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The faculty members listed below participate in training fellows in the digestive disease epidemiology training program. Trainees may elect other members of the medical school and public health school faculty to serve as their preceptors.

Robert Sandler, MD, MPH, is the director of the training program and director of the NIH-funded Digestive Disease Research Center, the Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease. His research has concerned the epidemiology of a number of chronic gastrointestinal conditions including individuals at higher risk to develop gastrointestinal malignancies, diverticulosis, irritable bowel syndrome, gastric cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, constipation, colon adenomas and microscopic colitis. His current research is focused on diverticulosis, microscopic colitis and patient reported outcomes in IBD.

Sidney Barritt, MD, MSCR, joined the GI faculty after serving as a trainee on this award. He is a transplant hepatologist with a special interest in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. He is currently the clinical director of hepatology at UNC and the transplant hepatology fellowship program director.  He has mentored several past fellows.

Evan Dellon, MD MPH, joined the UNC faculty in 2008 after obtaining an MPH degree on this training grant. He is currently funded by an R01 from the NIH. He is the Director of the UNC Center for Esophageal Diseases and Swallowing, and his major research interest is in eosinophilic esophagitis. In particular, he has active investigations in both etiologic and clinical epidemiology on this topic.

Donna Evon, PhD, is a clinical psychologist with research interests in identifying and understanding psychological, social and behavioral factors associated with hepatitis C, antiviral treatment initiation, and treatment outcomes. Her research also includes developing psychosocial interventions to improve access to care, coping with treatment-related side effects and the stress of antiviral treatment, medication adherence, and persistence on antiviral therapy regimens. She is an expert in qualitative research and patient reported outcomes.

Michael Fried, MD, has been involved with clinical and laboratory studies of hepatitis C since 1990 when he served for three years as a medical staff fellow in the Liver Diseases Section of the National Institutes of Health. Dr Fried has been the principal investigator on numerous Phase I, II and III clinical trials of various antiviral agents for chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Since his appointment to UNC in 1998, Dr. Fried has received funding from the NIH for investigator-initiated research and has been funded by a K24 Mid-Career Investigator Award.

Hans Herfarth, MD, PhD, is a gastroenterologist with clinical and research interest and expertise in inflammatory bowel disease. He is the past chair of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation Clinical Alliance. He was the PI for “Merit-UC: methotrexate response in treatment of ulcerative colitis” a randomized, double blind, prospective trial that is investigating the efficacy of methotrexate in induction and maintenance of steroid free remission in ulcerative colitis (U01DK092239).

Michael Kappelman, MD, MPH, is a pediatric gastroenterologist with interests in epidemiology, pharmacoepidemiology, and health services research in the area of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). He joined the UNC faculty after completing fellowships in pediatric gastroenterology and pediatric health services research at Harvard Medical School and a Master’s in Public Health in Clinical Effectiveness at the Harvard School of Public Health. His current work is focused on analyzing the utilization of resources and economic impact of IBD, and studying the quality of care in this patient population.

Millie Long, MD, MPH, received an MPH while a fellow in this program. She is currently the training program director in the GI Division. She is chair of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation Clinical Research Alliance. During her fellowship she also completed board certification in Preventive Medicine. Her research interest is in preventive care aspects of inflammatory bowel disease. She has authored seminal papers on the risk of malignancy associated with IBD therapies. She is the co-editor in chief of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

Jennifer Lund, PhD, is a graduate of the program. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology with a focus on pharmacoepidemiology. She has special expertise working with large administrative databases to address issues in comparative effectiveness.

Anne Peery, MD, MSCR, is a graduate of the program. She received a K23 award from the NIH. Her research focus is on diverticular disease and she has written original research on this topic as well as serving as an author of guidelines from the AGA. She has also served as the lead author of a paper periodically published by our group on the burden of GI disease.

David Ransohoff, MD was the founding director of the Translational and Clinical Research Curriculum at UNC. The curriculum provides a non-degree two-year training program for a group of carefully selected trainees, each of whom is committed to a career as a clinical investigator. Dr. Ransohoff’s research has concerned clinical epidemiology methodology with important contributions to our understanding of asymptomatic gallstones, colorectal cancer screening and recently the application of clinical epidemiology principles to biomarker research.

Nicholas Shaheen, MD, MPH, is a gastroenterologist who received a Master’s in Public Health in Epidemiology from UNC’s School of Public Health as a previous trainee in this program. He is the current GI Division Chief. His research is in the areas of Barrett’s esophagus, esophageal adenocarcinoma, and gastroesophageal reflux disease.  His current work seeks to better define the risk factors for Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma. He is supported by an R01 and a Mid-Career Investigator (K24) Award. Healthcare utilization issues are especially important in GERD, and a major focus of his work has been the utilization of endoscopy and other healthcare expenditures related to GERD and Barrett’s esophagus.

Til Stürmer, MD, PhD, is the chair of the Department of Epidemiology at UNC. He has a dual focus in epidemiologic methods and clinical epidemiology. His research in epidemiologic methods includes the development of more efficient matching strategies in genetic epidemiology, measurement error correction methods in case-control studies, the value of propensity scores for pharmacoepidemiologic studies, and the novel integration of ideas from measurement error correction and propensity score analysis to improve control for confounding by medication-use choices using data from validation studies.

The faculty on this application are unusually interactive. Figure 1 indicates shared publications between fellows and faculty during the past 10 years.

Figure 1. Collaboration between faculty and trainees*


*The nodes represent current faculty and present/past fellows (past 10 years). The size of the node is proportional to the number of publications with a trainee. The colors represent interest groups: red (esophageal), yellow (colonic), blue (liver), green (IBD). Collaborations are represented by connecting lines. Publications are limited to papers written by a trainee within one year of fellowship completion. Created using VOSviewer software