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Prestigious recognition award recipients announced by AGA

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

"The individuals chosen as recipients of AGA's prestigious recognition awards were nominated by their colleagues, demonstrating the highest level of esteem and confidence from their peers," said Gail A. Hecht, MD, MS, AGAF, AGA Institute president. "We are honored to have such illustrious gastroenterologists as members of our organization and believe these individuals are just a few of the distinguished and talented members who help make AGA such an accomplished organization."

The AGA congratulates the 2010 awardees and thanks them for their exemplary service to the field of gastroenterology.

Julius Friedenwald Medal

AGA's highest honor is awarded to Donald O. Castell, MD, AGAF, professor of medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston. The Julius Friedenwald Medal, presented annually since 1941, recognizes a physician for lifelong contributions to the field of gastroenterology. Dr. Castell has contributed significantly to the AGA throughout his career, including as president of the organization in 1998, and through his creation of the June & Donald O. Castell, MD Esophageal Clinical Research Award, which supports junior faculty investigators who have demonstrated high potential to develop independent, productive research careers in esophageal disease.

Distinguished Achievement Award

The AGA awards the 2010 Distinguished Achievement Award to Mary K. Estes, PhD, professor of molecular virology and microbiology and medicine, gastroenterology, at Baylor College of Medicine and founding director of the Texas Medical Center Digestive Diseases Center. This award honors an individual who has made a major specific accomplishment in clinical or basic research in gastroenterology or an allied field that advances gastroenterology. Dr. Estes, who has made significant contributions to advancing knowledge of enteric viral infections, is the first woman to be selected for the Distinguished Achievement Award since its creation in 1968.

Distinguished Mentor Award

The AGA honors Tadataka Yamada, MD, AGAF, president of the Global Health Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with its Distinguished Mentor Award, which recognizes an individual for his or her achievements as an outstanding mentor over a lifelong career. Dr. Yamada has been an active member of the AGA, including serving as president in 1996 and being awarded the Friedenwald Medal in 2003.

Distinguished Educator Award

The AGA presents its Distinguished Educator Award to Lawrence S. Friedman, MD, AGAF, for his achievements as an outstanding educator over a lifelong career. Dr. Friedman is the chair of the department of medicine at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Newton, MA, and assistant chief of medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Tufts University School of Medicine.

Research Service Award

The AGA Research Service Award for 2010 is presented to Michael (Ken) May, PhD. This award recognizes an individual who has significantly advanced gastroenterological science and research. Dr. May is the director of the GI Transport and Absorption, the Nutrient Metabolism and the GI Neuroendocrinology Programs in the Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, NIDDK.

Distinguished Clinician Awards

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

David A. Katzka, MD, is head of the Esophageal Interest Group in the Miles and Shirley Fitterman Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Mayo Clinic and a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN.

James F. Martin, MD, AGAF, is the chief of the department of medicine at Kaiser Permanente, San Rafael Medical Center, where he previously served as chief of gastroenterology.

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 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 Selection Committee.


Contact: Alissa J. Cruz
American Gastroenterological Association

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