DDW News

Monday’s AGA Presidential Plenary session will explore hot topics in GI research, clinical practice

Monday’s AGA Presidential Plenary session will showcase the best GI research and clinical science with a mix of state-of-the-art lectures and abstract presentations.

“These are cutting-edge abstracts representing the very best research in three key areas of clinical gastroenterology,” said outgoing AGA Institute President Timothy C. Wang, MD, AGAF. “When you add in our three invited speakers, we are covering a lot of the landscape in gastroenterology.”

Dr. Wang, chief of the division of digestive and liver diseases and the Silberberg Professor of Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, NY, will co-chair the plenary session alongside incoming AGA Institute President Sheila E. Crowe, MD, AGAF, professor of medicine and director of research at the University of California, San Diego.

In the first of the program’s invited lectures, Dr. Crowe will explore the diagnosis and treatment of celiac disease.

“Celiac isn’t just a GI disorder. It affects multiple aspects of health and daily life,” she said. “Even individuals who do not have diagnosed celiac disease are affected.”
A gluten-free diet has become one of the most popular diets in the U.S., as more and more individuals who do not have diagnosed celiac disease choose to follow some form of a gluten-free regimen.

“In fact, the majority of the people on a gluten-free diet have never been diagnosed with celiac disease,” Dr. Crowe said. “But, for whatever reasons, they believe that avoiding gluten makes them feel better or even that gluten may be dangerous to humans, although there is no evidence for that.”

In the program’s other two invited lectures, Edward V. Loftus Jr., MD, AGAF, professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, will discuss inflammatory bowel disease treatment, and Anna S. Lok, MD, FAASLD, AGAF, the Alice Lohrman Andres research professor in hepatology at the University of Michigan, will examine the possibility of hepatitis B eradication.

The two-hour program will also include the annual Friedenwald Medal presentation and the AGA Presidential Address, during which Dr. Wang will discuss the state of the AGA and the future of gastroenterology.

AGA’s ongoing commitment to research is just one of the many ways AGA is working to support the field and prepare for the future, said Dr. Wang, noting that, through the AGA Research Foundation, AGA has supported more than 50 researchers with $2.2 million in funding over the past year and plans to expand its research support in the coming year. Another exciting initiative, working with the National Institutes of Health and other stakeholders, AGA just launched the world’s first patient registry to track real-world practice and long-term outcomes with fecal microbiota transplantation.

“In 1897, the founders of AGA were described as a ‘mixed lot.’ Some were already devoting nearly all of their full time to research or teaching and treating digestive diseases, while others were mainly general practitioners,” Dr. Wang said. “More than a century later, we are 16,000 strong and still a mixed lot. The strength of AGA lies in our diversity.”

Please refer to the DDW Mobile App or the Program section in Monday’s DDW Daily News for additional details on this and other DDW® events.

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