Recognizing the critical role of research in advancing the understanding and care of chronic gastrointestinal (GI) illnesses in adults and children, IFFGD was pleased to award its 2020 Research Recognition Awards to three young investigators. With the cancellation of DDW in Chicago due to COVID-19, we were unable to award them in person. First established in 2003, these awards are intended to recognize and support the research accomplishments of young investigators actively engaged in research in neurogastroenterology, and especially, in the basic mechanisms and clinical aspects of functional GI and motility disorders. To date, the foundation has presented awards to 48 investigators from around the world.

The award recipients were selected by a committee of leaders in the medical and scientific community: 

Peer-Review Selection Committee

  • William Whitehead, PhD, Chair
  • Gary Mawe, MD
  • Emeran Mayer, MD
  • Samuel Nurko, MD
  • Douglas Drossman, MD
  • Jan Tack, MD, PhD
  • Maura Corsetti, PhD

We are pleased to recognize the 2020 IFFGD Research Recognition Award recipients for their achievements and thank them for their commitment to research that will improve the diagnosis, treatment, and care of adults and children with chronic GI disorders.

The 2020 IFFGD Research Award Recipients Are: 

Kyle Staller, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, USA – Recipient of the 2020 award for Clinical Science Investigator

Kyle Staller, MD, MPH is a gastroenterologist and the director of the Gastrointestinal Motility Laboratory at Mass General. 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.

Learn more about Dr. Staller.

Christopher V. Almario, MD Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, USA – Recipient of the 2020 award for Clinical Science Investigator

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.

Learn more about Dr. Almario.

Maria Raffaella Barbaro, PhD University of Bologna, Italy – Recipient of the 2020 award for Basic/Translational Science Investigator 

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.

Learn more about Dr. Barbaro.

Research Awards
2020 Award Recipients
Kyle Staller, MD
Christopher V. Almario, MD
Maria Raffaella Barbaro, PhD
2019 Award Recipients
Arpana Gupta, PhD
David Levinthal, MD, PhD
Ilan Koppen, MD, PhD
2018 Award Recipients
Amaranath Karunanayake, PhD
Katja Kovacic, MD
Cristina Martinez, PhD
Ans Pauwels, PhD
2013 Award Recipients
Enrico Corazziari, MD
Jan Tack, MD, PhD
Report from Gary Mawe, PhD: The Roles of Intestinal Nerves and Serotonin in Gut Function and Dysfunction
Ashley Blackshaw, PhD
Carlo Di Lorenzo, MD
Niranga Manjuri Devanarayana, MD
Report from Lukas Van Oudenhove, PhD: Solving the Biopsychosocial Puzzle in Functional Dyspepsia
Muriel Larauche, PhD
2011 Award Recipients
Report from Ronnie Fass, MD: Sleep and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Million Mulugeta, PhD
Adrian Miranda, MD
Samuel Nurko, MD
Sudarshan Jadcherla, MD
Shaman Rajindrajith, MD
2009 Award Recipients
Satish Rao, MD
Emeran Mayer, MD
Javier Santos, MD
Report from Martin Storr, MD, PhD: Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: New Insights in Enteric Regulation
Report From Miguel Saps, MD: Functional Abdominal Pain in Children and Adolescents
2007 Award Recipients
Report from Bruce D. Naliboff, PhD: Symptom Based Psychology for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders
Report from Magnus Simrén, MD, PhD: Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Searching for Underlying Causes
Report from Brennan M. R. Spiegel, MD, MSHS: Diagnostic Testing in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Theory vs. Reality
Report from Sylvie Bradesi, PhD: Role of the Central Immune System in Functional Disorders
Paul E. Hyman, MD
Report from Miranda A. L. van Tilburg, PhD: Home Based Guided Imagery to Treat Pediatric Functional Abdominal Pain
Report from Fernando Azpiroz, MD, PhD: Understanding Intestinal Gas
2005 Award Recipients
Report from Yvette Tache, PhD: Stress and Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Unraveling the Code
Report from Shaheen Hamdy, MRCP, PhD: Adult Neurogenic Dysphagia -- Disorders and Conditions that Disrupt Swallowing
Report from Michael A. Pezzone, MD, PhD: Chronic Pelvic Pain and the Overlap of Pelvic Pain Disorders
Report from Bridget R. Southwell, PhD: Research into Treatment-Resistant Constipation in Children
Report from Rachel Rosen, MD, MPH: Symptoms Arising from Non-Acid Reflux in Children
2003 Award Recipients
Report from William E. Whitehead, PhD: Summary of Clinical Research Activities
Jyoti N. Sengupta, PhD
Report from Caroline Elder Danda, PhD: Biopsychosocial Perspectives on Assessment and Treatment
Report from Terry Buchmiller-Crair, MD: Using the Fetal Gastrointestinal Tract to Overcome Neonatal Disease
Report from Dan L. Dumitrascu, MD, PhD: The Psychosocial Adjustment to Illness in Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Report from Klaus Bielefeldt, MD, PhD: Understanding Pain and Discomfort in Functional GI Disorders
Research Grants
IFFGD Competitive Grants
2014 IFFGD Idiopathic Gastroparesis Research Grants
Leo Cheng, PhD
Braden Kuo, MD, MSc
Richard McCallum, MD
2008 IFFGD Competitive Research Grants
IFFGD Noncompetitive Grants
Other Research Grant Opportunities
Funding Research
Need for Funding Research
How to Make a Difference
The State of Research at NIH & NIDDK
Clinical Trials & Studies
Guide to Randomized Clinical Trials
Clinical Trials and Studies

Funding Research

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IFFGD funds research that helps to shape science and scientific advancement, and improve quality of life for people affected by chronic digestive disorders.

IFFGD Research Awards

Professional Education

Research funding needs