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Gastroenterology Board Exam Committee

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Charlene M. Prather, MD, Chair

Dr. Prather is a gastroenterologist and Professor of Internal Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. She is also Director of the school’s GI Fellowship Training Program. She is American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) certified in Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine.

Dr. Prather specializes in digestive disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, bowel incontinence, pelvic floor disorders and esophageal disorders such as achalasia, GERD and Barrett esophagus. She uses the latest treatment techniques, such as capsules that send data signals from inside the digestive tract to a recording device worn outside the body, capsules that record video as they travel through the digestive tract, and non-surgical incontinence treatments such as injections and pelvic floor retraining.

Dr. Prather is a medical journal reviewer and a sought-after speaker on GI issues. She is active in many professional organizations, including the American Medical Association, American Gastroenterological Association, and American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. She serves as a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine Gastroenterology Board Exam Committee.

She completed her medical degree and residency at the University of Missouri at Kansas City and her fellowship at Mayo Clinic.

As of February 2020, Dr. Prather reported no external relationships.

Lin Chang, MD

Lin Chang, MDDr. Chang is a Professor of Medicine and gastroenterologist in the Division of Digestive Diseases, Department of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She serves as the co-Director of the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She is also Program Director of the UCLA Gastroenterology Fellowship Program.

Dr. Chang's clinical expertise is in functional gastrointestinal disorders, which include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), chronic constipation and functional dyspepsia. She is a NIH-funded investigator studying brain-gut interactions underlying IBS. Specifically, her research is focused on the pathophysiology of IBS related to stress, early life adversity, sex differences and genetic and epigenetic factors; as well as gut microbiome and the treatment of IBS.

Dr. Chang is a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine Gastroenterology Board Exam Committee, the Rome Foundation Board of Directors, the Rome IV Editorial Board and the Functional Bowel Disorders Committee. She is a fellow of the American Gastroenterological Association and American College of Gastroenterology, and a member of the Society for Neuroscience. Currently, she is a member of the FDA Gastrointestinal Drugs Advisory Committee and the NIH Clinical, Integrative, Molecular Gastroenterology Study Section. She previously served as President of the American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society. She is Associate Editor of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Dr. Chang is the recipient of the Janssen Award in Gastroenterology for Basic or Clinical Research and the AGA Distinguished Clinician Award. She has authored more than 100 original research articles, 50 review articles, and 20 book chapters on her specialty interests.

Dr. Chang earned a medical degree from UCLA School of Medicine. She completed internal medicine residency and a medicine/gastroenterology fellowship at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. She is board certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology.

As of February 2020, Dr. Chang reported the following external relationships:

Funding for clinical trial expenses and staff, paid to the University of California- Los Angeles, from the following company:

  • VANDAVanda, for a gastroparesis clinical trial.

Service on a research-related expert panel or advisory board for the following company, receiving honoraria:

  • Shure, for serving on an advisory board.

Consulting on design of new drugs or devices, clinical trials, the use of specific agents or other research-related activities for the following company, receiving honoraria:

  • Allergan, for advising on a research survey study.

Industry-supported continuing medical education supported by the following, with compensation for travel expenses and honoraria:

  • Rome Foundation, for a nurse practitioner/physician assistant program.
  • American College of Gastroenterology, regional lectures.
  • Paradigm, for an irritable bowel syndrome and constipation lecture.

Teaching in satellite symposia funded by the following companies, with honoraria:

  • Salix

Dr. Chang serves in significant roles with the following organization, receiving reimbursement or compensation as listed:

  • American Gastroenterological Association, Governing Board Member, Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology Journal Board of Editors, receiving reimbursement for travel expenses and honoraria.
  • Rome Foundation, Board Member and Editorial Board Member, receiving reimbursement for travel expenses.

Amar R. Deshpande, MD

Amar R. Deshpande, MDDr. Deshpande, a board certified internist and gastroenterologist, is Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology and the Assistant Dean for Medical Education and Competency Assessment at the University of Miami (UM) Miller School of Medicine. He was previously the Program Director of the Gastroenterology Fellowship, co-Director of the Internal Medicine clerkship for third year medical students, and director of the pathophysiology modules for second year medical students, roles for which he won numerous teaching awards. He is also the faculty advisor of the student-run Department of Community Service at UM, a group that has won national awards for its commitment to caring for thousands of the underserved in South Florida through health fairs, free clinics and other events.

Dr. Deshpande sees patients and does research at the University of Miami Crohn's and Colitis Center. He is co-Director of the Advanced Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Fellowship and Vice Chief for Education in the Division of Gastroenterology.

He is a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine Gastroenterology Board Exam Committee. He has authored many articles, book chapters and reviews in prestigious gastroenterology and internal medicine journals with multiple presentations at national and international meetings. Dr. Deshpande is a reviewer for multiple gastroenterology journals and sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Crohn's and Colitis as well as other IBD-related advisory boards.

Dr. Deshpande completed his medical degree at the University of Miami School of Medicine and then stayed at the University of Miami and Jackson Memorial Hospital for his internal medicine residency and gastroenterology fellowship.

As of July 2019, Dr. Deshpande reported the following external relationships:

Funding for clinical trial expenses, salary support and staff, paid to the University of Miami, from the following company:

  • Takeda Pharmaceuticals, for a randomized control trial of vedolizumab with pentoxifylline versus placebo for Crohn's disease.

Service on a research-related expert panel or advisory board, receiving compensation from the following company as listed:

  • GI Health Foundation, for an inflammatory bowel disease advisory board, receiving funding for project expenses.

Dr. Deshpande serves in significant roles with the following organization, receiving reimbursement or compensation as listed:

  • American Gastroenterology Association, Education and Training Committee Member, CME Subcommittee Member, without compensation.

Kerry B. Dunbar, MD

Kerry DunbarDr. Kerry Dunbar is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and the Gastroenterology Section Chief at the VA North Texas Healthcare System. She is board certified in gastroenterology. She is also an Associate Program Director for the UT Southwestern Internal Medicine residency training program.

Dr. Dunbar's clinical and research interests include esophageal diseases, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, Barrett's esophagus, and esophageal motility disorders. She also has a clinical and research interest in colorectal cancer screening and colonoscopy outcomes. She is a Fellow of the American Gastroenterological Association and of the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. She serves as a member of the ABIM Internal Medicine Gastroenterology Board Exam Committee.

Dr. Dunbar graduated from UT Southwestern Medical School and completed internal medicine residency and gastroenterology and hepatology fellowship at Johns Hopkins. During fellowship, she completed an Assistant Chief of Service year and pursued research training through the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Graduate Training Program in Clinical Investigation, for which she received a Ph.D. in 2012.

As of July 2020, Dr. Dunbar reported the following external relationships:

Funding for clinical trial expenses and staff, paid to the Veterans Affairs North Texas Healthcare System – Dallas VAMC, from the following company:

  • Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, for a Phase III clinical trial for a new gastroesophageal reflux disease treatment, serving as the site investigator.

Dr. Dunbar serves in significant roles with the following organizations, receiving reimbursement or compensation as listed:

  • American Gastroenterological Association, Councilor for the esophagogastric duodenoscopy section and imaging/endoscopy/advanced technology sections; abstract reviewer for the Barrett's esophagus/ gastroesophageal reflux disease pathogenesis section; without compensation.
  • National Institute of Health- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, ad hoc grant reviewer, receiving reimbursement for travel expenses and honoraria.

Grant funding for expenses and staff, paid to Veterans Affairs North Texas Healthcare System – Dallas VAMC, from the following companies:

  • National Institute of Health- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, serving as co-investigator on R01 and R21 grants related to esophageal disorders, receiving funding for expenses.
  • Veterans Health Administration, VA Merit Review Grant for Barrett's esophagus research, receiving funding for staff.

Sara Echelmeyer, MD

Sara EchelmeyerDr. Echelmeyer is currently Board Certified in both Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology and have been an active participate in MOC in both of her fields. She currently works in a large multi-specialty group and as one of five gastroenterologists in the practice. She has served as chair of her division for 5 years, currently serving on Physician Advisory Panels at both local hospitals, and serves on Finance and Surgery Center Boards.

Dr. Echelmeyer did her Internal Medicine training at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, where she developed a great love for medical education. She continued her training at St. Louis University where she had the opportunity to learn from leaders in gastroenterology education especially in Liver and Functional Bowel Disease. Though she chose to continue her career in private practice, she continued to take medical students, residents, and even local high school and college students as mentees. She provided CME courses at Family Medicine conferences, spoken at state health meetings, and dedicated time to provide education in the local schools.

As of August 2019, Dr. Echelmeyer reported the following external relationship:

  • Dr. Echelmeyer reported that she works for Jefferson City Medical Group, a private practice multispecialty group.

David R. Lichtenstein, MD

David R. Lichtenstein, MDDr. Lichtenstein is the Director of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy at Boston Medical Center and Associate Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. He is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology.

Dr. Lichtenstein is a recognized educator in endoscopic approaches for diagnosing and managing gastrointestinal hemorrhage, pancreaticobiliary tract disorders, and gastrointestinal malignancies. He supervises Gastroenterology Fellowship training in advanced endoscopic procedures and is responsible for evaluating and implementing new endoscopic technologies at Boston Medical Center.

Dr. Lichtenstein is member of the American Board of Internal Medicine Gastroenterology Board Exam Committee. He is an active member and current fellow of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), American College of Gastroenterology and American Gastroenterological Association. He has been recognized in The Best Doctors in America, Boston Magazine's “Best Doctors of Boston”, as well as Castle Connolly's Guide to America's Top Doctors. He is the former Chair of the Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography Section of the Annual Scientific Program Committee for Digestive Disease Week, and Chair of the Assessment and Certification Task Force that introduced a series of Skills Training Assessment Reinforcement educational programs for the ASGE. He has also served on the ASGE Research, Standards of Practice, International, Web Education, Technology, and Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Self-Assessment Program Committees. In addition, he was the past President of the New England Endoscopy Society.

Dr. Lichtenstein received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He completed residency training in internal medicine at Duke University Medical Center and received fellowship training in gastroenterology at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. He later served as Chief Medical Resident at Duke University Medical Center and subsequently received advanced interventional endoscopy training at Duke University Medical Center and Brigham and Women's Hospital.

As of May 2020, Dr. Lichtenstein reported the following external relationships:

Preclinical research, with funding for salary support, from the following company:

  • Olympus, for endoscopy device development lab work.

Service on data and safety monitoring boards for the following company, with compensation for travel expenses and honoraria:

  • Boston Scientific, for service on a Clinical Events Committee.

Service on a research-related expert panel or advisory board for the following company, with compensation for travel expenses and honoraria:

  • Iterative Scopes, for serving on an advisory board and as a research principal investigator.

Consulting on design of new drugs or devices, clinical trials, the use of specific agents or other research-related activities for the following company, with compensation for travel expenses and honoraria:

  • Pure-Vu, for automated bowel preparation for colonoscopy research.

Industry-supported continuing medical education supported by the following company, with compensation for travel expenses and honoraria:

  • Olympus, for a fellows endoscopy course with hands-on training, receiving reimbursement for travel expenses and honoraria.

Dr. Lichenstein serves in significant roles with the following organization, receiving reimbursement or compensation as listed:

  • American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, Technology Committee Member and Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography Course Faculty Member, receiving reimbursement for travel expenses.

Nancy S. Reau, MD

Nancy S. Reau, MDDr. Reau, board certified in Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology and Transplant Hepatology, is currently Associate Director of Solid Organ Transplantation and Section Chief of Hepatology at Rush University Medical Center.

She previously served as Assistant Professor of Medicine at Rush University in Chicago from 2002 to 2005. She became an Associate Professor of Medicine in 2010, Medical Director of Hepatology Clinical and Translational Research in 2015, and then joined Rush University Medical Center in 2015.

Dr. Reau's research interest is in viral hepatitis, both in drug development as well as utilization. She is currently a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine Gastroenterology Board, the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) steering committee for the hepatitis C special interest group and a member of the AASLD/IDSA Practice Guidelines for hepatitis C and served as the chair of the AASLD public policy committee. She is a member of the American College of Gastroenterology women's training committee. She has been a member of the national board of directors of the American Liver Foundation (ALF) and served as the president of the Illinois chapter. She is currently co-chair of the National ALF Medical Advisory Committee and serves on multiple advisory boards including Medscape and Medivo.

Dr. Reau received her undergraduate degree at Oberlin College in Oberlin Ohio and doctorate of medicine, cum laude, from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. She completed a medicine residency and a gastroenterology fellowship at The Ohio State University. She went to the Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland, where she did her advanced transplant hepatology fellowship in 2001.

As of October 2019, Dr. Reau reported the following external relationships:

Funding for clinical trial expenses and staff, paid to the University of Chicago, from the following companies

  • GenFit, for NASH study.
  • TARGET, for an observational trial on hepatitis C.

Service on a research-related expert panel or advisory board for the following companies, with compensation as listed:

  • Abbott, advising on technology for hepatitis B and hepatitis C, receiving honoraria.
  • AbbVie, serving on a national advisory board for clinical development in hepatitis C, receiving travel reimbursement and honoraria.
  • Gilead, serving on a national advisory board for clinical development in hepatitis C, receiving travel reimbursement and honoraria.
  • Merck, advising on national and global development in hepatitis C, receiving travel reimbursement and honoraria.

Consulting on design of new drugs or devices, clinical trials, the use of specific agents or other research-related activities for the following company, with compensation as listed:

  • Abbott, consulting on viral hepatitis education, receiving honoraria.

Industry-supported continuing medical education supported by the following, with compensation for travel expenses and honoraria:

  • Dr. Reau develops educational content for continuing medical education on hepatitis C and provides an update to the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease for Clinical Care Options, receiving honoraria. Clinical Care Options is a medical education company that develops educational content and decision support tools.
  • Dr. Reau develops educational content for continuing medical education on hepatitis C receiving honoraria from the Chronic Liver Disease Foundation, which receives support from educational grants from multiple pharmaceutical companies.

Dr. Reau serves in significant roles with the following organizations, receiving reimbursement or compensation as listed:

  • American Association for the Study of Liver Disease, Member of the Steering Committee for the Hepatitis C Special Interest Group, Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Liver Disease, receiving honoraria.
  • American College of Gastroenterology, Continuing Medical Education at courses, receiving honoraria and reimbursement for travel expenses.

Christopher E. Shih, MD

Christopher E. Shih, MDDr. Shih is currently a partner with Regional Gastroenterology Associates of Lancaster in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He serves on several committees within his practice as well as on the Engagement Council Physician Subcommittee of Lancaster General Health/Penn Medicine, and is a graduate of the Lancaster General Health Physician Leadership Academy.

Previously, he was a partner with Capital Digestive Care in the Washington, District of Columbia area.

Dr. Shih frequently gives lectures and contributes scholarly articles to organizations within his community. He is actively involved in community and charitable services, sits on the boards of multiple local nonprofit groups. He is a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine Gastroenterology Board Exam Committee and a fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology. He is also an accomplished pianist with an international reputation and a busy concertizing schedule.

Dr. Shih received his bachelor's degree in biochemistry cum laude from Harvard University and his medical degree from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He did his internal medicine residency training at the University of Pennsylvania and his gastroenterology fellowship training at Johns Hopkins. He is board certified in Gastroenterology.

As of July 2019, Dr. Shih reported no external relationships.

Joseph C. Yarze, MD

Joseph C. Yarze, MDDr. Yarze is a board certified internist and gastroenterologist. Since 2017, he has been a full-time clinician/educator in the GI Unit at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston. Dr. Yarze is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

In 1991, Dr. Yarze began his career as a gastroenterology staff consultant at The Guthrie Clinic in Sayre, Pennsylvania. While there, he received the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching from the Hahnemann Medical School. From 1994 to 2017, Dr. Yarze was the member of a single-specialty private practice in northeastern New York. Dr. Yarze has previously served as the Medical Director of the Glens Falls Hospital GI Center and as the Quality Improvement Officer for Northern GI Endoscopy, an office-based ambulatory endoscopy unit. Since practicing at MGH, Dr. Yarze has been the recipient of the 2017 Robert H. Schapiro award for Excellence in Inpatient Clinical Teaching and the 2018 Stephen E. Goldfinger award for Excellence in Ambulatory Clinical Teaching.

Dr. Yarze serves on the American Board of Internal Medicine Gastroenterology Board Exam Committee. He presently serves on the Editorial Review Board for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. Dr. Yarze was a volunteer teacher at Albany Medical College, where he was a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine. He previously served on the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) Standards of Practice, Healthcare and Public Policy and Budget and Financial Planning committees. He has contributed more than 200 articles/book chapters/letters and abstracts in peer-reviewed journals and books. Dr. Yarze is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American College of Gastroenterology, the ASGE, the American Gastroenterological Association and the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Dr. Yarze matriculated into medical school prior to completing undergraduate studies in chemistry at Rutgers University and holds a medical degree from Rutgers Medical School. He completed his internship, residency and fellowship in gastroenterology at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

As of May 2020, Dr. Yarze reported no external relationships.