2019 AGA – Rome Foundation Research Award Recipient
Principle Investigator: Joan W. Chen, MD, MS
Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine
Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Dr. Chen is a gastroenterologist and an early-career investigator at the University of Michigan with a focus on esophageal diseases. After completion of her GI fellowship at Northwestern, she received advanced training in esophageal disorders under the guidance of Drs. John Pandolfino and Peter Kahrilas. She also completed a Master’s degree in Clinical Investigation at Northwestern University in 2013. Her primary research interest involves understanding treatment failure in patients with gastroesophageal reflux symptoms and developing novel therapeutic options. As a clinician, she has three half-clinics a week dedicated to seeing patients with esophageal conditions, a significant proportion of which present with complaints related to persistent reflux symptoms despite medical therapy. Since 2015, she initiated a research collaboration with sleep experts in Neurology and Psychiatry and completed two projects to assess the association between sleep dysfunction and persistent reflux symptoms. With the knowledge gained from these studies, she looks forward to conducting prospective trials using sleep intervention to improve reflux symptoms in refractory reflux patients.