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Press Release

ASGE and ASGE Foundation Hold Crystal Awards Dinner as Part of Digestive Disease Week®, May 18, in San Diego

OAK BROOK, Ill. – MAY 18, 2008 –  The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) will honor important contributions to the field of endoscopy during the fourth annual ASGE Crystal Awards on Sunday, May 18. Hosted by ASGE and the ASGE Foundation, this year’s event will begin at 6:30 p.m. on the USS Midway, a retired aircraft carrier-turned museum docked in San Diego Harbor.

Held in conjunction with Digestive Disease Week (DDW®), the ASGE Crystal Awards symbolize the finest in leadership, research and scientific pursuit. The event will recognize the 2008 award and grant recipients who have shared their expertise and strengthened the specialty and the Society. Newly designated ASGE Fellows will also be recognized at this event. Proceeds from the event will benefit the ASGE Foundation in support of GI endoscopy-related research, physician education and training, and public outreach initiatives.

The event will feature live music, dinner and presentations to honorees by ASGE President, Grace H. Elta, MD, FASGE, ASGE Foundation Chair, Francis Tedesco, MD, FASGE, various ASGE leaders and Master of Ceremonies, ASGE Past President and Foundation Trustee, David Carr-Locke, MD, FASGE.

Tickets for the Crystal Awards Dinner are available at or by contacting Kathryn Dattomo, ASGE Foundation Director, at or by phone at 630-570-5607. To make a tax-deductible contribution to the ASGE Foundation, stop by the ASGE Store at DDW® or visit or call (630) 573-0600 or (800) 343-ASGE (2743)

         Award Recipients

The Rudolf V. Schindler Award
David A. Lieberman, MD, FASGE, VA Medical Center, Portland, OR
ASGE’s highest honor, this award is given to a member whose accomplishments in endoscopic research, teaching and/or service to ASGE exemplifies the standards and traditions of Rudolf V. Schindler, MD, founder of the American Gastroscopic Club, the forerunner of ASGE.

President’s Award
Yang K. Chen, MD, FASGE,
 University of Colorado and Health Sciences Center, Aurora, CO
Awarded at the discretion of the ASGE President, the President’s Award distinguishes an individual as making exceptional contributions to the Society and its mission.  Whether through organized volunteer opportunities or singular initiatives supporting the goals of ASGE, the honoree is recognized for this assistance by the President.

Honorary Members
Miguel Munoz-Navas, MD, University Clinic of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain
Guido Villa-Gomez Roig, MD, Instituto De Gastroenterologia Bolivia-Japones, La Paz, Bolivia
Kenjiro Yasuda, MD, Kyoto 2nd Red Cross Hospital, Kyoto, Japan
Honorary Members of the ASGE are selected by the society for their contributions to GI endoscopy. The individuals being honored this year have made outstanding and enduring contributions to the specialty and continue to support GI endoscopy through education, research, and leadership. Their ongoing clinical studies and practice as well as producing numerous articles, chapters and papers underscore their dedication to the specialty and the Society.

Master Endoscopist Award 
Gregory B. Haber, MD, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, NY
This Award recognizes physicians who spend the majority of their time in patient care and are recognized regionally or nationally for their expertise and longitudinal contributions to the practice of gastrointestinal endoscopy.

Distinguished Educator Award
Lawrence J. Brandt, MD,
 FASGE, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY
Gregory G. Ginsberg, MD, FASGE, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
Physician as educator is the focus of this award, recognizing one or more doctors’ contributions to the education of fellows through endoscopy seminars, participation in national postgraduate courses and published scholarly reviews or educational materials, including videos.
Distinguished Endoscopic Mentoring Award
Dennis M. Jensen, MD, FASGE, West Los Angeles VA Healthcare Center, Los Angeles, CA
This annual award, established in 2007, recognizes outstanding career achievement by a member or fellow of the ASGE in the mentoring of faculty or gastroenterology trainees in clinical or lab-related endoscopic research. This distinguished award recognizes mentors who have devoted substantial time and effort in developing and nurturing the next generation of endoscopic investigators.
International Service Award
Joseph R. Armengol-Miro, MD, Barcelona, Spain
This award was created to recognize outstanding service by an international member who has made long-term contributions to GI endoscopy, as well as an individual who has been a strong supporter of the educational and research mission of the society.

Endoscopic Research Awards (ERA)
After undergoing a rigorous peer-review process, ERA grants are awarded to physicians who received the highest scores for projects in basic and clinical endoscopic technology research. The objective is to foster research in GI endoscopy both within and outside of academic centers.

Samir Gupta, MD, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX
Peter D. R. Higgins, MD, PhD, MSc, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Robert H. Lee, MD, University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA
Mandeep Sawhney, MB, BS, MS, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA
Ma Somsouk, MD, MS, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

AstraZeneca Endoscopic Research Award
Anna Buchner, MD, PhD, Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, Jacksonville, FL

Olympus Endoscopic Research Award
Amandeep K. Shergill, MD,
 San Francisco Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, CA

TAP Endoscopic Research Award
Tyler Stevens, MD, MS,
 Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH

Quality Endoscopic Research Award
Fasiha Kanwal, MD, MSHS, St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO

Michael V. Sivak, Jr., MD, FASGE Endoscopic Research Award
Amit Rastogi, MD,
 University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, KS
The Michael V. Sivak, Jr., MD Endoscopic Research Award is a special grant named for Dr. Michael Sivak, Jr., who was the editor of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy from 1997-2004. Under his direction, the journal became the preeminent international journal, publishing the best research related to GI endoscopy.

ASGE Given Capsule Endoscopy Research Award
Gerard A. Isenberg, MD, FASGE, Case Medical Center, Cleveland, OH
This award is offered to physicians for projects specific to capsule endoscopy research. This award provides $25,000 in research funding plus 200 capsules for the duration of one year and aims to foster research in capsule endoscopy both within and outside of academic centers. This award is made possible through the generous support of Given Imaging, Inc.

Career Development Awards
The Career Development Awards support junior investigators who are working toward an independent research career in any area of endoscopic research. These awards are supported by educational grants from Cook Medical and Olympus America.

2008 Cook Medical Career Development Award
Amandeep K. Shergill, MD, San Francisco Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, CA

2008 Olympus Career Development Awards
Mohammad A. Al-Haddad, MD, Indiana University School of Medicine, Carmel, IN
Fay Kastrinos, MD, Brigham Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA

Audiovisual Awards
The Audiovisual Awards recognize outstanding educational productions related to GI endoscopy techniques. The videos demonstrate accepted techniques or show difficult cases, complications or innovations within the field of endoscopy and are showcased at the ASGE Video Forum at DDW®.

Audiovisual Award Winner
Roy M. Soetikno, MD, VA Palo Alto and California Pacific Medical Center, Palo Alto and San Francisco, CA

Audiovisual Award Recipients
Tae Yoon Lee, MD, Department of Internal Medicine, Asian Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Tae Hee Lee, MD, Institute for Digestive Research, Digestive Disease Center, Soon Chun Hyang University Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea

PENTAX Advanced Fellows Video Awards
Rajesh N. Keswani, MD,
 Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
Daniel K. Mullady, MD, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA
Field F. Willingham, MD, MPH, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA

Diversity Awards
The Diversity Award is granted to physicians who submitted outstanding abstracts for DDW®, promoting gender– and minority–related healthcare research.

Gender Research Award
Jay J. Yamin, MD, University of Massachusetts, Memorial Health Care, Boston, MA
A female predominance in the time-dependent proximal shift in colorectal cancer in the USA

Minority Research Award
Kenneth J. Vega, MD, University of Florida Health Science Center, Jacksonville, FL
Ethnicity-related variations in the prevalence and demographics of Barrett's esophagus

Cook Medical Don Wilson Award
Elena Dubcenco, MD,
 St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Oleg Ponyatov, MD, Niazov Treatment and Consulting Center, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
The Don Wilson Award provides advanced fellows or junior faculty with the opportunity to train outside of their home country with a premier GI endoscopist or group to advance their training. Three awards are available annually: two for ASGE members in North America to travel abroad to an ASGE-member site, and one for an international member to come to a North American ASGE-member site. The award was named to honor Dr. Don Wilson, who was a strong advocate and supporter of international education and training in GI endoscopy. The awards are underwritten by a grant from Cook Medical.

Congressional Service Awards
Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID)
Congressman Kendrick B. Meek (D-FL)

ASGE ConMed Award
Christopher Lynch, MD,
 University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS
The ConMed Award recognizes an outstanding manuscript written by a fellow and published in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. This award is supported by an educational grant provided by ConMed.

Florence Lefcourt Award
Felice Schnoll-Sussman, MD, Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health, New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York, NY

NOSCAR™ Research Awards
The Natural Orifice Surgery Consortium for Assessment and Research™ (NOSCAR) Research Subcommittee announced 14 grant recipients in December 2007.  The funds, granted through the Covidien Research Fund, support fundamental research in the emerging transdisciplinary therapy known as Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery™ (NOTES™), an approach that could ultimately represent a major paradigm shift in minimally invasive therapy and patient care. More than 45 requests were submitted for the nearly $500,000 in research funds. 

Edward Auyang, MD, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
Stacy Brethauer, MD, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH
David Desilets, MD (two awards), Baystate Medical Center, Tufts University, Springfield, MA
Annette Fritscher-Ravens, MD, Homerton University Hospital, London, England
Jeffrey Hazey, MD, Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus, OH
Kai Matthes, MD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
Robert O'Rourke, MD, Oregon Health and Sciences University, Portland, OR
Eric Pauli, MD, The Pennsylvania State University, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA
Cyrus Piraka, MD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Benjamin Pulouse, MD, University Hospitals, Case Medical Center, Cleveland, OH
Patricia Sylla, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
Philip Wai Yan Chiu, MD, Prince of Wales Hospital, The Chinese University of Hong Kong,
Hong Kong
Timothy Woodward, MD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

2008 Named Lectures
The 2008 Named Lectures are sponsored by the ASGE Foundation.

ASGE Plenary Session - Wednesday, May 21
J. Edward Berk, MD, DSc, FASGE State-of-the-Art Endowed Lecture
New Colonoscopy Techniques
Douglas K. Rex, MD, FASGE

Jack A. Vennes, MD and Stephen E. Silvis, MD State-of-the-Art Endowed Lecture
NOTES™: Where We Are Going and Where Are We Going?
Richard I. Rothstein, MD

Annual Postgraduate Course - Thursday, May 22
Basil I. Hirschowitz, MD Lecture
The Future of Endoprosthetic Technology
David L. Carr-Locke, MD, FRCP, FASGE


About the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Founded in 1941, the mission of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy is to be the leader in advancing patient care and digestive health by promoting excellence in gastrointestinal endoscopy. ASGE, with more than 10,000 physician members worldwide, promotes the highest standards for endoscopic training and practice, fosters endoscopic research, recognizes distinguished contributions to endoscopy, and is the foremost resource for endoscopic education. Visit and for more information.

About Endoscopy
Endoscopy is performed by specially-trained physicians called endoscopists using the most current technology to diagnose and treat diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Using flexible, thin tubes called endoscopes, endoscopists are able to access the human digestive tract without incisions via natural orifices. Endoscopes are designed with high-intensity lighting and fitted with precision devices that allow viewing and treatment of the gastrointestinal system. In many cases, screening or treatment of conditions can be delivered via the endoscope without the need for further sedation, treatment or hospital stay.