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AGA Research Foundation grant furthers digestive cancer research

Bethesda, MD (May 19, 2013) The AGA Research Foundation is honored to announce the first AGA-Caroline Craig Augustyn and Damian Augustyn Award in Digestive Cancer, which will support Andrew D. Rhim, MD, from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, as he furthers his research on the role of Zeb1 in pancreas development, regeneration and cancer progression.

"The AGA Research Foundation is humbled to issue this award in honor of two distinguished clinicians and AGA Legacy Society members," said Nicholas F. LaRusso, MD, AGAF, chair of the AGA Research Foundation. "Dr. Rhim's research shows significant potential to further our understanding of pancreatic cancer, and through his work, the memory of Drs. Caroline Craig Augustyn and Damian Augustyn will live on."

Before passing away in October 2012, at the age of 60, Dr. Damian Augustyn served as chief of the medical staff at California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC), where he previously held the role of chief of gastroenterology and hepatology. Among other contributions, Dr. Damian Augustyn was a member of CPMC's medical executive committee and board of directors, and also served the AGA Institute as treasurer. His beloved wife, Dr. Caroline Augustyn, passed away in May 2012 after a long struggle with breast cancer. She was a CPMC physician dedicated to providing the most attentive care to her patients. This award has been made in their memory.

The AGA Institute Research Awards Panel selected Dr. Rhim as the recipient based on the novelty, feasibility and significance of his research goals. With this prize, Dr. Rhim will receive a $40,000 grant to continue his research in the upcoming year. He intends to dedicate 85 percent of this funding to research activities, with the other 15 percent supporting clinical activities and teaching.

"I am grateful to be the recipient of the AGA-Caroline Craig Augustyn and Damian Augustyn Award in Digestive Cancer," said Dr. Rhim. "This grant will provide the foundation for important studies examining the basic mechanisms of pancreas regeneration and metastasis with potential life-changing impact for patients."


Contact: Rachel Steigerwald
American Gastroenterological Association

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