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The Rome Foundation has a 15-year history of sponsoring research and recognizing outstanding publications on DGBIs. The goals of the research program have been three-fold: (1) to test the validity of the diagnostic criteria so that revisions to the criteria can be empirically based; (2) to increase knowledge of the prevalence and epidemiology of the FGIDs, especially in non-Western countries, in order to provide new insights into pathophysiology; and (3) to interest young investigators in research and clinical practice in the area of DGBIs

Aldo Torsoli Award for research, education and patient care in the area of gut-brain interactions

We are pleased to announce a joint award from Rome Foundation with the Aldo Torsoli Foundation in the area of Functional GI Disorders. Candidates must hold an MD or PhD and have an academic record of research, education, and patient care in the area of Disorders of the Gut-Brain Interaction (DGBI, formerly FGID).

To Apply

Candidate investigators can apply directly on our website or be recommended by one of their peers. Please keep in mind that nominations and self-nominations both require a letter of recommendation and completion of the required online forms. To be considered for this award, the candidate should be mid-level or senior level and have an academic record of research, education, and patient care in the area of gut brain interactions (DGBIs). Candidates must have completed an MD or PhD and be currently active in DGBI research.

The recipient of the award will be selected by a joint Scientific Selection Committee composed of six members, three from each Foundation. The award will be presented during the Rome Foundation Annual Reception at DDW in May 2021. Following DDW, the recipient will give a lecture about their work which will eventually be available for online streaming.

Amount: $10,000.
Deadline: December 31, 2020.

If you have any questions, please contact Johannah Ruddy at


2020 Also Torsoli Award

Professor Alexander C. Ford, MBChB, MD, FRCPProfessor Alexander C. Ford, MBChB, MD, FRCP
Professor of Gastroenterology and Honorary Consultant Gastroenterologist
Leeds Institute of Medical Research At St. James’s
University of Leeds and Leeds Gastroenterology Institute
Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust

Dr. Ford is a proponent of evidence-based medicine, with an interest in disorders of brain-gut interaction (DGBI). His work has informed management guidelines in both the UK and USA, and has informed treatment paradigms for several DGBI. He is the principal investigator of the ATLANTIS study in the UK, a large randomised controlled trial of amitriptyline for irritable bowel syndrome.

Ken Heaton Award for Most Cited Paper

The Rome Foundation established this award for most cited paper in memory of Ken Heaton MD, former Consultant Physician at the Bristol Royal Infirmary and Reader in Medicine at the University of Bristol. Dr. Heaton’s legacy to the study of the functional gastrointestinal disorders began with his early, novel suggestion that the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) could be diagnosed by history without exhaustive testing. That idea inspired what became known as the Manning Criteria. Three of four Manning criteria survive in the Rome IV criteria for IBS. He also made possible the first epidemiologic survey of the disorders, and invented a visual metric on human stool characteristics that is incorporated into the Rome III IBS criteria. Thus, Ken’s early concepts of the 1970s underlie IBS criteria at the present time. Dr. Heaton had other career successes as well – research and a book on bile salt physiology; monographs, collaborations, books and book chapters on the IBS; and seminal papers on dietary fiber. His many trainees and international colleagues remember him as a thoughtful, kindly doctor, clinician and clinical investigator. Dr. Heaton developed the well-known Bristol Stool Form Scale now used in most clinical trials of IBS and also applied in clinical care. This award commemorates Dr. Heaton’s work that inspired The Rome Foundation’s pursuit of international diagnostic criteria for functional gut disorders.


The Ken Heaton Award will be made yearly during Digestive Disease Week. The winning paper will be selected from all papers describing original research on functional GI and motility disorders published in the calendar year two years prior to the Digestive Disease Week at which the award is made. Reviews will not be eligible for the award.

Amount: $1,000

2020 Ken Heaton Most Cited Paper Award 

Peter Holger-Johnsen, MD

Title: Fecal microbiota transplantation versus placebo for moderate-to-severe irritable bowel syndrome: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, single-center trial. Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol.

2018 Jan;3(1):17-24

Ray Clouse Award for Best Research Publication on Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders

The Rome Foundation established this award in memory of Ray E. Clouse, MD a gastroenterologist and scholar at Washington University School of Medicine and a devoted member of the Rome Foundation. Ray’s academic career spanned 27 years of research, teachings and writings that has left an indelible mark in the field of functional GI and motility disorders and of gastroenterology in general.

2020 Ray Clouse Prize for Best Paper

Dr. Annette Fritscher-Ravens

In 2020, the Rome Foundation awarded the Ray Clouse Prize to Dr. Annette Fritscher-Ravens, Pflaum T, Mösinger M, Ruchay Z, Röcken C, Milla PJ, Das M, Böttner M, Wedel T, Schuppan D. Many Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome Have Atypical Food Allergies Not Associated with Immunoglobulin E. Gastroenterology. 2019 Jul;157(1):109-118.e5.

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