2009 IFFGD Research Award Recipients

These IFFGD research awards are given to active investigators who have a record of research interest in basic mechanisms or clinical aspects of functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders. The awards are intended to encourage the participation of clinicians and scientists in multidisciplinary efforts aimed at advancing the understanding of gastrointestinal disorders in adults and in children.

Peer-Review Selection Committee

  • Douglas Drossman, MD, Chair
  • Ronnie Fass, MD
  • Samuel Nurko, MD
  • Reza Shaker, MD
  • Yvette Taché, PhD
  • Jackie Wood, PhD

Basic Science is the fundamental approach to understanding how systems work. Basic research takes place in the laboratory and often involves the study of molecules and cells.

Clinical Science is the approach aimed at understanding the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders through studies involving people, usually carried out in clinical settings.


The award recipients were honored April 17, 2009 at the 8th International Symposium on Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders in Milwaukee, WI. Presentation of the awards were made by Nancy Norton, President, IFFGD; Stephen P. James, MD, Director, Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the NIH; and Douglas Drossman, MD, Chair, IFFGD Research Awards Selection Committee.

We congratulate the 2009 IFFGD Research Award recipients for their outstanding achievements.

The 2009 award for Senior Investigator in Clinical Science went to Satish Rao, MD at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, GA.

Dr. Rao’s research interests focus on the causes and treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, fecal incontinence (also known as bowel incontinence), and esophageal chest pain. Dr. Rao has pioneered several new techniques for evaluating how these areas of the gut function, and a technique of biofeedback therapy for dyssynergic defecation. In addition, Dr. Rao is studying new treatments for fructose intolerance.

View Dr. Rao’s Research Award Winner Profile.

The 2009 award for Senior Investigator in Basic Science went to Emeran Mayer, MD at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA.

Dr. Mayer’s research interests have included basic, translational and clinical aspects of brain gut interactions.  Recently Dr. Mayer has looked primary at sensory mechanisms using advanced functional imaging techniques in humans and in animals.

View Dr. Mayer’s Research Award Winner Profile.

The 2009 award for Junior Investigator in Clinical Science went to Javier Santos, MD at Hospital General Universitario Vall d’Hebron, Barcelona, Spain. 

Dr. Santos’s research focuses on the causes of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), especially how chronic intestinal inflammation may be associated with changes in bowel function, motility and sensitivity.

View Dr. Santos’ Research Award Winner Profile.

The 2009 award for Junior Investigator in Basic Science went to Martin Storr, MD at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Munich, Germany.

Dr. Storr focuses on understanding gastrointestinal function and structures that may be targeted for new treatments of functional gastrointestinal disorders.  Dr. Storr’s specific interests are to understand the role of the cannabinoid and the opioid systems in the control of gut function and to explore their future potential for treatments for functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs).

Read Dr. Storr’s research summary, “Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: New Insights in Enteric Regulation.”

The 2009 award for Junior Investigator in Pediatrics went to Miguel Saps, MD at Children’s Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL.

Dr. Saps’ research has focused on Pediatric Gastrointestinal Motility and Functional Bowel Disorders. Dr. Saps is also a member of the DHA Children’s GI Research Network.

Read Dr. Saps’ research summary, “Functional Abdominal Pain in Children and Adolescents.”

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