Media Highlights 2017

Best Hospitals GI 2017 Badge

We are pleased and proud to share news that UCLA Health hospitals placed No. 1 in Los Angeles and No. 2 in California in the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings.

We are equally proud that for the 28th consecutive year, U.S. News recognized our hospitals among the best in the country. In rankings released today, UCLA placed No. 7 on the national honor roll. Of 4,500 medical centers evaluated, only 20 appear on the honor roll.

UCLA Health ranking


Has gluten-free failed you? Here's what to do next
If this is true for you it's worth asking, "What do I do now?" The great news is the there is plenty. Nancee Jaffe, MS, registered dietitian for the UCLA Digestive Health and Nutrition Clinic is quoted in this Medium article.


Good mood, bad mood? Blame the bacteria you eat
A column in Psychology Today featured research led by Dr. Kirsten Tillisch, associate professor of medicine in the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases, suggesting that an abundance of certain types of gut bacteria can affect mood and emotion.


What to do if you've overeaten
People.com published a story about remedies for discomfort from overeating during Thanksgiving that featured Dr. Kevin Ghassemi, assistant clinical professor in the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases. The story was picked up on Yahoo! Lifestyle and MSN.


Researchers are discovering a link between depression and gut
IEEE Pulse published a feature on the connection between gut bacteria and the brain that featured the expertise of Dr. Emeran A. Mayer, director of the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience and co-director of the CURE: Digestive Diseases Research Center. The story details a study carried out by Mayer and Dr. Kirsten Tillisch, associate professor of medicine in the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases, finding that gut bacteria in yogurt affected brain regions associated with mood and behavior in humans. The same study was referenced in stories on Livemint and Blogorama.


Gut-brain connection works both ways, influencing mind, mood and health
Emeran A. Mayer, MD, director of the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience and co-director of CURE: Digestive Diseases Research Center, discussed in an AARP article how when we are stressed, the brain has a profound influence on the composition of the gut’s microbiome.


Does your gut always steer you right?
Dr. Emeran A. Mayer, director of the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience and co-director of CURE: Digestive Diseases Research Center, commented in the Wall Street Journal about the brain-gut connection.


How to find the healthiest yogurt (vegan or dairy)
An Organic Authority story on picking a healthy yogurt referenced research from the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases on the impact of probiotics in yogurt on brain health.


UCLA GI Physicians Named Super Doctors 2017
The selection process for Super Doctors is a rigorous multi-step process designed to identify physicians who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Super Doctors is a selective yet diverse listing of outstanding doctors, representing consumer-oriented medical specialties.

Superdoctors Southern California 2017

 

Top row: Peter Anton, MD, Lin Chang, MD, Jeffrey L. Conklin, MD, Franciso Durazo, MD, Eric Esrailian, MD, MPH
Middle: Gary Gitnick, MD, Steven-Huy Han, MD, Dennis Jensen, MD
Bottom: Rome Jutabha, MD, Thomas Kovacs, MD, Emeran A. Mayer, MD, Sammy Saab, MD, MPH, Kirsten Tillisch, MD


UCLA GI Physicians Named Rising Stars 2017
The selection process for Rising Stars and for Super Doctors are the same except: 1) to be eligible for inclusion in Rising Stars, candidates must be active physicians who have been fully-licensed to practice for approximately 10 years or less and 2) a nominee's accomplishments do not include years of experience. While approximately 5 percent of the physicians within the respective state or region are named to Super Doctors, no more than 2.5 percent are named to the Rising Stars list.

Superdoctors 2017 Rising Stars Edition

 Left to right: Gina Choi, MD, Wendy Ho, MD, MPH, Alireza Sedarat, MD 


Colorectal cancer screening higher in veterans who use VA or military health care
VA Research Currents, research news from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, highlighted a study by a team with VA, UCLA and Duke, showing veterans with health coverage related to their veteran status were more likely to have up-to-date screenings for colorectal cancer than vets who used private health insurance instead. Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, assistant professor-in-residence of medicine at the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases, lead author on the article, applauds VA's efforts to raise screening levels: "Colorectal cancer is common and deadly. But we can prevent disease by screening. The VA has had major success in this area and should be recognized for exceeding national benchmarks in colorectal screening."


The link between the gut microbiome and emotion
Psychology Today, UPIThe Daily MailInternational Business TimesYahoo! NewsScience World ReportBreitbart.com, PsychCentral, IFLScience, Australia’s NineNow to LoveMedicalXpress, New Zealand's Now to LoveJSTOR Daily and New Zealands' Fashion Quarterly and 20 network television affiliates including KTLA-TV; KTXL-TV, Sacramento, California; WTTV-TV, Indianapolis; WTXR-TV, Norfolk, Virginia; and WBIR-TV, Knoxville, Tennessee, reported on research led by Dr. Kirsten Tillisch identifying gut microbiota that may interact with brain regions associated with mood and behavior. Tillisch is associate professor of medicine in the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases.


Does gut microbiome influence mindset andmetal toughness?
A Psychology Today story about the gut microbiome reference a study from the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases that examined gut bacteria and their influence on mood and behavior.


18 best probiotics products for gut health & 20 foods that turn back your meabolic clock

Eat This, Not That! and MSN referenced a study conducted by the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience at UCLA about how probiotics in yogurt affect brain function.


Why you should "rewild" your diet to help your microbiome
BigThink interviewed Dr. Emeran Mayer for a story about how diet affects the gut microbiome. Mayer is director of the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience and co-director of the CURE: Digestive Diseases Research Center.


Your digestive issues could be starting in your brain
The Zoe Report and Yahoo! Style referenced Dr. Emeran A. Mayer's research in a story about how digestive issues are related to the brain. Dr. Mayer is the director of the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience and co-director of the CURE: Digestive Diseases Research Center.


Strategic diets: What to eat when you're stressed out
Everup referenced a study conducted by the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience at UCLA about how probiotics in yogurt affect brain function.


A gut feeling about irritable bowel syndrome
BioTechniques reported on research suggesting an association between gut microbiota and the brain regions involved in processing sensory information. Study senior author Dr. Emeran Mayer, director of the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience and co-director of the CURE: Digestive Diseases Research Center, was quoted.


Yes, getting dirty can act as a nartural antidepressant - Here's why
Dr. Emeran A. Mayer, director of the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience and co-director of the CURE: Digestive Diseases Research Center, was quoted in Reader’s Digest story about the link between gut bacteria and depression.


Fola May, MD, PhD, MPhil, comments on study linking PPIs and health risks
Dr. May, assistant professor of medicine in the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases at UCLA, was quoted in a CBS News story about a new study suggesting that proton pump inhibitors are associated with a higher risk for death. The story was syndicated on MSN.com.


Eric Esrailian, MD, MPH, named UCLA Optimist
UCLA is made up of people who take on any challenge and find solutions to any problem. People for whom excellence is a way of life. We call them Optimists. And every day, our lives are made better by something they have discovered, improved, invented or created. Dr. Esrailian, co-chief of the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases, was selected as a UCLA Optimist for “his prescription is for a better world.” Whether he’s working one-on-one with a patient, studying public health to improve the community or using filmmaking for social impact, Dr. Eric Esrailian is committed to helping others. It’s an ethic honed by his Armenian family's struggle for survival, plus lessons learned from teachers, colleagues at UCLA and mentors in his life. While expanding community engagement for UCLA and volunteering for charitable organizations, he also produced The Promise to shine a light on the atrocities that took place during the last days of the Ottoman Empire. Proceeds from the film will benefit nonprofits like UCLA and organizations around the world. “The movie is one part of our bigger mission,” says Esrailian, “which is to activate people’s sense of altruism and use whatever resources they have to make the world a better place.”


David Padua, MD, PhD, receives Crohn's and Colitis Foundation Career Development Award
The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation is a leading funder of basic and clinical research in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). The Foundation supports research that increases our understanding of the etiology, pathogenesis, treatment and prevention of these diseases. Career Development Awards are mentored awards intended to facilitate the development of individuals with research potential to prepare for a career of independent basic and/or clinical investigation in the area of IBD.  


A traumatic experience can reshape your microbiome
New York Magazine’s “Science of Us” on June 1 and Medical Daily on June 6 reported on research suggesting an association between gut microbiota and the brain regions involved in processing sensory information. Dr. Emeran A. Mayer, director of the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience and co-director of the CURE: Digestive Diseases Research Center, was the study’s senior author. MSN.com carried the Medical Daily story on June 7. 


New study suggest that people with obesity have different eating habits due to their sex
UCLA’s Daily Bruin published a story on the new finding that indicates medical professionals should take sex differences into account when designing future obesity treatments, said Arpana Gupta, PhD, principal investigator of the study at the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience. 


Dirt has a microbiome, and itmay double as an antidepressant
Dr. Emeran A. Mayer, director of the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience and co-director of CURE: Digestive Diseases Research Center, was quoted May 30 in a Quartz story on bacteria in dirt.


How obesity affects the brain
HealthDay published May 9 a story about a study led by Dr. Arpana Gupta, assistant professor in the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases, suggesting an altered reward mechanism is involved in overeating and showing differences in brain activity between obese men and obese women. WebMDU.S. News & World Report, and 122 other outlets carried the story. ScienceDaily and MedicalXpress on May 19 and News-Medical.Net on May 18 also spotlighted this research.


Link between gut microbiota and brain regions
Newsweek and Health Canal on May 10; Bioscience Technology and PsychCentral on May 8; ScienceAlert on May 6, and ScienceDailyMedicalXpress and News-Medical.Net on May 5 reported on research suggesting an association between gut microbiota and the brain regions involved in processing sensory information. The research also shed light on the connections among childhood trauma, brain development the composition of the gut microbiome. Study senior author Dr. Emeran A. Mayer, director of the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience and co-director of the CURE: Digestive Diseases Research Center, was quoted in some of the coverage.


How antibodies harm the gut microbiome
Time and Health.com on May 3 published a story about how antibiotics affect our gut health that featured Dr. Emeran A. Mayer, director of the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience and co-director of the CURE: Digestive Diseases Research Center.


How gut bacteria affects cravings
Vice: Tonic published a story April 25 on gut bacteria and featured Dr. Emeran A. Mayer, director of the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience and co-director of the CURE: Digestive Diseases Research Center, discussing his research on patients who have undergone bariatric surgery.


Where IBS and sex differences converge
MedPage Today on April 13 published a story about UCLA research on sex differences in IBS. Dr. Lin Chang, professor of medicine and director of the UCLA Digestive Health and Nutrition Clinic, was involved with the study and was quoted. 


Link betweenmental and physical illness
Dr. Emeran A. Mayer, director of the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience and co-director of the CURE: Digestive Diseases Research Center, was quoted April 11 in an OZY.com story on the link between mental and physical illness along with the connection between the brain and the gut.


Lin Chang, MD, elected Vice Chair of the AGA Institute Council Neurogastroenterology & Motility Section
Dr. Chang, professor of medicine in the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases, was elected vice-chair of the Neurogastroenterology & Motility (NMG) Section of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Council. The NGM section of the AGA Council is dedicated to serving the field of neurogastroenterology and gastrointestinal motility by promoting excellence in research, innovation, education and training. Main goals of the section are 1) to attract the best science and cutting-edge research in neurogastroenterology and GI motility for presentation at Digestive Disease Week® (DDW), 2) to educate and train gastroenterologists, research scientists, surgeons, physiologists, trainees, nurses and technicians on the latest developments in the field, 3) to foster interdisciplinary basic science, translational and clinical research and 4) to lead and critically examine the development of novel tools for studying neurogastroenterology and motility disorders, and gut and brain interactions, both at the bench side and for patient care. 


Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, receives seed grant to help eliminate cancer health disparities
Dr. May, assistant professor of medicine in the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases and co-director of the Gloabal Health Education Program for the UCLA Center for World Health, received the "CDU-UCLA Cancer Center Partnership to Eliminate Cancer Health Disparities Seed Grant" from Charles Drew University. The project is a partnership with the “To Help Everyone Wellness Centers” in South Los Angeles and aims to investigate the specific patient-, provider-, and system-level barriers to completion of follow-up colonoscopy after a stool-based colorectal cancer screening test is positive.


Emeran A. Mayer, MD, is recipient of 2017 AGA Distinguished Mentor Award
The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) and the AGA Institute Governing Board awarded Dr. Mayer for achievements as an outstanding mentor over a lifelong career. He will receive the official award on the evening of Sunday, May 7 during Digestive Disease Week® in Chicago.


V. Raman Muthusamy, MD, selected incoming chair of the AGA Center for GI Innovation and Technology
The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) recognizes that innovation and the development of new technologies are integral to advancing the science and practice of gastroenterology and improving patient care and health outcomes for digestive diseases. AGA has established the AGA Center for GI Innovation and Technology to support the development of technologies that can improve patient care under the guidance of evidence-based standards. The center will serve as an objective, GI-specific resource to assist members; GI researchers; entrepreneurs; and the medical device, therapeutics and investment communities in their work to bring new technologies to the marketplace. Dr. Muthusamy has been selected as the incoming chair and will serve a three-year term.  


Probiotics in yogurt can affect brain function
Eat This, Not That and Yahoo! Style referenced March 28 a study conducted by the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience at UCLA finding that probiotics in yogurt can affect brain function.


What we know about probiotics and brain function
Various media outlets covered UCLA research finding that probiotics in yogurt are linked to brain function in humans. Kirsten Tillisch, MD, co-director, neuroimaging core, G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience, and Emeran A. Mayer, MD, director of the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience, and co-director of the CURE: Digestive Diseases Research Center, conducted the research.

  • KQED.org on March 13 published a story about probiotics and depression, referencing the study and quoting both Drs. Tillisch and Mayer.
  • KUFM-TV, Missoula, Montana, aired a segment on March 9 in which David Perlmutter referenced the study
  • The Daily Progress on March 10 mentioned the study in a story about new research on yogurt bacteria’s role in depression in mice; the story was syndicated March 11 by Richmond.com, March 14 by Life Extension, and two other outlets.

UCLA study suggests air pollution's risk to the heart may stem from the gut
New research from UCLA suggests air pollution, well known to have negative health effects on the lungs and heart, may also cause damage to other systems in the body. Dr. Jonathan Jacobs, MD, PhD, health sciences clinical instructor of medicine, and Joseph Pisegna, MD, chief of gastroenterology and hepatology at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System are part of the research team of this new study.


Even without PPI, oozing peptic ulcers rarely rebleed after endoscopic hemostasis
Reuters Health on Feb. 16 featured a story exploring UCLA research on peptic ulcers and endoscopic therapy, quoting lead study author Dr. Dennis Jensen, professor of medicine in the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases at David Geffen School of Medicine. Consultant 360 picked up the story on Feb. 17.


Are probiotics for you? They are for more than healing your gut
The Daily Meal on Feb. 14 referenced a UCLA study from the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience in a story on how probiotics affect our health.


Your guide to tracking Crohn's symptoms
Jenny Sauk, MD, health sciences assistant clinical professor of medicine in the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, was featured Feb. 6 in an Everyday Health article on how to be aware of Crohn's disease symptoms early and often.


Aria Zand, MD, awarded the ECCO-IOIBD fellowship
The International Organization for the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IOIBD) and the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation (ECCO) offer an exceptional, collaborative ECCO-IOIBD Fellowship. Its aim is to encourage and help individuals in their career and promote innovative scientific exchange in the area of inflammatory bowel Diseases (IBD) between Europe and other continents.

This highly prestigious award has been awarded to Dr. Zand, the division’s current Melvin & Bren Simon GI Quality Improvement Program Scholar, and provides him with the opportunity to collaborate with the Department of Applied Mathematics to research precision medicine for IBD using advanced machine learning. The research will be performed at the UCLA Center for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases under the supervision of Dr. Daniel Hommes.


Dr. Fola May selected as AGA Future Leaders Program class of 2018
The American Gastroenterology Association (AGA) relies heavily on the engagement and expertise of volunteer leaders for the development of strategic initiatives and the execution of programs. As such, there is a need to ensure a healthy pipeline of future leaders. The Future Leaders Program provides a pathway within the organization for selected participants to network, connect with mentors, develop leadership skills and learn about AGA’s governance and operations while advancing their careers and supporting the profession. Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, was one the 18 future leaders selected. This is an impressive achievement as this selection is highly competitive. Congratulations!


Promoting diverse services to a new generation of iundustry newcomers
Dr. Eric Esrailian, co-chief of the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases, was quoted Jan. 24 in Variety story on the future of the Motion Picture Television Fund and its push toward newcomers in the entertainment industry. Esrailian, who is a producer on “The Promise,” commented on medical assistance for people working in the industry. UCLA Health is also mentioned as a partner to the fund. The story was picked up Jan. 25 in Yahoo! Finance.


The diet principles that stand the test of time
Food Matters published an article Jan. 8 by Emeran A. Mayer, MD about the gut microbiome and longstanding dietary principles. Dr. Mayer is director of the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience, and co-director of the CURE: Digestive Diseases Research Center.


UCLA gastroenterology and GI surgery ranked to No. 5 in the nation, according to a U.S.News & World Report survey that reviewed patient-outcomes data, reputation among physicians and other care-related factors. This makes us, once again, Best in the West! Also, UCLA Health's hospitals in Westwood and Santa Monica have been named to U.S.News & World Report's 2016-17 Best Hospitals Honor Roll.