Lin Chang, MD, recipient of 2021 AGA Distinguished Educator Award
Created in 1988, the Distinguished Educator Award recognizes an individual for achievements as an outstanding educator. As director of UCLA’s GI fellowship program — one of the nation’s largest — for the last eight years, Dr. Chang has fostered a culture that has celebrated each fellow’s individual strengths while empowering them to pursue their own academic interests and goals. She has also contributed to education on a national and international level, including developing curriculum for gastroenterologists as a former director of the AGA postgraduate course; organizing multiple regional and national conferences and delivering more than 500 lectures locally, nationally and internationally as a leading expert in the field of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other common brain-gut disorders.
Yvette Taché, PhD, receives ANMS Distinguished Scientist Award for women in neurogastroenterology
Dr. Taché, distinguished research professor in the division, will receive the American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society (ANMS) Distinguished Scientist Award for Women in Neurogastroenterology at the society’s annual meeting in August. The award is given in recognition of Dr. Taché’s landmark discoveries and pioneering work on brain-gut interactions and the role of specific peptides in the underlying mechanisms of stress-related gut dysfunction and vagal regulation of upper gut function. The latest of Dr. Taché’s many career awards carries particular meaning. In 1982, the year Dr. Taché joined the division’s faculty, neurogastroenterology wasn’t even a descriptor she was able to use when submitting her abstract for the American Gastroenterology Association’s annual meeting. But Dr. Taché and her UCLA colleagues helped to change that with groundbreaking research establishing the importance of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) in stress-related gut function alterations, leading to a growing interest in CRF receptor antagonists as potential therapeutic agents for functional diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome. More about the Taché Lab
Vay Liang W. “Bill” Go, MD, recipient of 2021 American Gastroenterology Association (AGA) Distinguished Mentor Award
Dr. Go, co-director, UCLA Agi Hirschberg Center for Pancreatic Diseases and distinguished professor of medicine, has been selected as the recipient of the 2021 AGA Distinguished Mentor Award. Established in 2004, this honor recognizes an individual for achievements as an outstanding mentor. Over the course of a career spanning five decades in research, education, administration and public service in gastroenterology at the Mayo Clinic Rochester, National Institutes of Health and UCLA, Dr. Go has trained and mentored more than 90 fellows, MDs, and PhDs in the fields of gastroenterology and pancreatology. The fact that so many of his mentees went on to prestigious leadership roles throughout the U.S. and abroad — in many cases becoming prolific mentors in their own right — has led colleagues to call Dr. Go the “mentor of mentors.
Wael El-Nachef, MD, PhD, awarded NIH/NIDDK K08 Career Development Award
Dr. El-Nachef, assistant clinical professor of medicine, received a notice of award from the NIH/NIDDK for a K08 Career Development Award. His proposal, "Exploring Neural Crest Stem Cell-Derived Enteric Neurogenesis in Post-Embryonic Development and Regeneration" builds upon his prior work in zebrafish and aims to better understand the contribution of extra-intestinal progenitor cells to the enteric nervous system. Mentors on this award are Harry Pothoulakis, MD, director of basic research for the UCLA Center for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases and director of the UCLA Center for Systems Biomedicine, and Marianne Bronner, PhD, director of the Beckman Institute at Caltech.
Arpan A. Patel, MD, PhD, receives 2021 pilot project grant
Dr. Patel, assistant clinical professor of medicine, received a $20,000 one-year pilot grant from the Southern California Research Center for ALPD and Cirrhosis. The grant, Patient Navigation for Hospitalized Patients with Alcohol-Associated Liver Disease: A Feasibility Pilot Study, involves using implementation science methods to integrate alcohol use disorder brief treatment strategies in patients who are hospitalized. Dr. Patel is working with the UCLA liver transplantation team and addiction psychiatry services on this effort. More on Patel Lab
Eric Esrailian, MD, MPH, and Fola May, MD, PhD, MPhil, Selected Los Angeles' Top Doctors by Los Angeles Business Journal
Each year, Los Angeles Business Journal selects outstanding medical professionals from almost 20 specialties based on their good standing, reputation, thought leadership and success. This year, Drs. Esrailian and May were among the UCLA Health physicians who were honored as being Los Angeles' Top Doctors.
Fola P. May, MD, PhD, Appointed to the Expert Advisory Board of Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology
Dr. May, director of the Melvin and Bren Simon GI Quality Improvement Program and health services researcher in the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, was recently appointed to the expert advisory board of Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology for a two-year term. Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology has been in circulation since 2004 and received a 2019 Impact Factor of 29.848. As a member of the advisory board, Dr. May will serve as a champion for the journal within the medical and scientific communities, provide expert opinions, and contribute journal content ideas.
Fola P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, quoted on concerns over low vaccination rates and disproportionate deaths in black and brown communities
CNN quoted Dr. May, research collaborator at the UCLA Center for Cancer Prevention Control Research and member of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, in a story about disparities in vaccination rates between whites and BIPOC (Black, indigenous, and people of color) communities. Dr. May spoke about the vaccination disparity between these groups among health care workers. NBC News interviewed Dr. May on concerns over low vaccination rates and disproportionate deaths in BIPOC communities. Forbes, Axios, Yahoo! News and The Grio syndicated the NBC News story. Dr. May also commented on the same topic in a Scientific American story. PBS Newshour and Huffington Post syndicated the Scientific American story. Politico also interviewed Dr. May on the concern that patients not connected to a health system may lack the ability to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment.
James Tabibian, MD, PhD, discusses telehealth
Dr. Tabibian, director of endoscopy at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, was an invited blog post for Guidepoint global expert network to provide an overview on the history of telehealth; clarification on similarities and differences among “telehealth,” “telemedicine” and “virtual health;” commentary on COVID-19’s impact on the field and perspectives on areas for growth and development.
Colorectal cancer screenings at home – Stool-based tests could increase access to colorectal cancer screening
Cancer Today interviewed Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, research collaborator at the UCLA Center for Cancer Prevention Control Research and member of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, on the noninvasive options available for colorectal cancer screening.