier Gut Boost Your Mood?
The microorganisms in your gut play a big role in how you feel emotionally. Kirsten Tillisch, MD, chief of integrative medicine at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System and member of the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience, was interviewed for Can a Healthier Gut Boost Your Mood? and was quoted on gut health and resilience and a proof-of-concept study published in 2013 in Gastroenterology for which she was lead author. “It suggested to us that probiotics may actually change the way our brains respond to the environment around us, and build our resilience to a stressor.”


Gut Feelings – The Surprising Link Between Mood and Digestion
People with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) often suffer flare-ups during times of stress and anxiety, and even otherwise healthy people can worry their way to stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, or other problems. Even if a doctor can't find anything physically wrong, the misery is real. Emeran A. Mayer, MD, director of the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience, was interviewed for Gut Feelings – The Surprising Link Between Mood and Digestion published in EveryDay Health. Dr. Mayer points to the vagus nerve, which runs between the brain and the digestive system. "Doctors once believed the nerve's main job was controlling acid production in the stomach," Mayer says. "But 95 percent of the fibers go the other direction -- from the gut to the brain."


Elaine Hsiao, PhD, featured in A World of Women in STEM
Dr. Hsiao, De Logi associate professor of biological sciences and faculty in the Vatche & Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases, is interested in figuring out how our gut microbiomes communicate with our nervous systems. Her lab is exploring and probing the gut-brain connection with the hope that one day, we might be able to treat complex brain disorders not by treating the brain, but by treating our human gut bacteria! Check out the “Trust Your Gut” interview


Sonia S. Dasharathy, MD, posts on IBD Partners blog
Dr. Dasharathy, health sciences clinical instructor of medicine, introduced her research into self-determination theory (SDT) and IBD medication compliance in a IBD Partners blog post. Her team used data from IBD Partners to better understand adherence to oral medications in patients with ulcerative colitis, and how this relates to stress, motivation, competence, and relationships with health care providers. "Psychological factors associated with adherence to oral treatment in ulcerative colitis" originally published in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases 2022.


Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, quoted in EveryDay Health on health disparities
Black Americans have a 20 percent higher incidence of colorectal cancer than white Americans and are 40 percent more likely to die of it, according to the American Cancer Society. Dr. May, director of the Melvin and Bren Simon GI Quality Improvement Program, discussed barriers to colorectal cancer screening among Black Americans and understanding this discomfort and mistrust. EveryDay Health also interviewed Gloria Riley, a UCLA African-American patient who had a cancerous polyp removed after her screening colonoscopy. 


Suzanne R. Smith, MSN, NP, CMT-P, discusses pandemic stress and IBS on NPR
"The pandemic created an environment of uncertainty, isolation and less access to supportive resources that people depended on for well-being," says Suzanne, a nurse practitioner at UCLA's Integrative Digestive Health and Wellness Program. The program combines diet and stress management, and Smith helps patients understand the brain-gut connection in IBS. Listen to the 6-minute broadcast including patient interview or read transcript


Seven UCLA GI physicians named L.A.'s Top Doctors 2021 by Los Angeles Magazine
More than 300 UCLA Health physicians were named to Los Angeles Magazine’s 2021 list of “Top Doctors” in Los Angeles. The results are based on a Los Angeles Magazine survey that asked physicians throughout Los Angeles County to identify doctors they considered to be at the top of their fields.

Recognized UCLA GI physicians include Peter Anton, MD, professor of medicine, Lynn S. Connolly, MD, MSCR, clinical chief of community practices for the Melvin and Bren Simon Digestive Diseases Center, Terri Getzug, MD, director of the Familiar Mediterranean Fever Clinic, Kevin Ghassemi, MD, clinical chief of Westwood and Beverly Hills for the Melvin and Bren Simon Digestive Diseases Center, Wendy Ho, MD, MPH, health sciences associate clinical professor of medicine, Vikas K. Pabby, MD, MPH, health sciences assistant clinical professor of medicine, and Jenny S. Sauk, MD, director of clinical care for the Center for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. See full list


Enrique Rozengurt, DVM, PhD, AGAF, named among Top 100 Scientists in biology and biochemistry by Research.com
Research.com, a prominent academic platform for scientists, just published the 2022 edition of their Ranking of Top 1000 Scientists in the areas of biology and biochemistry. Their ranking is uses the H-index data gathered by Microsoft Academic and includes only prominent scientists with an H-index of at least 40 for scientific papers published in the fields of biology and biochemistry. Dr. Rozengurt, director of the Digestive Diseases Research Core Center for the Study of Cellular Signaling and Communication (DDRCC-SigCo) and distinguished professor of medicine in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, ranked: #249 in the United States#371 in the world and top three at UCLA.


Jennifer Kolb, MD, MS, selected as the new GI associate editor for Foregut Journal
Foregut is the journal of the American Foregut Society (AFS) which is an interdisciplinary society made up of gastroenterologists and surgeons. This journal focuses exclusively on foregut disease, and links medical, endoscopic and surgical disciplines. The editorial board and associate editors include equal numbers of foregut surgeons and gastroenterologists. Dr. Kolb is an interventional endoscopist at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare and David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.


Heart Behind the White Coat: Diverse Health Hub interviews Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil
Dr. May shares how her upbringing influenced her medical career choice on Heart Behind the White Coat (HBWC). Watch as Dr. May explains how her experiences observing medical missions had an impact in her decision to pursue a career in medicine, places where she connects with patients, and her advice for BIPOC students considering the study of medicine. Dr. May is the director of the Melvin and Bren Simon Gastroenterology Quality Improvement Program and assistant professor of medicine.


Vay Liang W. “Bill” Go, MD, helps establish Endowed Lectureship in Nutrition and Pancreatic Diseases in the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition and in the UCLA Agi Hirshberg Center for Pancreatic Diseases
Dr. Go recently pledged $300,000 to The UCLA Foundation to establish the Vay Liang W. (Bill) Go MD Endowed Lectureship in Nutrition and Pancreatic Diseases in the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition and in the UCLA Agi Hirshberg Center for Pancreatic Diseases. This is in memory of his late wife, Dr. Frisca Yan Go, who was a professor of neurology and founder and director emerita, UCLA Center for Sleep Disorders. Dr. Go is a distinguished professor and co-director of the UCLA Agi Hirshberg Center for Pancreatic Diseases at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He was the executive chairman of UCLA’s Department of Medicine from 1988 to 1992. He received his internal medicine and gastroenterology training and subsequently became a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic. From 1985 to 1988, Dr. Go served in three related capacities at the National Institutes of Health, all involving digestive diseases and nutrition. In 1994, he co-founded the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition with Dr. David Heber. Over a five-decade academic career, his research has focused on the regulation of the human exocrine and endocrine pancreas and gut-brain axis in health and disease.


Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, discussed colorectal cancer on Black News Channel
Dr. May, director of the Melvin and Bren Simon GI Quality Improvement Program, was interviewed by Tashanea Whitlow, anchor, Black News Channel. Dr. May discusses colorectal cancer risk and prevention among Black Americans, factors leading to low screening participation among Black individuals and ways we can reduce the burden of this largely preventable disease.


Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, discussed colorectal cancer
March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and Dr. May joined Dr. John Torres, medical correspondent on NBC News Facebook Live to talk about updated colorectal cancer screening recommendations, risk factors, the increase in colorectal cancer in younger people and screening options. Dr. May is the director of the Melvin and Bren Simon GI Quality Improvement Program.


Could a high-fiber diet help boost cancer survival?
Emeran A. Mayer, MD, director of the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience, provided expert commentary on a study published in Science that explores how diet and the gut microbiome might affect cancer patients' response to immunotherapy. Read Health Day’s article Could a high-fiber diet help boost cancer survival?