Update from the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

The following is a guest post from David Elliott, MD, PhD, Director of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. It is part of an ongoing 2019 series of division updates.

The Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology continues to excel at all three missions. Our clinical programs continue to grow, with the recent of addition of Dr. Anjana Aggarwal and Dr. Nadav Sahar. Dr. Aggarwal completed her fellowship training at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics in 2004; after years of experience in private practice she has returned as a clinical assistant professor. Dr. Sahar comes to us from Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, Washington, after completing a fellowship in advanced endoscopy including both ERCP and EUS. He is joining our busy pancreatobiliary service.

Dr. Aggarwal
Dr. Sahar
Dr. Mokadem

Just as our clinical programs continue to grow, the research component of GI/Hepatology remains strong and clinical trials have expanded tremendously in recent years. Dr. Mokadem was recently awarded a Merit Grant at the VA Medical Center entitled “Regulation of glucose homeostasis via the molecular clock machinery and the hepatic vagus nerve after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.” Our division continues its strong contribution to scholarship. Our faculty published 47 papers in prestigious journals in the last year.

In clinical research, we continue to expand our Motility, Hepatology, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease programs. Over the past two years, clinical research revenue has increased 98%. Our excellent clinical research program has seen five-year growth over 300% with the incredible efforts of outstanding Primary Investigators and the research team in the division. This activity allows us to offer upcoming new treatments to patients that are intolerant or under-responsive to current therapy.


GI/Hepatology has another incredible cohort of fellows. Our four new fellows are Dr. Asad Ali, Dr. Zhibo An, Dr. Annie Braseth, and Dr. Elizabeth “Ellie” Brindise. Asad was born and raised in Pakistan where he graduated from Nishtar Medical College, Multan. Zhibo was born and raised in China, where he completed his medical education (MD) at Shandong University, China. He also received a Ph.D. in molecular physiology and biophysics from Vanderbilt University in Tennessee. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Christ Hospital in Cincinnati. Annie attended medical school at the University of North Dakota and completed her residency at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Ellie attended University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology, then received her DO from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, IL.  She completed her residency at University of Illinois (Chicago).

Asad Ali, MBBS
Zhibo An, MB
Annie Braseth, MD
Elizabeth Brindise, DO

Our fellows again participated in the American College of Gastroenterology Fellow’s Jeopardy competition. This is a knowledge test and oral quiz that pits GI/Liver fellows from programs across the country against one another. More than 140 programs compete in ACG Jeopardy. We again did very well, coming in third in the nation! This attests both to the high quality of fellows that select our program and the incredible teaching provided to our fellows by our dedicated faculty.

GI-Update-2019This past weekend saw our second annual University of Iowa Update in Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Endoscopy Conference. I would like to thank Dr. Alan Gunderson and all the speakers for an outstanding event.

I am tremendously proud of all the great work our faculty, staff, and learners do within the division. With all the growth of clinical and research programs, we have outgrown our space. We have recently begun discussions with hospital leadership on a new long-term plan, including evaluating needs for new clinic and endoscopy space as well as the need for new and unique staffing models.

I am as optimistic as ever that the future holds great promise for this division.

2 Responses

  1. Robert Silber

    very good Division
    very good Leadership
    very good TEAM
    providing very good clinical, teaching, and research activities that impact so many lives

Leave a Reply