2017-05-09 14:55:45 UTC

AGA Honors Dr. Anil Rustgi with 2017 Friedenwald Medal

May 9, 2017

Dr. Rustgi was presented with the Julius Friedenwald Medal, the highest honor AGA bestows on a member.

Anil K. Rustgi

AGA bequeaths its highest honor, the Julius Friedenwald Medal, to Anil K. Rustgi, MD, AGAF, for his incredible contributions to the field of gastroenterology and AGA over several decades. Dr. Rustgi’s commitment, service and accomplishments in the field embody all the qualities needed for such recognition. He is a world-class investigator, leader and mentor whose career has spanned over 25 years, during which he has played an instrumental role as an investigator and clinician in GI oncology, with a focus on esophageal, pancreatic and colon cancers. Dr. Rustgi is the T. Grier Miller Professor of Medicine and Genetics, chief of the gastroenterology division and director of the NIH/NIDDK P30 Center for Molecular Studies in Digestive and Liver Diseases at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Dr. Rustgi’s accomplishments are the more admirable because of the personal qualities of unwavering integrity he brings to all his endeavors. His humble attributes, yet incredible and unrelenting passion to serve the field, AGA (as champion of women in GI, diversity in GI, international programs, the journals and increasing the endowment/fund-raising), and many individuals throughout the U.S. and abroad, are reflected in his durable and unmatched success over the years.
Dr. Rustgi’s contributions to AGA are well-known and extensive, and include uninterrupted involvement since 1989 culminating with his term as president from 2013-2014. His other AGA positions include editor-in-chief of Gastroenterology (2006- 2011), and chair for several committees, including the GI Oncology Section of the AGA Council, Education and Training, Research Policy, and Nominations. He has served on the AGA Governing Board in two different terms, and played additional roles on the Executive Finance Committee and Finance and Operations Committee. Dr. Rustgi received the 2016 AGA Distinguished Mentor Award and the AGA Institute Council Gastrointestinal Oncology Section Distinguished Mentor Award in 2012.
As a world-renowned leader in the field of GI oncology, Dr. Rustgi has interdisciplinary, collaborative research programs in GI cancer biology and   genetics. Particular interests are in the stem cell biology/regenerative medicine, the microenvironment and metastasis. He is an elected member of both the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians, and is past recipient of the AGA Fiterman and Funderberg awards. Dr. Rustgi has been honored by or selected as: president of the International Society of GI Cancers (2012-2013); councilor and future president of the American Pancreas Association (2015-2020); the Ruth C. Brufsky Award for Excellence in Research in Pancreatic Cancer (2013); an American Cancer Society Research Professorship (2009-2019); and the Distinguished Achievement Award from the South Asian American Society for Cancer Research (2012).
Dr. Rustgi has published more than 200 original articles in high-impact journals, including Nature, Nature Genetics, Cancer Cell, Genes and Development, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Gastroenterology and New England Journal of Medicine. In addition to numerous book chapters, reviews and editorials/commentaries, he has been editor of two different textbooks in GI cancers, and is currently associate editor of the Goldman-Cecil Textbook of Medicine. He has the honor of helping train nearly 70 postdoctoral fellows and graduate, medical and undergraduate students in his lab, overseeing NIH training grants and educational programs, supervising nearly 100 GI fellows in the Penn GI fellowship program, and garnered several mentoring awards from the University of Pennsylvania, including the faculty award by MD-PhD students (2003), the Distinguished Mentor Award from the Biomedical Postdoctoral Program (2012), and the Arthur Asbury Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award (2012), which is a highly prestigious medical school-wide recognition. Apart from his passion in education and mentorship, Dr. Rustgi is known as an outstanding clinician.
Dr. Rustgi received a bachelor’s degree from Yale University (summa cum laude) and his medical degree from Duke University (alpha omega alpha). His internship and residency were completed at Beth Israel Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, and he was a clinical and research fellow in gastroenterology at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. He rose to associate professor at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, before moving to the University of Pennsylvania in 1998.