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The Division of Gastroenterology at the University of Pennsylvania is committed to the highest quality of patient care, research and education. We recognize that in order to achieve these objectives it is necessary to recruit and retain physicians and other health care professionals who represent our diverse patient population. With this recognition in mind we are committed to:

  • The recruitment and retention of underrepresented minorities at all levels to the Division of Gastroenterology
  • Career development and mentorship of current underrepresented minority fellows and faculty
  • Establishment of a “pipeline” to ensure that underrepresented minority students and residents, clinical fellows, post doctoral research fellows and junior faculty have appropriate mentorship and guidance for career advancement
  • Fostering research in multicultural GI related health issues, outcomes and policy
  • Coordinating efforts with the university, medical school and hospital to increase and retain underrepresented minority faculty.

Committee Members

The Underrepresented Minority (URM) Committee of the Division of Gastroenterology was created as a mechanism to help meet these goals.  The committee meets bimonthly to discuss ways to increase underrepresented minority fellow and faculty recruitment to the Division of Gastroenterology, to develop curricula geared toward career development and mentorship, and discuss issues relevant to URM professional development in gastroenterology.  Although the committee is comprised of URM faculty, we encourage all fellows and faculty to participate in our programs.

Christina Twyman-Saint Victor, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Chair, Underrepresented Minority in GI Committee
Subspecialty Interests:  GI cancers, pancreatic cancer
Research: The roles of radiation therapy and immunotherapy in pancreatic cancer and other cancers
Location: 906 Biomedical Research Building II/III
Contact: 215-349-8222

Rotonya M. Carr, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Subspecialty Interests: 
Clinical: Comprehensive management of fatty liver disease
Research: Translational and basic science research in liver metabolic diseases including non-alcoholic and alchoholic fatty liver disease, focusing on the pathologic role of lipds and lipd associated proteins
Location: 907 Biomedical Research Building II/III
Contact: 215-349-8222

Faten Aberra, MD, MSCE
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Subspecialty Interests:  Clinical-Educator,
Clinical:  Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Gastrointestinal Infectious Disease, General Gastroenterology
Clinical Research:  Inflammatory Bowel Disease Epidemiology, Natural History and Therapy
Location:  7208 PCAM (Clinical and Research)
Contact:  215-349-8222

Kimberly A. Forde, MD, MHS
Assistant Professor of Medicine & Epidemiology
Subspecialty Interests:  Acute and chronic liver diseases
Clinical: Chronic Liver Disease, Chronic Hepatitis C infection, Acute Liver Injury, Drug Induced Liver Injury
Clinical Research: Hepatitis C Epidemiology, Natural History, Therapy and Post-Liver Transplant, Outcomes, Acute Liver Failure
Location: 722 Blockley Hall
Contact:  215-746-8597

Frederick A. Nunes, MD
Clinical Professor of Medicine
Subspecialty Interests: Hepatology
Clinical: Hepatology
Location: Pennsylvania Hospital, Washington Square Endoscopy Center, LLC
Contact: 215-829-3561

Octavia Pickett-Blakely, MD, MHS
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Director of the GI nutrition, Celiac Sprue and Obesity program (NCOP)
Subspecialty Interests: Gastrointestinal manifestations of obesity
Clinical:  General gastroenterology and obesity related gastrointestinal disorders; Nutrition
Clinical Research: Outcomes in nutrition and obesity
Location: 7203 PCAM
Contact:  215-349-8222

Current URM fellows

  • Lauren Nephew, MD
  • Amanke Oranu, MD
  • Claudio Rivera, MD
  • Akinbowale Oyalowo, MD

Summer GI Research Opportunity

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