April 20, 2007

Peek elected to gastroenterological section

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Richard Peek, M.D.

Peek elected to gastroenterological section

Vanderbilt's Richard Peek, M.D., has been elected to the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute Council for the Esophageal, Gastric and Duodenal Disorders section.

Peek is director of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. He will serve as vice chair for two years, then as chair for two years. The AGA's 20 council members from around the country determine the program for the AGA section of the annual Digestive Diseases Week event, which is attended by 15,000 people from around the world. Council members also lead in programming, education, research direction and patient advocacy roles as well.

Peek's election will maintain Vanderbilt's presence in this important flagship organization for gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary health and disease. In May, Brent Polk, M.D., recently named interim chair of the Department of Pediatrics, will complete four years on the AGA council as chair of its Growth, Development and Aging section.

Peek has been on the Vanderbilt faculty since 1996 and assumed leadership of the Division in 2004. His research focuses on the pathogenesis of Helicobacter pylori and how virulence factors impact cellular responses with carcinogenic potential. He's published numerous papers in high-profile journals and won several awards and honors, including the Grant Liddle Scholarship for excellence in clinical research in 1994; the Glaxo Institute of Digestive Health Basic Research Award in 1995; the AGA's Miles and Shirley Fiterman Foundation Basic Research Award in 2001; the Young Investigator Award from the AGA in 2003; and he was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2003.