Department of Medicine

Gastroenterology and Hepatology Research Awards and Grants

Master
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2022

Terms
Frederick

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Dr. Peng Received DxQI Seed Grant Program Funding

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Sept. 22: Dr. Frederick Peng, first year gastroenterology fellow, and his colleagues through the Chief Resident in Quality and Patient Safety program and IQuESt received funding from the DxQI Seed Grant Program for the project titled “Identifying current clinical care processes to reduce delays in colorectal cancer diagnosis.” ($50,000, one year). 

Dr.

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Dr. Maya Balakrishnan Awarded NIH K23 award 

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Sept. 12: Dr. Maya Balakrishnan, has received an NIH K23 award from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities for her project entitled, “Improving Outcomes among Mexican and Central American Patients with Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.” ($863,705 for five years).

Dr.

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Dr. Prasun K Jalal Received NIH funding from National Cancer Institute

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Sept. 9: Dr. Prasun K Jalal received NIH funding from the National Cancer Institute for the project titled, “Early Detection of Hepatocellular Carcinoma.” The objective of this collaborative project is to develop an integrated blood-based and liver imaging model to optimize early HCC detection in high-risk patients. (Funding amount: $360,000. Funding period: 5 years).

Dr.

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Dr. Prasun K Jalal Awarded NIH R21 grant

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Aug. 26: Dr. Prasun K Jalal was awarded a NIH R21 grant for his project titled ‘’Evaluation of oral administration of PRIM-DJ2727 capsule containing microbiota suspension in patients with severe alcoholic hepatitis.’’ ($420,000 for 2 years) 
 

Fasiha

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Dr. Fasiha Kanwal Received Early Detection Research Network National Cancer Institute Award

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Aug. 9: Dr. Fasiha Kanwal is the recipient of a five-year Early Detection Research Network National Cancer Institute award titled “Clinical Validation Center for Hepatocellular Carcinoma (CVC-HCC).” The CVC-HCC will leverage existing infrastructure across four health systems to create two novel resources including a biorepository with both blood and imaging data from patients, with and without HCC, representing contemporary etiologies of liver disease for Phase I-II biomarker studies and a prospective cohort of patients with indeterminate liver nodules to evaluate HCC risk stratification and early detection biomarkers to conduct Phase III biomarker studies using a prospective- specimen-collection, retrospective-blinded-evaluation (PRoBE) design. 

Dr.

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Dr. Hashem El-Serag Awarded NIH P01 grant

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July 12: Dr. Hashem El-Serag was awarded a NIH P01 grant for his project, "Prevention of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Related to Metabolic Syndrome," ($1,098,254 for five years). 

Drs.

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Drs. RJ Sealock and Jordan Sparkman Received Grant to Provide GI Genius Artificial Intelligence Modules

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June 24: Dr. RJ Sealock and Dr. Jordan Sparkman have received a combined grant from the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, Medtronic, and Amazon Web Services to provide three GI Genius Artificial Intelligence Modules which are designed to enhance the detection of neoplastic lesions during colonoscopy.

Hyunseok

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Dr. Hyunseok Kim Received 2022 Joseph Bloomer Advanced/Transplant Hepatology Award

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June 24: Dr. Hyunseok Kim is selected to receive the 2022 Joseph Bloomer Advanced/Transplant Hepatology Award by American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases Foundation. The Joseph Bloomer Advanced/Transplant Hepatology Award provides $4,000 in travel funds to fourth year Transplant Hepatology fellows or third year GI/Hepatology dual certification program fellows in accredited U.S., Canadian, or Mexican programs to attend The Liver Meeting® and one additional educational meeting related to their hepatology training. Awardees will also receive enhanced professional development opportunities to further their careers, including participation as an ex officio member of an AASLD/AASLD Foundation Committee or a SIG Steering Committee and opportunity to cooperatively present an AASLD webinar on a clinical topic with mentorship from senior AASLD/AASLD Foundation leadership. 

Natalia

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Dr. Natalia Khalaf Received Grant from Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

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June 20: Dr. Natalia Khalaf, assistant professor, Gastroenterology and Hepatology, has received grant funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s Diagnostic Excellence Initiative for her project entitled, “Measuring Missed Opportunities in the Diagnosis of Gastrointestinal Cancers.” ($500,000 for 18 months). 

Yongji

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Dr. Yongji Zeng Awarded National Cancer Center Postdoctoral Fellowship

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April 22: Dr. Yongji Zeng was awarded the National Cancer Center postdoctoral fellowship for his study entitled, “The role of regulation of the Hippo Pathway in paligenosis.” ($50,000, years: 2022-2023)
 

Mahliyah

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Mahliyah (Maple) Adkins-Threats Receives Best Poster Award

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June 10: Mahliyah (Maple) Adkins-Threats, Graduate Student, Medicine-Gastroenterology, was selected as a recipient of a Best Poster award at Intestinal Stem Cell - Niche Interactions in Health and Disease Fusion Conference. 

Theresa

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Dr. Theresa Nguyen Received Faculty Development Award

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April 22: Dr. Theresa Nguyen was awarded the inaugural Department of Medicine Physician-Scientist/Investigator Faculty Development Award for the study entitled, “An Electronic Trigger Tool to Detect Missed Opportunities for Barrett's Esophagus Screening." ($207,906 for 2 years).
 

Fasiha

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Dr. Fasiha Kanwal Received I-VCALD Grant

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April 20: Dr. Fasiha Kanwal has been awarded a VA Health Services Research & Development Merit Review (Investigator Initiated Research, IIR) grant titled, "Integrating Veteran-Centered Care for Advanced Liver Disease." ($1,513,109 for four years).

Mimi

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Dr. Mimi Tan Received NIH K23 Award

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April 19: Dr. Mimi Tan was awarded an NIH K23 award from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) for her project titled, "Development and Validation of an Automated Algorithm for Real-time Detection of Neoplasia in Barrett's Esophagus using a Low-cost, Portable Microendoscope". ($993,595 for five years).

Dr.

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Dr. Hashem El-Serag Received CPRIT Funding Award

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Feb.18: Dr. Hashem El-Serag has received funding from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) award for his project entitled, “Novel Metabolics and Radiomics for Predicting HCC Risk.” ($1,995,127 for four years). 

Dr.

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Dr. Maya Balakrishnan Received Award

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Feb. 18: Dr. Maya Balakrishnan receives the American College of Gastroenterology Health Equity Research Award for her project, "Improving outcomes among Mexican and Central American Patients with NAFLD." ($47,033 for 1 year) 

Dr.

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Dr. Hashem El-Serag Received CPRIT Funding

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Feb. 16: Dr. Hashem El-Serag received funding from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) award for his project, "Novel Metabolomics and Radiomics for Predicting HCC Risk." ($1,995,127 for 4 years)

Dr.

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Dr. Sumimasa Arimura Received TMC-DDC Funding

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Feb. 3: Dr. Sumimasa Arimura received grant funding from TMC Digestive Diseases Center for his pilot feasibility grant. ($50,000, year: 2022)

Dr.

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Dr. Charles Cho Received DoD CDMRP Funding

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Jan. 3: Dr. Charles Cho received grant funding from the Department of Defense office of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs for his project entitled, “The Role of Key Paligenosis Gene IFRD1 in Gastric Carcinogenesis.” ($399,999, years: 2022-2025).

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2021

Terms
Natalia

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Dr. Natalia Khalaf Received SWIFT Program Award

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Dec. 10: Dr. Natalia Khalaf has received the SWIFT program awardee at IQuESt for this fiscal year. (Funding amount: $50,000 . Funding period: 1 year).

Natalia

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Dr. Natalia Khalaf Received HSR&D Grant Funding

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Oct. 19: Dr. Natalia Khalaf has received grant funding from the VA Health Services Research & Development Program for her Career Development Award project entitled, “Health informatics approaches to reduce missed opportunities in diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.” (Funding amount: $1.1million. Funding period: five years.)

The goal of this project is to: identify what signals of pancreatic cancer and/or delays in diagnostic evaluation are missed in clinical practice; develop electronic trigger tools to identify these signals automatically from EHR data; and assess acceptability and feasibility necessary for implementing these strategies into routine clinical practice in future work. The central long-term goal of this foundational project is to improve the timing of pancreatic cancer diagnosis within the VA healthcare system.

Jason

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Dr. Jason Mills Received 2022 Cellular & Molecular Gastroenterology Section Research Mentor Award

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Oct. 1: Dr. Jason Mills, professor, Gastroenterology and Hepatology, is the recipient of the 2022 Cellular & Molecular Gastroenterology Section Research Mentor Award, which is issued by the American Gastroenterological Association Institute Council to recognize achievements as an outstanding mentor in a specific area of research.

Ru

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Dr. Ru Chen’s Pilot Award Selected for Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center Grant

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Oct. 1: Dr. Ru Chen’s pilot award entitled, “Role of mucosa-adherent microbiota in colitis-associated colorectal cancer” was selected for funding by the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center (DLDCCC) Grant Review Committee. Funding Amount: $50,000 Funding Period: 1 year

The goal of this pilot project is to study if gut microbiota contribute to the development of IBD associated colorectal cancer

Mohamed

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Dr. Mohamed Othman Received AbbVie Sponsorship

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Sept. 13: Dr. Mohamed Othman recently received sponsorship from AbbVie on his study M21-432 entitled, “A Phase 4 Study to Assess Symptoms of Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency in Subjects with Cystic Fibrosis or Chronic Pancreatitis treated with Creon® (Pancrelipase) with an Alternate Source of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient.”

Jason

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Dr. Jason Hou Received PCORI Grant Funding

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July 28: Dr. Jason Hou has received grant funding from PCORI for his project entitled, “Treat-to-Target of Endoscopic Remission in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases in Symptomatic Remission: A Pragmatic Randomized Controlled Trial.” (co-PIs, Jason Hou and Siddharth Singh. Funding amount. $6,3 million. Funding period: 5 years).

The goal of this project is to compare the effectiveness and safety of a strategy of switching to an alternative treatment to treat to a target of endoscopic remission vs. continuing index treatment in IBD patients who are in symptomatic remission using a 104-week pragmatic, open-label, randomized clinical trial within a learning health system conceptual framework.

Dr.

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Dr. Ayse Mindikoglu Received Roderick D. MacDonald Research Fund Grant

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April 9: Dr. Ayse Mindikoglu, associate professor of gastroenterology and hepatology, received a $50,000, one-year grant from the Roderick D. MacDonald Research Fund. This will fund research on the effect of human plasma collected from subjects who fasted from dawn to sunset for four weeks on preventing hepatocellular carcinoma growth in a mouse model.

Fasiha

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Dr. Fasiha Kanwal Received National Cancer Institute Funding

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March 18: Dr. Fasiha Kanwal has received R01 funding from the National Cancer Institute (NIC) for her study entitled, “Multi-level Evaluation of Racial/ethnic Disparities in Liver Disease Outcomes" (MPI: Fasiha Kanwal, Amit Singal; total funding: $2.3 million; duration five years). 

The goal of this study is to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of multilevel factors hypothesized to play important roles in causing racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in three key measures of cirrhosis prognosis: Hepatic decompensation, including HCC; Liver-related hospitalization; Overall survival. 

Drs. El-Serag, Kramer, Badr, White and Oluyomi are co-investigators on this project.

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2020

Terms
Dr.

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Dr. Ayse Mindikoglu and Team Received MacDonald Research Fund Grant

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Dec. 7: Dr. Ayse Mindikoglu and her team have received $31,000 grant funding by the MacDonald Research Fund. The project awarded is entitled, “The Effect of Four-Week Intermittent Fasting from Dawn to Sunset on Leukocyte Proteome in Subjects with Metabolic Syndrome.” 
 
The proteomic profiling of leukocytes induced by 4-week intermittent fasting from dawn to sunset (dusk) will improve our understanding of molecular mechanisms of leukocyte function in inflammation and tumor surveillance during fasting that can result in the development of new cancer drugs, vaccines, and implementation of intermittent fasting from dawn to sunset as an adjunct treatment to chemotherapy
 

Dr.

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Dr. Natalia Khalaf Received TMC Digestive Diseases Center Funding

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Dec. 7: Dr. Natalia Khalaf has received $38,000 grant funding from TMC Digestive Diseases Center for her Pilot Project entitled, “Predicting Risk of Long-term Complications of Acute Pancreatitis in a U.S. Veteran Population.” The aim of the project is to develop accurate, automated prediction models for risk of recurrent acute pancreatitis, chronic pancreatitis, and pancreatic cancer among acute pancreatitis patients. 

fasiha-kanwal/

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Dr. Fasiha Kanwal Received $2 million CPRIT Grant

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Aug. 24: Dr. Fasiha Kanwal has received over $2 million grant funding from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas for her study entitled, “Reducing Disparities in the Risk of Hepatocellular Cancer.”

The primary objective of this study is to identify the multi-level factors that explain racial and ethnic disparities in HCC risk/incidence and tumor stage at diagnosis, as well as a set of potentially actionable (identifiable, preventable or treatable) determinants of HCC disparities in Texas. Drs. El-Serag, Amos, White, and Oluyomi are co-investigators.

Dr.

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Dr. Mimi Chang Tan Received Caroline Weiss Law Fund

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July 1: Mimi Chang Tan, M.D., M.P.H, received a grant from the Caroline Weiss Law Fund for Research in Molecular Medicine for her work to create an automated software algorithm for the real-time prediction of neoplasia in Barrett's Esophagus imaging with confocal high-resolution microendoscopy.