May 23, 2008

Polk to lead gastroenterological association

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Brent Polk, M.D., has been elected chair of the American Gastroenterol- ogical Association Institute Council. (photo by Anne Rayner)

Polk to lead gastroenterological association

Brent Polk, M.D., director of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, has been elected to chair the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute Council.

Polk, also acting chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, will be the first pediatrician to serve in this role. He will first serve one year as acting council chair and will then lead the council until 2012.

“During my time on the council as head of the Growth, Development and Aging section, I had the privilege of working with an outstanding group to develop meetings that covered the spectrum of our constituents — clinical, epidemiological, quality improvement, translational and basic science. I welcome the opportunity to work with councilors again to develop exciting meetings and programs to educate, challenge and mentor those who care about gastrointestinal health and disease,” Polk said.

Polk has served the AGA for more than 15 years in various capacities. He also serves as the director of the NIH-supported Vanderbilt Digestive Diseases Research Center. Richard Peek, M.D., director of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, said Polk is the right choice to serve the diverse needs of the AGA.

“Brent is uniquely qualified to lead the AGA Council based on his expertise in clinical, basic and translational research, as well as his experience in dealing with clinical issues that gastroenterologists and hepatologists face on a daily basis,” Peek said. “Brent brings to this position the requisite experience and passion to address all of these needs. He will do a spectacular job.”

The AGA Institute Council serves the AGA's 16,000 members, developing high quality educational and scientific programming, guidelines/standards of practice and other educational resources to help members provide better clinical care.