Monday’s AGA Presidential Plenary session, New Horizons in GI and Hepatology: Where Are We Now and Where Are We Going?, will showcase the best GI research and clinical science through a mix of state-of-the-art lectures and abstract presentations. The session will also feature a presidential address by David A. Lieberman, MD, AGAF, professor of medicine in the division of gastroenterology and hepatology at the University of Oregon Health Sciences Center, Portland, as he concludes his year as AGA Institute president.
Dr. Lieberman will co-chair the session alongside incoming AGA Institute President Hashem El-Serag, MD, MPH, AGAF, professor and chair of the Margaret M. and Albert B. Alkek department of medicine and director of the Texas Digestive Disease Center at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston.
“This year’s plenary is focused on the current state and future outlook regarding some of the hottest topics in GI and hepatology,” Dr. Lieberman said. “There will be six rapid-fire state-of-the-art lectures by leaders in their respective fields, who will provide attendees with key take-home points that can be applied to clinical practice.”
Lecture topics include the gut microbiome and its impact on health and disease, fatty liver disease and the potential for progression to cirrhosis and liver cancer, new treatments for inflammatory bowel disease, improving colonoscopy, personalized medicine and devices, and gastric cancer and dysplasia.
The program will also include two abstract presentations — one covering new information on when and how physicians should intervene in pancreatitis and another evaluating the long-term predictive effect of a normal screening colonoscopy.
In his address to attendees, Dr. Lieberman will reflect on his career and the advances he has witnessed in GI medicine, his involvement with AGA and his thoughts on the future, including ongoing AGA initiatives.
“When I look at my career in medicine, dating from the mid-1970s until now, a lot of things have changed,” he said. “What we were doing back then is almost unrecognizable compared to what we do today, and that’s because of a lot of amazing clinical and basic science research has changed and continues to change the landscape of medicine.”
Dr. Lieberman credits AGA for its long history of supporting research and fostering young investigators and clinicians, such as himself, to become leaders in the field.
“I joined AGA when I was a GI fellow in the early 1980s and soon started to get involved with AGA committees, and I have continued to be involved ever since,” he said. “I find that I have grown tremendously as a result of being part of this professional organization. It’s enabled me to meet, network and collaborate with people from all over the world, which has led to some wonderful friendships that I greatly value.”
Dr. Lieberman said he is proud to have been part of AGA’s leadership team and to have helped create initiatives and programs that bring value to AGA members, including the development of a new strategic plan. The new mission statement, “Empowering clinicians and researchers to improve digestive health,” attempts to capture the importance of both clinicians and investigators in improving patient care. As he concludes his presidential term, Dr. Lieberman said he’s proud to pass the gavel to Dr. El-Serag.
Dr. El-Serag has made a lasting impact on AGA’s scientific publications, serving as editor-in-chief for Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology from 2012 to 2017, and as associate editor of Gastroenterology from 2007 to 2011. He has been a member of multiple AGA committees, including the Research Policy Committee, Nominating Committee, Future Trends Committee and Publication Committee.
“I have been a member of AGA since the beginning of my fellowship in 1995, and it’s been an incredibly fulfilling journey, being part of this community of outstanding physicians,” Dr. El-Serag said. “AGA has an ambitious and well-articulated strategic plan, and I look forward to being part of the leadership that advances that plan forward.”
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