The AGA Research Foundation provides over $2 million in funding to promising researchers


The AGA Research Foundation funded 17 awards in the 2020 awards cycle


Credit: American Gastroenterological Association

Bethesda, MD (May 27, 2020) — The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) is excited to announce the 17 researchers selected to receive funding through the AGA Research Foundation Awards Program. The 2020 award year will provide $2.2 million in research funding to support outstanding investigators working on projects that will enhance our understanding of gastrointestinal and liver conditions and ultimately lead to better treatment options for patients with digestive disorders.

“The awardees this year have research projects that span the entire digestive tract. These projects have the potential to transform the field,” said Robert S. Sandler, MD, MPH, AGAF, chair, AGA Research Foundation. “We are excited to continue the foundation’s support of gifted early career researchers and look forward to seeing how their research evolves with this funding.”

Of the 2020 class of awardees, half are women and 12% are from racial or ethnic groups traditionally underrepresented in biomedical research. In line with the AGA Research Foundation’s mission to support the next generation of researchers in digestive diseases, 71% of the 2020 awardees are early career investigators. Approximately one-third are performing clinical research.

The AGA Research Foundation Awards Program recruits, retains and supports the most promising researchers in gastroenterology and hepatology. With funding from the AGA Research Foundation, recipients have protected time for research that will enhance the diagnosis, management, treatment and potentially cures for digestive disorders. AGA remains committed to investing in the future leaders of AGA and the field of gastroenterology.


AGA Research Scholar Award

Andrea Geisz, PhD, Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, Massachusetts

Haifa Mtaweh, MD, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada

Long H. Nguyen, MD, MS, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston

Shuang Wang, PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City

AGA-Gastric Cancer Foundation Ben Feinstein Memorial Research Scholar Award in Gastric Cancer

Samuel J. Klempner, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston

AGA-Takeda Pharmaceuticals Research Scholar Award in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

José Ordovas-Montañes, PhD, Boston Children’s Hospital, Massachusetts


AGA-Caroline Craig Augustyn & Damian Augustyn Award in Digestive Cancer

Peter S. Liang, MD, MPH, New York University Langone Health, New York City

AGA-R. Robert & Sally Funderburg Research Award in Gastric Cancer

Ajay Goel, PhD, Beckman Research Institute, City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Monrovia, California


AGA-Allergan Foundation Pilot Research Award in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Chun-Jun Guo, PhD, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York City

AGA-Allergan Foundation Pilot Research Award in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Jun Wu, PhD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

AGA-Elsevier Pilot Research Award

Hien Dang, PhD, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tirthadipa Pradhan-Sundd, PhD, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

AGA-Pfizer Young Investigator Pilot Research Award in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Mallory Chavannes, MD, MHSc, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, California

Trevor M. Darby, PhD, MS, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia

Michael Howitt, PhD, Stanford University School of Medicine, California

AGA-Rome Foundation Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders Pilot Research Award

Nitin Kumar Ahuja, MD, MS, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

Bindu Chandrasekharan, PhD, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia


The awards program is made possible thanks to generous donors and funders contributing to the AGA Research Foundation. Learn more about the AGA Research Foundation at


View all AGA Research Foundation awards.

Learn more about AGA Research Foundation.

Donate to the AGA Research Foundation.

Contact for media:

Courtney Reed

[email protected]


About the AGA Institute

The American Gastroenterological Association is the trusted voice of the GI community. Founded in 1897, the AGA has grown to more than 16,000 members from around the globe who are involved in all aspects of the science, practice and advancement of gastroenterology. The AGA Institute administers the practice, research and educational programs of the organization.

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About the AGA Research Foundation

The AGA Research Foundation, is the cornerstone of AGA’s effort to expand digestive disease research funding. Since 1984, the AGA, through its foundation, has provided more than $58 million in research grants just over 1,000 scientists. The AGA Research Foundation serves as a bridge to the future of research in gastroenterology and hepatology by providing critical funding to advance the careers of young researchers between the end of training and the establishment of credentials that earn National Institutes of Health grants. Learn more about the AGA Research Foundation or make a contribution at

Media Contact
Courtney Reed
[email protected]

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