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.
Jill Hoffman, PhD, Receives AGA-Takeda Pharmaceuticals Research Scholar Award in IBD
Dr. Hoffman, Center for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, received the AGA-Takeda Pharmaceuticals Research Scholar Award in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, which is a three-year career development award that totals $270,000. The objective of the award is to support young gastroenterologists working toward independent and productive research careers in IBD by ensuring that a major portion of their time is protected for research. The award will support young faculty (not fellows) who have demonstrated exceptional promise and have some record of accomplishment in research. The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) and the AGA Research Foundation awarded 41 investigators with more than $2 million in research funding in the 2018 award year. The awards programs are made possible thanks to generous donors and funders contributing to the AGA Research Foundation. Learn more about the award recipients >
Homeless Veterans with HCV Diagnosed, Treated via PCP
Healio reported on UCLA research presented at DDW 2018 on a project to provide hepatitis C treatment to homeless Veterans. Omar Bakr, MD, is a resident in the UCLA IM training program and part of the May Laboratory team.
Gut Baceria Forecast Whether IBS Patients Will Benefit from Therapy
Healio reported on UCLA research presented at DDW 2018 finding that certain bacteria in the gut microbiome helped predict whether cognitive behavioral therapy could reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Dr. Jonathan Jacobs, an assistant professor in the UCLA Vatche & Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases, was quoted.
Noam Jacob, MD Recognized with Abstract of Distinction at Digestive Disease Week
Dr. Jacob, STAR fellow, received recognition for his scientific accomplishment as an early career investigator for his abstract presentation titled, “Direct signaling of TL1A-DR3 on fibroblasts induces intestinal fibrosis in vivo.” The abstract was then selected as an oral presentation.
Exercise Can Help Those Living with IBD
David Padua, MD, PhD, was quoted in a Healthline article discussing the benefits of exercise for GI patients. Although those with GI conditions might find it difficult to exercise regularly, some research has shown that there’s a connection between higher levels of activity and fewer symptoms, especially with Crohn’s disease.
IBD Research Expands to Include Brain-Gut-Microbiome
The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America Inc. awarded Emeran A. Mayer, MD, director of the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience (CNSR), a three-year grant, with an annual budget of $300,000, to study “brain-gut-microbiome signatures of stress-related IBD symptom flares.” This is the first collaborative effort between Jonathan Jacobs, MD, PhD, Jenny Sauk, MD and CNSR focusing on IBD patients.
Cancer Research Collaboration Highlighted in Nutrition Frontiers
Nutrition Frontiers, a highly followed newsletter from the Nutritional Science Research Group (NSRG), Division of Cancer Prevention (DCP), National Cancer Institute, highlighted in their “What’s New in Basic Science” section a collaborative effort that includes faculty from our division, CURE: DDRC and UCLA surgery. This research update showed high-fat-high-calorie diet induced obesity dramatically increases pancreatic cancer in mice. Learn more >
Drs. Folasade P. May, Christine Yu and Jonathan Kaunitz Published in American Journal of Cancer Research
The article, “High Quality of Cancer Care in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)” emphasizes that two clear facts emerged in a recent analysis of cancer care quality across health care settings and insurance types: First, the VA excels in diagnosing cancer early. Second, VA patients are more likely than patients with other types of insurance to receive cancer treatments according to current guidelines supported by the most recent scientific research. The paper examines cancer care screening, treatment, and outcomes for 700,000 cases of breast, colon, rectal, lung, and prostate cancer. For colon cancer specifically, 48 percent of VA patients were diagnosed at an early stage — significantly higher than for individuals with private insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid. Folasade P May, Christine Yu, Jonathan Kaunitz, High Quality of Cancer Care in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Am J Cancer Res. 2018 Apr 1;8(4):761-762. eCollection 2018. Editorial >
Gut Bacteria Play Critical Role in Anti-Seizure Effects of Ketogenic Diet
LiveScience, FierceBiotech, New Atlas, ScienceDaily, Tech Times, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, BioTecNika, Slash Gear, Chemical & Engineering News, Laboratory Equipment, Scienmag and MyScience.org covered a UCLA study identifying specific gut bacteria that play an essential role in the anti-seizure effects of the high-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet. Elaine Hsiao, an assistant professor of medicine in the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases, is the study’s senior author.
Your Body Has a 'Second Brain,' and Here's How it Keeps Your Butt Smart, Study Says
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 a McClatchy News story about the enteric nervous system in humans. The story appeared in the Sacramento Bee, the Modesto Bee, the Charlotte Observer, the Miami Herald, the Fresno Bee and 21 other publications.
4 Easy Ways to Boost Your Gut Bacteria (And Why You'd Even Want to In the First Place)
Prevention, in a story about promoting gut health, referenced a UCLA study on probiotics in yogurt and their impact on gut bacteria.
Can Changes to Our Gut Bacteria Change Our Behavior?
In a BBC Radio 4 series called The Second Genome, Kirsten Tillisch, MD discussed UCLA’s research into how the microbiome is implicated in the expression of mood, emotion and behavior. Dr. Tillisch, an associate professor of medicine in the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases, appears in the “Gateway to the Mind” episode from 19:00-22:14. She also is quoted in a BBC News online article on the same topic, which was syndicated in Huffington Post Mexico.
Harry Pothoulakis, MD Receives 2018 Section Research Mentor Award from the American Gastroenterological Association
The AGA Institute Council Section Research Mentor Award acknowledges AGA members for their achievements as outstanding mentors in a specific area of research. Dr. Pothoulakis was acknowledged for his mentorship in the cellular and molecular gastroenterology section during Digestive Disease Week® (DDW) 2018. Congratulations! For more information and to view additional recipients >
Lin Chang, MD, Selected for American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Governing Board
Dr. Chang, vice chief of the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases, has been selected as the Clinical Research Councilor for the AGA Institute Governing Board. The AGA Institute Governing Board is responsible for overseeing the organization’s mission, strategic plan, programs and services. She will be starting her three-year term in June 2018.
Arpan A. Patel, MD Awarded the AASLD Foundation Advanced/Transplant Hepatology Award
The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases Foundation (AASLD Foundation) selected Dr. Patel as the recipient of the 2018 Advanced/Transplant Hepatology Award. This two-year, $30,000 award is intended to encourage the academic careers of exceptional hepatology trainees. Congratulations!
David Padua, MD, PhD, Quoted – Biosimilar Agent Encouraging in IBD Trial - Gastroenterology and Endoscopy News
A biosimilar of infliximab appeared to perform as well as the originator drug for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, according to interim results from an ongoing multicenter, randomized, controlled, double-blind trial in the Netherlands. “We have a lot of patients on anti–tumor necrosis factor- therapies that are doing well,” said David Padua, MD, PhD, the associate director of GI fellowship program. “If, for insurance reasons or other reasons, they switch over to a biosimilar, as a clinician I’d be concerned whether that drug is going to work as effectively. And this study helps to allay some of those fears, and gives clinicians more confidence that they’re able to actually give the biosimilar without significant adverse effects to their patient care.” Full article >
20 Foods That Turn Back Your Metabolic Clock
An Eat This, Not That! story on nutrition and the metabolic clock referenced UCLA research on the impact of probiotics in yogurt on brain health. Kirsten Tillisch, MD, associate professor of medicine in the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases, led the research. MSN also published the story.
Early-stage HCV Treatment Saves Money, Improves QOL
Sammy Saab, MD, professor of medicine and surgery and head of outcomes research in hepatology, was quoted in Healio: HCV Next on a study finding that early-stage hepatitis C treatment saves money and improves quality of life.
Productivity is Low in February, Here are 5 Simple Tips to Boost It
Dr. Kirsten Tillisch, an associate professor of medicine in the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases, discussed her research about the impact of probiotics on brain response in a CNBC story about boosting productivity. The story also ran on Yahoo! Finance.
What's the Mind-Gut Connection and How Did It Evolve?
Psychiatric Times 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, in a podcast about the connection between the mind and the gut.
David Padua, MD, PhD Receives Kenneth Rainin Foundation Award - January 2018
The Kenneth Rainin Foundation announced today that it has awarded $1.7 million in grants through its Synergy Awards program. Funding will support teams of researchers who are pursuing collaborative projects aimed at improving the prediction and prevention of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). “The Rainin Foundation focuses its grants on impacting patient lives, while still maintaining an eye toward discovery science,” said Laura Wilson, PhD, director of Health Strategy and Ventures for the Rainin Foundation. “We want to fund promising ideas from both IBD research and unrelated fields that have the potential to lead to new patient treatments.” The Synergy Awards encourage investigators with differing areas of expertise to pool their talents and resources toward a research goal that would not be possible if they worked independently.
Dr. Padua and Karka Kirkegaard, Phd, Stanford University, were awarded $200,000 for IFNG-AS1 (NEST) long noncoding RNA as a regular of inflammation in IBD patients.
“As an early stage investigator, this type of funding opportunity is critical to me developing a successful scientific career,” said David Padua, MD, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles. “I am looking forward to collaborating with top notch researchers to combine our basic science and clinical translational research toward new discoveries in IBD.” More on the Kenneth Rainin Foundation >
UCLA GI Physicians Named 2018 Southern CA Super Doctors
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. Physicians are asked to consider the following question: "If you needed medical care in one of the following specialties, which doctor would you choose?"
Learn more about the selection process >
Top, left-right: Drs. Michael Albertson, Peter Anton, Lin Chang, Hartley Cohen, Daniel Cole, Jeffrey L. Conklin, Francisco Durazo
Middle, left-right: Drs. Eric Ersrailian, Viktor E. Eysselein, Gary Gitnick
Bottom, left-right: Drs. Steven-Huy Han, Dennis Jensen, Rome Jutabha, Thomas Kovacs, Emeran E. Mayer, Sammy Saab and Kirsten Tillisch
UCLA GI Physicians Named 2018 Southern CA Rising Stars
The selection process for Rising Stars and for Super Doctors are the same except: 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.
Learn more about the selection process >
Top, left to right: Drs. Gina Choi, Lynn Shapiro Connolly, Kevin Ghassemi
Bottom, left to right: Drs. Wendy Ho, Hamed Nayeb Hashemi and Alireza Sedarat
7 Types of Abdominal Pain You Shouldn't Ignore
In a Today.com story about colitis, Dr. Daniel Hollander explained the types of stomach pains and symptoms that could indicate a serious medical issue. The story was syndicated on MSN. Dr. Hollander is an inflammatory bowel disease specialist and a professor emeritus in the department of medicine.
Scientists are Zeroing in on Where Intuition Comes From, Biologically
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 BigThink about the interactions between the gut and the brain in a story about the root of intuition.
Research Says Exercise Also Improves Your Gut Bacteria
Healthline published an article about a study examining the impact of exercise on gut bacteria. The article featured the insights 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.
An Integrative Approach for IBS Relief
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, was quote in an Experience Life story on IBS relief and the gut-brain process.