The Experts Speak

At IFFGD's 7th International Symposium on Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders in April 2007, we had the opportunity to talk to some of the international experts in functional GI disorders. Our discussions covered some of the most recent developments in this field.

Click the topic titles below to go to the video interviews!

Peter Whorwell, MD, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

Video Link

Challenges: Improving the Doctor-Patient RelationshipDiet, Eating and IBSMedications for Treating IBSAntidepressants for IBS?About Hypnosis for IBS

Dr. Whorwell is Professor of Medicine and Gastroenterology at The University of Manchester in the UK. His research interests include the epidemiology, pathophysiology and treatment of functional gastrointestinal disorders including irritable bowel syndrome, functional dyspepsia, chronic abdominal pain and non cardiac chest pain.

He also studies the mechanisms and uses of hypnosis in treating these disorders.

Carlo Di Lorenzo, MD, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

Research needs for kids and teensTreatment advances and needs: functional disordersTreatment advances and needs: motility disorders

Dr. Di Lorenzo is Chief of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology at Children’s Hospital of Columbus, and Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed original articles, serves on many professional organizations, and chairs the Adolescent Committee of the Rome III criteria.

Brenda Toner, PhD, University of Toronto, Canada

Challenges: Overcoming Labels in IBS
Approaching Treatment

Dr. Toner is Professor and Director of the Women’s Mental Health Program at the University of Toronto, Canada. Her interests include health related problems that are disproportionately diagnosed in women, and factors in the lives of women that cut across diagnoses.

Dr. Toner has received international recognition for her work on cognitive-behavioral therapy for IBS.

Brennan M.R. Spiegel, MD, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA

Challenges: Making the diagnosis
Understanding the Functional GI Disorders
Appreciating the Burden of Illness

Dr. Spiegel is the Director of the UCLA/VA Center for Outcomes Research and Education, and is particularly interested in the role of the physician-patient relationship in IBS.

He has published extensively in the field of digestive diseases health economics and health related quality of life. Dr. Spiegel was recipient of the 2007 IFFGD Research Award in Clinical Science, Junior Investigator.

Eamonn Quigley, MD, National University of Ireland, Cork, Ireland

Is there a role for probiotics in the treatment of IBS?
Are there issues of safety and effectiveness with probiotics?
How can probiotics work in treating IBS?
Is there a role for antibiotics in treating IBS?  

Dr Quigley is Professor of Medicine and Human Physiology at University College, Cork (National University of Ireland), and was the first Head of the Medical School from 2000-2007.

He studies Functional Bowel Disease, with emphasis on the role of the gut flora and lumen-mucosal interactions in irritable bowel syndrome.

Lynn Walker, PhD, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

Improving the treatment model
Recurrent abdominal pain in children and adolescents
Advancing the treatment model in pediatric patients

Dr Walker is a behavioral scientist, clinician, and educator. She is Director of the Division of Adolescent Medicine, Professor of Pediatrics, and Professor of Psychology, at Vanderbilt University.

Her research focuses on children’s chronic pain syndromes, and adjustment in families of children with chronic illness or disability.

Emeran Mayer, MD, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA

Research Advances: Understanding Functional Disorders
Research Advances: Treatment Approaches

Dr Mayer holds the positions of Professor of the Departments of Medicine, Physiology, Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences, at the David Geffen School of Medicine in UCLA.

He is also Director of the UCLA Center for Neurovisceral Sciences & Women's Health. Dr. Mayer has a longstanding interest in clinical and neurobiology aspects of brain-gut interactions in health and disease.

Douglas A. Drossman, MD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC

Diagnostic advances: Symptoms and the roles of biological markers
Treatment status
Visualizing and validating functional GI disorders

Dr Drossman is a Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry at the UNC School of Medicine (Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology), and Co-Director at the UNC Center for Functional GI and Motility Disorders.

He has had a long-standing interest in the psychosocial/behavioral aspects of patient care, particularly as it relates to improving patient-doctor communication.  

Gary Mawe, PhD, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT

Diagnostic advances: Multiple factors and identifying biomarkers

Dr Mawe is a Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the University of Vermont.

His research interests include neural regulation of the digestive tract, particularly understanding changes in enteric neural circuits that contribute to altered gut function in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Lin Chang, MD, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA

Treatment approach: Finding accurate information and care
Research advances: How brain-gut interactions influence symptoms

Dr. Lin Chang is a Professor of Medicine at UCLA, Co-Director and Head of the Clinical Program at the Center for Neurovisceral Sciences & Women's Health; and Director of the Women's Digestive Health Center at UCLA.

Dr. Chang's main area of research is the pathophysiology of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with particular interests in the overlap of IBS with fibromyalgia, as well as gender differences and neuroendocrine alterations.

Brooks Cash, MD, USN, National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD

Clinical Advances: Diagnosis & TreatmentDiagnostic advances: Symptoms and the roles of biological markers in IBS
Issues of safety and effectiveness with antibiotics?

Dr. Brooks Cash is Chief of the Gastroenterology Division and Colon Health Initiative, and Associate Professor of Medicine, at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD.

His research interests are wide ranging and consist primarily of functional gastrointestinal disorders, acid peptic disorders, and colorectal cancer screening.

The Symposium: What is it all about?

Every 2 years since 1995, IFFGD has been hosting a professional meeting - the International Symposium on Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders.

It brings together adult and pediatric clinician specialists, primary care physicians, social scientists, basic scientists, physiologists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, trainees and others in medicine and related fields to learn about progress in the field of the functional and motility gastrointestinal (GI) disorders.

The meeting helps advance research and improve patient care. In this video, several participants explain the value and uniqueness of this symposium.

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