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Program Speakers



Justin Brandler, MD

Gastroenterology Fellow
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI

Living your BEST IBS Life: Practical Tools to Beat the Battle with your Bowels

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Justin Brandler, MD is a gastroenterology fellow at the University of Michigan. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, he attended medical school at the University of Washington in Seattle. He trained at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota for both internal medicine residency and a research fellowship. He is also a husband and father to two boys, 3-year-old, Isaac, and 4-month-old, Joseph.

His clinical and research interests surround GI diseases associated with neurogastroenterology and motility issues. Many of these diseases are commonly referred to as “functional” GI diseases, and more recently are termed “disorders of brain gut interaction.” His passion for this field comes from both personal and professional experiences of witnessing the impact these conditions can have on a patient’s quality of life. While at times this can be disheartening for both patients and providers, he enjoys working with his patients to achieve their health goals through research-based, creative, and practical management solutions.

Dr. Brandler is also very passionate about education, and was selected for the "Outstanding Resident Teacher Award." Using a blend of science and humor, he enjoyed integrating evidence-based educational principles to present stimulating content and promote long term retention and application.



Joan Chen, MD MS

Assistant Professor
Internal Medicine
Division of Gastroenterology
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI

Burning Questions on Upper Gastrointestinal (GI) Symptoms

Dr. Joan Chen, MD MS is an assistant professor of Internal Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Michigan Medicine. After her general gastrointestinal (GI) fellowship at Northwestern University, she completed an additional year of advanced esophageal fellowship at Northwestern. She completed a master’s degree in clinical investigation.

Dr. Chen has been at Michigan Medicine for seven years, where she is one of the esophageal specialists. Her clinical and research interests include gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), specifically the population that are refractory to standard therapy, esophageal motility disorders, and other swallowing disorders including eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). She is the director of the esophageal motility lab.



Shanti Eswaran MD

Associate Professor
Internal Medicine
Division of Gastroenterology
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI

Gut Matters 101: How the gut works; From top to bottom

A native of California, Dr. Shanti Eswaran completed both her medical degree and internal medicine residency at the University of Michigan. She went on to pursue her fellowship in gastroenterology at Columbia University Medical Center. She served on the faculty at Northwestern University in Chicago and was thrilled to return to Ann Arbor as faculty in 2009.

She has a research interest in the role of diet and food in functional bowel diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome. Dr. Eswaran’s research interests are complemented by her clinical interests in celiac disease and functional GI diseases. She has been named a Rome Foundation Fellow, serves on several national society committees, and has several grants supporting her research. She has written numerous publications pertaining to the role of diet and GI symptoms, and is excited to be a part of this conference.



Emily Haller, MS, RDN

Michigan Medicine Gastroenterology Clinic - Taubman GI Clinic
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI

Sugars: Friend or Foe?

Emily Haller, MS, RDN is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and works with the Division of Gastroenterology at Michigan Medicine where she provides individualized nutrition counseling and medical nutrition therapy to patients with a variety of gastrointestinal (GI) disorders including Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE), Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), Gastroparesis, and Celiac Disease.

In addition to digestive health, she specializes in plant-based nutrition/diets. Emily helps individuals modify their diet and lifestyle to reduce GI symptoms, achieve a nutritionally balanced diet to support well-being, and meet various health goals.

You can find her @eahaller on Instagram and @ea_haller on Twitter where she posts nutrition and health information.

For more on GI Nutrition services at Michigan Medicine:



Kimberly Harer, MD ScM

Clinical Lecturer
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI

Constipation: symptoms, evaluation, causes, and treatment

Kimberly Harer, MD ScM earned her medical degree from the Sanford School of Medicine at The University of South Dakota and then completed her internal medicine residency at Mayo
Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. She subsequently completed a clinical and research
Gastroenterology Fellowship at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland with simultaneous enrollment in the Graduate Training Program in Clinical Investigation at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

She currently specializes in neurogastroenterology and motility at the University of Michigan, where she enjoys her work in both clinical medicine and translational research. Dr. Harer has been awarded the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health GTPCI Clinical Research Award, the American College of Gastroenterology Junior Faculty Development Award, and a NIH T32 training grant.



Amanda Lynett, RDN

Michigan Medicine Gastroenterology Clinic - Taubman GI Clinic
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI

Gut Matters 102: How the gut works in relation to food, nutrition basics

Amanda Lynett is an outpatient dietitian with the Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology at Michigan Medicine focusing on gastrointestinal (GI) health using a “food as medicine” approach. She is co-director for an annual GI nutrition training program for Registered Dietitians called FOOD: The Main Course to Digestive Health.

Amanda obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics from Michigan State University and completed her dietetic internship at Delta State University. She is currently completing her Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics through Central Michigan University. She previously worked inpatient at Michigan Medicine providing medical nutrition therapy to medicine gastrointestinal, general surgery, liver transplant and urology patients. Prior to that, she worked at DMC Harper Hospital providing medical nutrition therapy for the cardiac intensive care unit (ICU), cardiac step-down unit, and cardiac rehab.

Amanda is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and has held a board position on the Southeastern Michigan Dietetics Association. Personally, Amanda enjoys long distance running, baking, and creating new GI friendly recipes.



Erin Slater, RDN

My Patient Story

Erin grew up in Voorhees, NJ and graduated from Eastern Regional High School. She spent all four years writing for the school’s literary magazine, completed a book of poems, a novel, and wrote several short stories. She also volunteered at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, in Philadelphia, PA during all four years of High School, which inspired her to pursue a career in healthcare.

She attended Northeastern University in Boston, MA for two years, working towards a degree in Pharmacology. However, she ultimately completed her education at Penn State University in University Park, PA and graduated with her B.S. in Nutritional Science in 2009. Erin currently works as a Registered Dietitian in an acute care hospital near Tampa, FL.

She has been volunteering with IFFGD for over 10 years, advocating for patients and assisting with educational events. She is currently on IFFGD’s Patient Advisory Counsel and likes collaborating with other patients with FGIDs.

Erin enjoys playing with her three cats, spending time with her family, and swimming in her neighborhood pool.








The International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders gratefully acknowledges Ironwood Pharmaceuticals and Abbvie Pharmaceuticals for their generous support of the Nancy and Bill Norton Patient Education Series.


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2020-Gastroparesis: Quality of Life and Symptom Burdens for Patients
2020-IFFGD Announces the 2020 Research Recognition Award Winners
2020-IFFGD's IBS Patients' Illness Experience and Unmet Needs Survey
2020-IBS: More Questions Than Answers?
2020-IFFGD Raises Awareness for Rare Digestive Diseases on Rare Disease Day
2019-IFFGD recognizes December as Constipation Awareness Month with the launch of Animated Patient’s Guide to Constipation
2019-IFFGD Shares GI developments with #GivingTuesday
2019-IFFGD Celebrates 20 Years of Raising GERD Awareness
2019-IFFGD Raises Awareness for Gastroparesis Awareness Month to Encourage “Education”
2019-0516 IFFGD Announces 2019 Research Recognition Awards Recipients
2019-0328 IFFGD Encourages Patients to Share "What I Wish People Understood About My IBS" for IBS Awareness Month
2018-1205 IFFGD Marks Constipation Awareness Month with Launch of Education Campaign
2019-0213 IFFGD Sheds a Light on the Daily Impact of Rare Digestive Disorders for Rare Disease Day 2019
2018- 1107 IFFGD Celebrates #GivingTuesday
2018-1101 Have You Heard? It Could Be GERD!
2018-0801 IFFGD Raises Awareness for Gastroparesis Awareness Month to “Make Patient Voices Heard”
2018-0529 IFFGD Presents 2018 Research Recognition Awards at DDW
2018-0402 Social Taboos, Lack of Awareness May Prevent Diagnosis & Treatment of IBS
2018-0212 IFFGD Raises Awareness for Rare Disease Day 2018
2017-1114 Holiday Heartburn or Something More?
2017-0802 Research Survey Reveals Unmet Needs of People with Gastroparesis
2017-0403 IFFGD Encourages People to See Their Doctor for Symptoms of IBS
2016-1115 GERD is More Than Simple Heartburn
2016-0801 Learn the Facts About Gastroparesis
2016-0405 Think You Have IBS? Find Out For Sure Before Starting a Treatment
2015-1123 Is it More than Simple Heartburn? Ask Your Doctor.
2015-7-30 Gastroparesis is a Hidden Medical Condition for Many
2015-0330 Online Survey Looks to Help Improve Outcomes for those with IBS
2014-1119 Persistent Heartburn May Be a Sign of GERD
2014-0826 Lack of Awareness of Gastroparesis May Impact Medical Care
2014-0326 IFFGD Marks IBS Awareness Month with Launch of Mobile App
2014-0225 IFFGD Research Grants to Study Gastroparesis
2013-1106 15 Tips for GERD Awareness Week
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2013-0401 Turning Attention to Returning Vets
2012-1109 Banish Frequent Heartburn by Burning More Calories
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2011-1130 Is Your Child's Reflux/Spitting Up A Point of Concern?
2011-0412 IFFGD Research Award Winners
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2007-1118 When Is Simple Heartburn Not So Simple?
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2004-0929 Norton Honored
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2004-0101 IFFGD Conference
2003-1117 GERD Treatment
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2002-0423 IBS-C Treatment
2002-1102 Heartburn Caution
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2001-1119 Heartburn or Heart Attack
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1997-1114 Research & Women's Health
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