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Anna Lok, M.D., honored for changing the landscape of hepatitis C treatment

University of Michigan researchers earn awards and recognition during Digestive Disease Week

Anna S. Lok, M.D., FRCP, AGAF, the Alice Lohrman Andrews Research Professor in Hepatology at the University of Michigan, was honored Sunday by the American Gastroenterological Association for her pioneering work in liver diseases.

She has earned the AGA’s 2016 William Beaumont Prize in Gastroenterology, which recognizes an individual who has made a unique, outstanding contribution of major importance to the field. The award was presented during Digestive Disease Week, the world’s largest gathering of digestive disease researchers and physicians.

Anna Lok
Dr. Anna S. Lok

Lok has led some of the most prominent studies in clinical hepatology and has effectively altered the practice of medicine for the betterment of patients worldwide. She made a crucial contribution to hepatitis C research, demonstrating that it is possible to cure hepatitis C with interferon-free regimens using a combination of direct-acting antiviral agents.

At the U-M, she is director of clinical hepatology at the University of Michigan Health System and assistant dean for clinical research.

She is in line to become the president of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) in 2017.

Lok has co-authored four iterations of the AASLD guidelines on hepatitis B which shapes the management of hepatitis B worldwide.  The World Health Organization asked Lok to serve on its guideline development panel for hepatitis B and hepatitis C in 2014 and 2015.

Since joining the AGA in 1996 the U-M professor has severed on several of AGA committees, and earned continuous federal funding for her research throughout her career.

Lok was educated at the University of Hong Kong and Royal Free Hospital in London. She received postdoctoral training in molecular biology techniques at University of California-San Francisco and University of California-Los Angeles.

Additional U-M faculty and staff earned awards and recognition during Digestive Disease Week including:

  • Graham  Brady, M.D., Ph.D., who earned the DDW Basic Science Travel Award, AGA-GRG Fellow Abstract Prize. The DDW travel awards were created to encourage trainees to become more involved in digestive disease research.
  • John Carethers, M.D., chair of the U-M Department of Internal Medicine, who earned the Gastrointestinal Oncology Section Research Mentor Award from the AGA Institute Council.  Awardees have committed themselves to training young investigators and have a demonstrated track record of outstanding research mentorship.
  • Grace Elta, M.D., medical director of the Medical Procedures Unit and DDW Council Chair, will give the 2016 Jack A. Vennes, M.D., and Stephen E. Silvis M.D. State-of-the-art Lecture. In recognition of the role of Drs. Vennes and Silvis in the evolution of the GI practice and their commitment to teaching complex endoscopic procedures to generations of gastroenterologists, the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) honors the physicians with the lectureship.
  • Costas Lyssiotis, Ph.D., earned the AGA-Caroline Craig Augustyn and Damian Augustyn Award in Digestive Cancer. The grant is for a young investigator, instructor, research associate or equivalent who currently holds a federal or non-federal career development award devoted to conducting research related to digestive cancer.
  • Anoop Prabhu, M.D., earned an interactive education – ASGE Learning Center Honorable Mention. The ASGE Learning Center is an educational resource that provides DDW attendees the opportunity to participate in hands-on training and learn how ASGE is advancing the practice of endoscopy.

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