These IFFGD research awards were given to active investigators who have a record of research interest in basic mechanisms or clinical aspects of functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders. The awards are intended to encourage the participation of clinicians and scientists in multidisciplinary efforts aimed at advancing the understanding of gastrointestinal disorders in adults and in children.
Peer-Review Selection Committee
- Douglas Drossman, MD, Chair
- Ronnie Fass, MD
- Samuel Nurko, MD
- Reza Shaker, MD
- Yvette Taché, PhD
- Jackie Wood, PhD
Basic Science is the fundamental approach to understanding how systems work. Basic research takes place in the laboratory and often involves the study of molecules and cells.
Clinical Science is the approach aimed at understanding the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders through studies involving people, usually carried out in clinical settings.
We congratulate the 2003 IFFGD Research Award recipients for their outstanding achievements.
The 2003 award for Senior Investigator in Clinical Science went to William E. Whitehead, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.
Dr. Whitehead's research interests include the physiological and psychological mechanisms for symptoms of functional GI disorders; development and validation of diagnostic criteria for functional GI disorders; pathophysiology of anorectal disorders; and biofeedback treatment of fecal incontinence and constipation.
Read Dr. Whitehead's research summary, "Summary of Clinical Research Activities."
The 2003 award for Senior Investigator in Basic Science went to Jyoti N. Sengupta, PhD, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI.
Dr. Sengupta's current research interests include investigating the pathophysiology of functional bowel disorders. He is studying sensory neurons involved in GI pain, while exploring new pharmacologic agents.
The 2003 award for Pediatric Investigator in Clinical Science went to Caroline Elder Danda, PhD, University of Kansas, Kansas City, KS.
Dr. Danda's current research projects include examining the physiological and psychosocial factors associated with functional dyspepsia and examining the effectiveness of several treatment protocols for children with functional dyspepsia; examining the effectiveness of noninvasive, educational treatment on the resolution of functional fecal retention; determining psychosocial and family factors related to initial treatment failures in functional fecal retention; and assessing whether fear increases anal sphincter pressures.
Read Dr. Danda's research summary, "Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: Biopsychosocial Perspectives on Assessment and Treatment."
The 2003 award for Pediatric Investigator in Basic Science went to Terry Buchmiller-Crair, MD, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.
Dr. Buchmiller-Crair performs the full spectrum of pediatric surgery with a particular interest in minimal access surgery, management of the short bowel syndrome, and fetal surgical diagnoses and prenatal counseling. Her recent basic science and clinical work reflect her continuing interest in fetal gastrointestinal development and the mechanisms of GI absorption and motility during the last trimester of gestation.
Read Dr. Buchmiller-Crair's research summary, "Using the Fetal Gastrointestinal Tract to Overcome Neonatal Disease."
The 2003 award for International (Developing Nation) Investigator in Clinical or Basic Science went to Dan L. Dumitrascu, MD, PhD, University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Romania.
Dr. Dumitrascu's main interests are in functional and motility GI disorders, epidemiology, and clinical trials. He has produced over 120 papers and authored or contributed to 15 books. He authored the first Romanian book on GI manometry and was the first East European to join the Functional Brain Gut Research Group. He is also the associate editor of the Romanian Journal of Gastroenterology and a member of the editorial committees of several journals in Romania and France.
Read Dr. Dumitrascu's research summary, "The Psychosocial Adjustment to Illness in Irritable Bowel Syndrome."
The 2003 award for Junior Investigator in Clinical Science went to Adil E. Bharucha, MD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.
Dr. Bharucha's most recent research has focused on understanding epidemiology and mechanisms of fecal incontinence and obstructed defecation, specifically characterizing the multiple recto-ano mechanisms maintaining continence.
Read Dr. Bharucha's research summary, "Summary of Clinical Research Activities – Incontinence."
The 2003 award for Junior Investigator in Basic Science went to Klaus Bielefeldt, MD, PhD, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA.
Dr. Bielefeldt's clinical interests are with functional diseases of the esophagus. Scientifically, he has used his training in cellular neurophysiology to explore mechanisms that change sensation with a focus on certain nerves that innervate the stomach and may contribute to the development of hypersensitivity, or pain and discomfort.
Read Dr. Bielefeldt's research summary, "Understanding Pain and Discomfort in Functional GI Disorders."