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Diversity in the
Division of Gastroenterology


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.

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.

Committee Members:

Rotonya Carr, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine
Chair, Underrepresented Minority Committee

  • Subspecialty Interests:  The pathophysiology of fatty liver diseases
    • Clinical:  Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
    • Research: The role of nonalcoholic and alcoholic hepatic steatosis in glucose homeostasis
  • Location: 907 Biomedical Research Building
  • Email: rotonya.carr@uphs.upenn.edu
  • 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:  PCAM (Clinical and Research)
  • Email:  faten.aberra@uphs.upenn.edu
  • 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:  9 Blockley Hall
  • Email: kimberly.forde@uphs.upenn.edu
  • 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
  • Email: frederick.nunes@uphs.upenn.edu
  • Contact: 215-829-3561

Octavia Pickett-Blakely, MD, MHS, Assistant Professor of Medicine

  • Subspecialty Interests: Gastrointestinal manifestations of obesity
    • Clinical:  General gastroenterology and obesity related gastrointestinal disorders; Nutrition
    • Clinical Research: Outcomes in nutrition and obesity
  • Location:  9 Penn Tower
  • Email:  Octavia.Pickett-Blakely@uphs.upenn.edu
  • Contact:  215-349-8222

Anil K. Rustgi, MD, Chief of Gastroenterology

  • Subspecialty interests:  Gastroenterology cancers and genetics
  • Location:  PCAM (Clinical) CRB (Research)
  • Email:  anil2@mail.med.upenn.edu
  • Contact:  215-898-0154

Christina Twyman, MD, Instructor of Medicine

Committee Advisor, Rachael Berget, Associate Director, Professional Development, University of Pennsylvania

Current URM fellows:

  • Karen Chachu, MD, PhD
  • Natasha Fontaine, MD
  • Lauren Moore, MD

Events Calendar:

February 2014
"Work-life balance"
Co-Sponsored with GI Women's Committee
Date and Time TBA

April 2014
"Project and lab management"
Co-Sponsored with GI Women's Committee
Date and Time TBA

* View Previous Events *


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Summer GI Research Opportunities:

Suggested Reading Material:

University of Pennsylvania | Perelman School of Medicine