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    Stony Brook Medicine Appoints Ellen Li, MD, PhD as Chief of GI Division

    A Physician-Scientist, Dr. Ellen Li’s expertise enhances Division’s translational research capabilities for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases 

    STONY BROOK, N.Y., May 6, 2013 –  Ellen Li, MD, PhD, a gastroenterologist and research scientist investigating digestive diseases, has been appointed Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in the Department of Medicine at Stony Brook University School of Medicine, announced Vincent Yang, MD, PhD, the Simons Chair of Medicine at Stony Brook University. Dr. Li will oversee the clinical, research and training of a Division that specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the digestive tract and liver. 

    Since coming to Stony Brook from Washington University School of Medicine in 2009, Dr. Li, also a Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, has worked to integrate the research of Stony Brook basic scientists with clinicians to develop clinical translational research programs. Most notably, she launched an Interdepartmental Digestive Diseases Biobanking Core, with generous support from the Simons Foundation, to provide an infrastructure to conduct translational research. Her current research interests are on defining the role of the gut microbiome in digestive diseases, particularly in inflammatory bowel diseases, colon cancer and functional GI disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome.  

     “Dr Li’s clinical experience, leadership skills, research approach and insight as a physician scientist make her uniquely qualified to lead the GI Division,” said Dr. Yang. “Medicine is on the forefront of making great strides in treating digestive diseases, and Dr. Li’s vision will further enhance our approach to preventing, diagnosing and treating these conditions.” 

    Dr. Li has been an active physician scientist since receiving her MD and PhD degrees in 1980 from the Washington University School of Medicine Medical Scientist Training Program. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and a fellowship in Gastroenterology at Washington University, where she remained as a member of the Washington University School of Medicine faculty. 

    At Washington University, Dr. Li rose to become Professor of Medicine and Director of a National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) sponsored Digestive Diseases Research Core Center.  As director, Dr. Li spearheaded the development of a Biobanking core within this center. 

    Dr. Li has been recognized for her many research and academic accomplishments. She was a Lucille B. Markey Scholar (1985-91), a recipient of the NIH Research Career Development Award (1992-97), and a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Toxicology Scholar (1995-2000). 

    A founding member and past president of the Academic Women’s Network at Washington University, Dr. Li has also been elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigators and the Association of American Physicians. She is a member of numerous other professional societies, including the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the American Gastroenterological Association and the American Federation for Clinical Research. 

    Dr. Li is the author of more than 80 peer-reviewed articles and several chapters in the Textbook of Gastroenterology. She holds numerous editorial responsibilities for several digestive disease journals and as a reviewer for research journals in biochemistry and cell biology. 

    Photo Caption: Dr. Ellen Li, Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, in front/center, with Dr. Vincent Yang, the Simons Chair of Medicine (far left) and colleagues from the Division, from left,: Drs. Atul Kumar, Ramona Rajapakse, Robert Richards, Isabelle von Althen, Chris Lascarides, Satish Nagula, Asim Khokhar and Juan Carlos Bucobo. 

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    About the Division of Gastroenterology at Stony Brook Medicine
    Each year Stony Brook GI specialists within the Division perform more than 8,000 endoscopic procedures to diagnose and treat a myriad of conditions, such as inflammatory bowel diseases, cancer, and other GI disorders. Faculty members also conduct investigative work that includes new drug discovery and the development of methods to prevent cancer using novel approaches such as nanotechnology and magnifying endoscopy. The Division also holds physician training in the treatment of GI and liver diseases, including a GI Fellowship Program that requires both training in clinical and research work.