Released on May 4, 2020

New ASGE President, Dr Klaus Mergener

ASGE announces the appointment of Klaus Mergener, MD, PhD, MBA from Seattle, WA, to the position of ASGE President. Dr. Mergener assumed his presidential duties at the conclusion of the ASGE annual business meeting on May 2. His term will continue until May 2021.  


Dr. Mergener became a member of ASGE in 1994 and a Fellow in 2007. He has served ASGE in many roles, including as Chair of the ASGE Special Interest Group on Capsule Endoscopy, Chair of ASGE’s Practice Management Committee, as a member and then Vice Chair of the ASGE Foundation Board of Trustees, and as Councilor on the ASGE Governing Board. He was the society’s Vice President from 2018 to 2019 and its President-Elect from 2019 to 2020.  


Dr. Mergener attended medical school in Frankfurt and Heidelberg, Germany, and at Duke University and Harvard University in the U.S. He completed his MD/PhD-thesis in molecular virology summa cum laude with 2008 Nobel Prize Laureate Dr. Harald zur Hausen at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, after obtaining a Diplôme en Virologie Générale from the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France. He returned to Duke for his residency in internal medicine and his fellowship training in gastroenterology and interventional endoscopy under the mentorship of the late John Baillie, MB, ChB. Dr. Mergener received his MBA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. 


Dr. Mergener is an Affiliate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, Washington. He is active in clinical practice, clinical research, teaching and administration. For 2020 and 2021, he has reduced his clinical duties to commit himself to serving ASGE’s members in his role as president of the organization. 


During his presidential year, a top priority for Dr. Mergener will be to ensure that the ASGE educational portfolio continues to evolve to meet the needs of members, with high quality hands-on courses and networking events, but also a robust offering of custom-tailored educational products and virtual learning opportunities. 


Dr. Mergener continues to lead ASGE’s COVID Response Management Team which produces guidance documents and educational events on a large number of critically important issues for members in both hospital-based and independent GI practice environments during this uniquely disruptive period in everyone’s professional life. 


A major focus for Dr. Mergener for the entire year, and a personal passion during his entire career relates to trainee education and mentorship. Under his guidance, ASGE is completing work on a comprehensive educational curriculum on clinical and non-clinical aspects for all stages of fellowship training. Dr. Mergener credits much of his own professional success to the selfless mentorship of the late John Baillie, MD, and he is intending to “pay it forward”, helping ASGE trainee members obtain the tools and the knowledge they need to be successful in their own professional careers.   


Together with the entire ASGE team, Dr. Mergener will spend this year on many other important projects, to include convening a second ASGE summit on matters related to the use of artificial intelligence in GI practice, on enhancing the organization’s focus on the needs of independent practitioners, on promoting frequent and direct dialogue with ASGE members and their access to ASGE leadership, and on continuing the society’s important alliances and cooperative projects with our sister societies and with industry partners. 


View a full listing of the ASGE Governing Board members and ASGE Foundation Board members 2020-2021.

About Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Gastrointestinal endoscopic procedures allow the gastroenterologist to visually inspect the upper gastrointestinal tract (esophagus, stomach and duodenum) and the lower bowel (colon and rectum) through an endoscope, a thin, flexible device with a lighted end and a powerful lens system. Endoscopy has been a major advance in the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases. For example, the use of endoscopes allows the detection of ulcers, cancers, polyps and sites of internal bleeding. Through endoscopy, tissue samples (biopsies) may be obtained, areas of blockage can be opened and active bleeding can be stopped. Polyps in the colon can be removed, which has been shown to prevent colon cancer.

About the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Since its founding in 1941, the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) has been dedicated to advancing patient care and digestive health by promoting excellence and innovation in gastrointestinal endoscopy. ASGE, with more than 15,000 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 and to find a qualified doctor in your area.


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