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.