Physician-scientist selected by gastroenterological association to promote diversity


Dr. Fola May, assistant professor-in-residence of medicine in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and scientist in the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, was selected as a 2019–2020 scholar by the American Gastroenterological Association for its new program to help promote diversity in the field of gastroenterology.

The FORWARD Program, which stands for Fostering Opportunities Resulting in Workforce and Research Diversity, is a new initiative funded by National Institutes of Health that is designed to match young scholars with top gastrointestinal investigators to help develop their leadership skills and strengthen their research and management skills.

The inaugural class of scholars includes 10 promising underrepresented minority physician-scientists who are early in their career and who are helping shape the future for academic medicine.

May, the director of quality improvement in gastroenterology for UCLA Health, conducts research in racial and ethnic disparities in colorectal cancer screening. She is passionate about improving colorectal cancer awareness and screening in underserved populations for whom screening rates are lowest. Her health services research focuses on health disparities and cancer prevention/control at UCLA Health, in federally qualified health centers and in the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System.