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AGA announces prestigious awards recognition recipients

San Diego, CA (May 21, 2012) Each year, the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) honors several individuals for their outstanding contributions and achievements in gastroenterology through its prestigious recognition awards.

"AGA recognition award recipients are individuals who have been nominated by their peers for achieving the highest level of esteem and confidence from their colleagues. These individuals are the leaders of our field and have made truly remarkable contributions to the AGA and society," said C. Richard Boland, MD, AGAF, president of the AGA Institute. "AGA is comprised of many distinguished and talented individuals who help make AGA an accomplished organization by their tremendous contributions to the field of gastroenterology."

The AGA congratulates the 2012 awardees and thanks them for their exemplary service to the field of gastroenterology.

Julius Friedenwald Medal

AGA's highest honor is awarded posthumously to Emmet B. Keeffe, MD, AGAF. The Julius Friedenwald Medal, presented annually since 1941, recognizes a physician for lifelong contributions to the field of gastroenterology. In giving this award to Dr. Keeffe, the AGA offers our thanks for his contributions to society and also to AGA. After years of volunteering for AGA in various capacities, he was our president in 2004 and ushered in an era of increased focus on strategic planning.

Emmet's brilliant career bridged general and transplant hepatology. He made significant contributions to our knowledge of antiviral therapy of chronic hepatitis, the use of hepatitis vaccines and liver transplant selection criteria and outcomes. He was a renaissance scholar in that his earlier work addressed not only basic mechanistic questions, but also studies in general gastroenterology and endoscopy.

AGA Institute gratefully acknowledges AstraZeneca for making this award possible through a restricted grant.

William Beaumont Prize in Gastroenterology

The Beaumont Prize recognizes a member's major contribution that has significantly advanced gastroenterological basic or clinical research. The AGA is proud to be awarding this honor to two deserving individuals.

Richard S. Blumberg, MD, AGAF, of Brigham and Women's Hospital, is one of the leading basic research investigators in mucosal immunology and inflammatory bowel disease. His work broke major ground in both human and fundamental immunology. In all of his roles, Dr. Blumberg distinguishes himself by exercising the highest standards of scientific inquiry and integrity, a temperate and inclusive leadership, and an innovative and passionate commitment to mentorship and career development of trainees and colleagues.

The work of Hans Clevers, MD, PhD, of the Hubrecht Institute in the Netherlands, extends beyond high impact and has led to paradigm shifts in intestinal epithelial biology, stem cell biology, regenerative medicine and colon cancer genetics. He is a very collegial and ethical individual who has earned the respect of his co-workers and peers throughout the world.

AGA Institute gratefully acknowledges AstraZeneca for making this award possible through a restricted grant.

Distinguished Educator Award

The AGA presents its Distinguished Educator Award to John Del Valle, MD, AGAF, for his achievements as an outstanding educator over a lifelong career. In a world in which research is often valued over education, Dr. Del Valle, of the University of Michigan, made a decision to leverage the skills and respect he earned as a successful researcher to create a world-class training program that has shaped countless careers.

Distinguished Mentor Award

The AGA honors Michael Camilleri, MD, AGAF, with its Distinguished Mentor Award, which recognizes an individual for his or her achievements as an outstanding mentor over a lifelong career. Dr. Camilleri always devotes time to teaching and supporting his research fellows at the Mayo Clinic by sharing his brilliant thoughts, his great experience and his contagious excitement for science. He is deeply invested in the development of every scholar and succeeds in bringing out the best in everyone all with great kindness and a good sense of humor.

Distinguished Clinician Awards

The Distinguished Clinician Award acknowledges exemplary leadership in the practice of gastroenterology. The AGA is proud to be awarding this honor to two deserving individuals.

John I. Allen, MD, MBA, AGAF, of Minnesota Gastroenterology, is a true believer in evidence-based medicine. Thanks to his leadership, the AGA has proactively developed a roadmap to educate our clinicians on the steps they can take to address the changes in healthcare. There are few people in the U.S. who better understand insurance coverage and quality issues in gastroenterology.

Timothy T. Nostrant, MD, AGAF, of the University of Michigan, is known as an outstanding diagnostician, skillful endoscopist and compassionate teacher who demonstrates innovation and leadership in teaching and is considered the "go-to" consultant by his peers. His clinical expertise and contagious enthusiasm have made him an invaluable educator for medical students, residents, GI fellows and faculty colleagues.

The awardees, announced during Digestive Disease Week (DDW), are nominated by their peers and undergo a rigorous review process. Nominations can be made by the AGA Institute Governing Board, council section chairs, committee chairs, task force chairs and membership-at-large; deans of U.S. medical schools and academic-based chiefs of medicine; chiefs of surgery and pediatrics; GI division chiefs and training directors of major academic institutions; and trainee members of the AGA. Applications are reviewed by the AGA Research Policy Committee and confirmed by the AGA Selection Committee.

Contact: Alissa Cruz
American Gastroenterological Association

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