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Higher Education
University of Texas Medical Branch
News Release
Thursday, June 23, 2011

Verne named director of UTMB gastroenterology and hepatology


GALVESTON — Dr. G. Nicholas Verne, noted clinician, investigator and teacher, has been named division director for gastroenterology and hepatology at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. He assumed his duties at UTMB June 16. Dr. Verne will also serve as associate chairman for academic affairs and will hold the title of Blanton Distinguished Professor of Internal Medicine.


He is an internationally recognized expert in gastrointestinal motility disorders and visceral pain. He has published extensively in these fields and is author or co-author of more than 75 peer-reviewed articles.


“Dr. Verne is a world expert in understanding the etiology of visceral and somatic hypersensitivity in irritable bowel syndrome,” said Dr. Vincent Yang, director of the division of digestive diseases at Emory School of Medicine. He has clearly established himself at the forefront of this field, as evidenced by his copious scientific productivity, grant support and invited lectures.”


Besides his achievements as a clinical scientist, “he is an extremely accomplished and sensitive clinician and an outstanding administrator,” according to his former colleague Jackie Wood, professor of physiology and cell biology and internal medicine at Ohio State University Medical Center.


At his previous post as chief of adult gastroenterology at The Ohio State University Medical Center, Verne oversaw a major renovation and addition to the physical facilities in one of the university hospitals on the main campus, adding new endoscopic suites, imaging facilities, examination rooms and offices. He recruited many new faculty members to the division and expanded and significantly enhanced patient services in gastroenterology, hepatology and transplant hepatology at Ohio State, according to Wood.


Verne’s peers recognize him as a star whose superior research is verified by continued funding from the most competitive sources, i.e., the NIH and Veteran’s Administration, said Dr. Keith Tolman, former chief of the division of gastroenterology, hepatology and clinic pharmacology at the University of Utah.


“His studies on central and peripheral hypersensitivity/hyperalgesia in irritable bowel syndrome are best described as breakthrough” said Tolman.


Verne is also recognized nationally as a gifted teacher — he is articulate, warm and thoughtful, according to Tolman. While working at the University of Florida, he received the “Outstanding Faculty Teacher” award.


In May, 2011, at the annual American Gastroenterology Association Meeting in Chicago, Verne joined a select group — he received a Master’s Award in Gastroenterology for outstanding achievement in basic and clinical digestive sciences, one of the most prestigious international awards in that field. This year there were only eight winners of the award world-wide.


ABOUT UTMB HEALTH: Established in 1891, Texas' academic health center comprises four health sciences schools, three institutes for advanced study, a research enterprise that includes one of only two national laboratories dedicated to the safe study of infectious threats to human health, and a health system offering a full range of primary and specialized medical services throughout Galveston County and the Texas Gulf Coast region. UTMB Health is a component of the University of Texas System and a member of the Texas Medical Center.

Remembering Jim Guidry

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