June 9: It is my pleasure to announce that Dr. Jason Mills received funding from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institute of Health for his study entitled, “Regulation of atrophy-induced progenitor cells in the gastric corpus”. The grant award proposes to study how the stem cells of the stomach lining regenerate after injury. (Funding Amount: $2,664,266; Funding Period: 5 years).
Dr. Prasun Jalal and his team received funding from Ocelot Bio for their OCE-205-201 study. The study is to assess the safety and efficacy of Intravenous OCE-205 in adults diagnosed with cirrhosis with ascites who have developed hepatorenal syndrome-acute kidney injury (HRS-AKI).
(Funding Amount: $400,000; Funding Period: 2 years).
March 24: Drs. Ruben Hernaez , Prasun Jalal and Fasiha Kanwal received an Investigator Initiated Research Grant from the Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals for their project titled, "Quality of care for patients with cirrhosis and acute kidney injury." (Funding amount: $250,000; Funding period: 2 years).
Using comprehensive administrative and clinical databases at the national Veterans Administration, the project will determine adherence to an explicit set of acute kidney injury (AKI) specific quality indicators in an observational cohort of patients with cirrhosis and AKI. The study will also examine key outcomes of care, including length of hospitalization, need for intensive care, cost and survival.
March 3: Dr. Theresa Nguyen received the ACG 2023 Junior Faculty Development Award for her project titled, “A Health Informatics Approach to Reduce Missed Opportunities for Barrett's Esophagus Screening.” (Funding amount: $450,000; Funding period: 3 years).
Feb 28: Dr. Jason Mills, professor, Gastroenterology and Hepatology, received a subaward for an NIH/NIDDK project titled, "Regulation of Atrophy-induced Progenitor Cells in the Gastric Corpus." (Funding amount: $530,124; Funding period: 4 years).
Jan 19: Dr. Ru Chen received funding from the National Institutes of Health for her project titled, “Elucidating the role of gut microbiota in colitis-associated colorectal cancer.” (Funding amount: $649,138, funding period: four years).
Jan 16: Courtney Ford was selected for the 2022 WISH Grant Award for her application entitled, “Annual National Nutrition Month Fruit and Vegetable Challenge.” The Vice Chair Group for Faculty and Staff development assist all Departments of Medicine personnel in minimizing burnout and improving overall wellness. The WISH grants awards $500 annually for winning proposals.
Dec. 27: Dr. Theresa Nguyen received funding from the Digestive Diseases Center 9DDC) 2023 Pilot Feasibility Award for her project titled, "Barret's Esophagus Screening Electronic Trigger Tool." ($50,000 for one year)
Sept. 12: Dr. Maya Balakrishnan 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).
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).
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 two years)
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.
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).
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.
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).
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)
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.
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 two years).
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).
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).
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).
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 one year)
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 four years)
Feb. 3: Dr. Sumimasa Arimura received grant funding from TMC Digestive Diseases Center for his pilot feasibility grant. ($50,000, year: 2022)
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).
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).
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.
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.
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
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.”
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.
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.
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.