These IFFGD research awards are 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.


The award recipients were honored April 17, 2009 at the 8th International Symposium on Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders in Milwaukee, WI. Presentation of the awards were made by Nancy Norton, President, IFFGD; Stephen P. James, MD, Director, Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the NIH; and Douglas Drossman, MD, Chair, IFFGD Research Awards Selection Committee.

We congratulate the 2009 IFFGD Research Award recipients for their outstanding achievements. 

The 2009 award for Senior Investigator in Clinical Science went to Satish Rao, MD at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, GA.

Dr. Rao’s research interests focus on the causes and treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, fecal incontinence (also known as bowel incontinence), and esophageal chest pain. Dr. Rao has pioneered several new techniques for evaluating how these areas of the gut function, and a technique of biofeedback therapy for dyssynergic defecation. In addition, Dr. Rao is studying new treatments for fructose intolerance. 

View Dr. Rao's Research Award Winner Profile.


The 2009 award for Senior Investigator in Basic Science went to Emeran Mayer, MD at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA.

Dr. Mayer’s research interests have included basic, translational and clinical aspects of brain gut interactions.  Recently Dr. Mayer has looked primary at sensory mechanisms using advanced functional imaging techniques in humans and in animals.

View Dr. Mayer's Research Award Winner Profile.


The 2009 award for Junior Investigator in Clinical Science went to Javier Santos, MD at Hospital General Universitario Vall d’Hebron, Barcelona, Spain. 

Dr. Santos's research focuses on the causes of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), especially how chronic intestinal inflammation may be associated with changes in bowel function, motility and sensitivity.

View Dr. Santos' Research Award Winner Profile.

The 2009 award for Junior Investigator in Basic Science went to Martin Storr, MD at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Munich, Germany.

Dr. Storr focuses on understanding gastrointestinal function and structures that may be targeted for new treatments of functional gastrointestinal disorders.  Dr. Storr’s specific interests are to understand the role of the cannabinoid and the opioid systems in the control of gut function and to explore their future potential for treatments for functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs). 

Read Dr. Storr’s research summary, “Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: New Insights in Enteric Regulation.”


The 2009 award for Junior Investigator in Pediatrics went to Miguel Saps, MD at Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL.

Dr. Saps’ research has focused on Pediatric Gastrointestinal Motility and Functional Bowel Disorders. Dr. Saps is also a member of the DHA Children’s GI Research Network

Read Dr. Saps' research summary, "Functional Abdominal Pain in Children and Adolescents."


Research Awards
2020 Award Recipients
Kyle Staller, MD
Christopher V. Almario, MD
Maria Raffaella Barbaro, PhD
2019 Award Recipients
Arpana Gupta, PhD
David Levinthal, MD, PhD
Ilan Koppen, MD, PhD
2018 Award Recipients
Amaranath Karunanayake, PhD
Katja Kovacic, MD
Cristina Martinez, PhD
Ans Pauwels, PhD
2013 Award Recipients
Enrico Corazziari, MD
Jan Tack, MD, PhD
Report from Gary Mawe, PhD: The Roles of Intestinal Nerves and Serotonin in Gut Function and Dysfunction
Ashley Blackshaw, PhD
Carlo Di Lorenzo, MD
Niranga Manjuri Devanarayana, MD
Report from Lukas Van Oudenhove, PhD: Solving the Biopsychosocial Puzzle in Functional Dyspepsia
Muriel Larauche, PhD
2011 Award Recipients
Report from Ronnie Fass, MD: Sleep and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Million Mulugeta, PhD
Adrian Miranda, MD
Samuel Nurko, MD
Sudarshan Jadcherla, MD
Shaman Rajindrajith, MD
2009 Award Recipients
Satish Rao, MD
Emeran Mayer, MD
Javier Santos, MD
Report from Martin Storr, MD, PhD: Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: New Insights in Enteric Regulation
Report From Miguel Saps, MD: Functional Abdominal Pain in Children and Adolescents
2007 Award Recipients
Report from Bruce D. Naliboff, PhD: Symptom Based Psychology for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders
Report from Magnus Simrén, MD, PhD: Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Searching for Underlying Causes
Report from Brennan M. R. Spiegel, MD, MSHS: Diagnostic Testing in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Theory vs. Reality
Report from Sylvie Bradesi, PhD: Role of the Central Immune System in Functional Disorders
Paul E. Hyman, MD
Report from Miranda A. L. van Tilburg, PhD: Home Based Guided Imagery to Treat Pediatric Functional Abdominal Pain
Report from Fernando Azpiroz, MD, PhD: Understanding Intestinal Gas
2005 Award Recipients
Report from Yvette Tache, PhD: Stress and Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Unraveling the Code
Report from Shaheen Hamdy, MRCP, PhD: Adult Neurogenic Dysphagia -- Disorders and Conditions that Disrupt Swallowing
Report from Michael A. Pezzone, MD, PhD: Chronic Pelvic Pain and the Overlap of Pelvic Pain Disorders
Report from Bridget R. Southwell, PhD: Research into Treatment-Resistant Constipation in Children
Report from Rachel Rosen, MD, MPH: Symptoms Arising from Non-Acid Reflux in Children
2003 Award Recipients
Report from William E. Whitehead, PhD: Summary of Clinical Research Activities
Jyoti N. Sengupta, PhD
Report from Caroline Elder Danda, PhD: Biopsychosocial Perspectives on Assessment and Treatment
Report from Terry Buchmiller-Crair, MD: Using the Fetal Gastrointestinal Tract to Overcome Neonatal Disease
Report from Dan L. Dumitrascu, MD, PhD: The Psychosocial Adjustment to Illness in Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Report from Klaus Bielefeldt, MD, PhD: Understanding Pain and Discomfort in Functional GI Disorders
Research Grants
IFFGD Competitive Grants
2014 IFFGD Idiopathic Gastroparesis Research Grants
Leo Cheng, PhD
Braden Kuo, MD, MSc
Richard McCallum, MD
2008 IFFGD Competitive Research Grants
IFFGD Noncompetitive Grants
Other Research Grant Opportunities
Funding Research
Need for Funding Research
How to Make a Difference
The State of Research at NIH & NIDDK
Clinical Trials & Studies
Guide to Randomized Clinical Trials
Clinical Trials and Studies

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IFFGD funds research that helps to shape science and scientific advancement, and improve quality of life for people affected by chronic digestive disorders.

IFFGD Research Awards

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