IFFGD Announces the 2020 Research Recognition Award Winners

International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) recognizes three young investigators for their contributions to the advancement of science for chronic GI disorders.

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MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C., (July 7, 2020)-- IFFGD recognizes the critical role of increasing the understanding and care of chronic gastrointestinal (GI) illnesses in adults, and children, by awarding its 2020 Research Recognition Awards to three young investigators. Committee Chair Dr. William Whitehead from UNC at Chapel Hill states that, "Research is essential in finding better ways to diagnose and treat patients living with chronic diseases. IFFGD presents its Research Recognition Awards each year to encourage and acknowledge researchers working to advance the GI field."

Since 2003, IFFGD, a nonprofit research and education organization, has presented awards to 48 investigators from around the world. These awards are to recognize and support the research accomplishments of young investigators actively engaged in research in neurogastroenterology, especially in the basic mechanisms and clinical aspects of chronic GI and motility disorders.

"Today, research studies are being conducted all around the world, and they allow us to understand the complexities of chronic digestive disorders and improve the quality of life for patients," said Ceciel T. Rooker, President of IFFGD. "We are delighted to recognize the steps each investigator and award recipient has taken towards the advancement of science, and we thank them for their efforts on behalf of the patient community."

The award recipients were selected by a committee of leaders in the medical and scientific community. The winners of the 2020 IFFGD Research Recognition Awards are:

  • Kyle Staller, MD. Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, USA- Recipient of the 2020 award for Clinical Science Investigator.
  • Christopher V. Almario, MD. Cedars-Sinai Medical center in Los Angeles, California, USA- Recipient of the 2020 award for Clinical Science Investigator.
  • Maria Raffaella Barbaro, PHD. University of Bologna, Italy- Recipient of the 2020 award for Basic/Translational Science Investigator.

About the Award Recipients

Kyle Staller, MD. Kyle Staller, MD, MPH is a gastroenterologist and the director of the Gastrointestinal Motility Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a member of Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit. Dr. Staller specializes in disorders of gastrointestinal motility and neurogastroenterology and is a faculty member of the MGH Center for Neurointestinal Health and the MGH Center for Pelvic Floor Disorders. His clinical practice is devoted to treating patients with GI motility disorders and disorders of brain-gut interaction.

Christopher V. Almario, MD.

Christopher V. Almario, MD, MSHPM, is an Assistant Professor-in-Residence of Medicine and Health Services Research Scientist in the Divisions of Digestive and Liver Diseases and Health Services Research at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA. He earned his MD at Jefferson Medical College and then completed his internal medicine and gastroenterology training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and UCLA, respectively. While at UCLA, he also earned his MS in Health Policy and Management through the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.

Maria Raffaella Barbaro, PhD.

Dr. Maria Raffaella Barbaro is a researcher and adjunct professor at the University of Bologna, Italy. She graduated summa cum laude in Biological Sciences and she obtained her PhD in Molecular and Functional Biology from the University of Bologna. She qualified in Clinical Pathology in 2017. Since 2012, she has been working as researcher in the Neurogastroenterology and Motility Translational Laboratory at the Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences of the University of Bologna, Italy. Her research interests include functional gastrointestinal diseases, particularly irritable bowel syndrome, mucosal barrier function and immunology, as well as enteric nervous biology.

Clink here to learn more about the winners of the 2020 IFFGD Research Recognition Awards. 


The International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) is a nonprofit education and research organization dedicated to improving the lives of people affected by a chronic gastrointestinal disorder. Founded in 1991, IFFGD helps improve care by enhancing awareness, improving education, and supporting and encouraging research into treatments and cures for chronic digestive disorders. 

To learn more about IFFGD, please visit: Website: www.iffgd.org Facebook: www.facebook.com/IFFGD Twitter: www.twitter.com/IFFGD Instagram: www.instagram.com/DigestiveHealthMatters

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