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Digestive Diseases Newsletter

March 2023

Message from Chief Loren Laine, MD

March 2023

Dear Colleagues,

It’s a pleasure to share the latest updates reflecting the outstanding work and accomplishments of the section as we move into springtime in Connecticut.

In recent news, the opening of our Digestive Health Center at 8 Devine Street in North Haven has led to great excitement in our section and across the School of Medicine. This modern and newly renovated space provides a great place to see our patients and also will promote multidisciplinary research collaboration and provide expanded access to clinical research trials for our patients. We are grateful to Bubu Banini, MD, PhD, for her instrumental role in leading the effort to shape the clinical research infrastructure of the site.

On the research front, our faculty members continue to excel. For example, clinical projects include studying the difference between ultrasound and abbreviated MRI in reducing liver cancer deaths in Veterans in a nine-year nationwide study, developing a groundbreaking treatment for Wilson Disease, and raising awareness about the inequities in access to direct-acting antiviral treatment, among many other projects.

As you know, March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, when we redouble our efforts to improve screening, especially for the younger eligible population. As Xavier Llor, MD, PhD, noted, it may take repeated reminders before patients agree to colorectal cancer screening, and we are working to improve our rate of screening, especially among individuals at our federally qualified health centers.

March is also when the U.S. News & World Report 2023-2024 Best Hospitals ballots are sent out—please take the time to cast a reputation vote for Yale New Haven Hospital in gastroenterology and GI surgery.

Thank you for all the work that you do. I hope that you enjoy reading about the inspiring and collaborative efforts in clinical care, research, and education by the members of our section.


Loren Laine, MD
Professor of Medicine (Digestive Diseases)
Section Chief, Digestive Diseases, Yale School of Medicine
Medical Chief, Digestive Health, Yale New Haven Health

March 2023 Newsletter Issue

Raising Awareness About Colorectal Cancer

With the arrival of March, Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, faculty and staff in the Department of Internal Medicine’s Section of Digestive Diseases are redoubling their efforts to spread the word about the importance of screening.

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  • Cracking Peanuts and the Code to Wilson Disease

    Warren is the first person in the world to receive a groundbreaking treatment for this rare, serious genetic condition, Wilson Disease, in which excessive amounts of copper accumulates in the body, particularly in the liver and brain. Wilson Disease can cause liver and neurological damage, as well as psychiatric issues with memory, impulse control, and anger. A strong, long-term relationship between Warren and Professor of Medicine Michael Schilsky, MD, the physician who is investigating this treatment, has been essential to this novel treatment which has the potential to help patients all over the world.

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  • The VA Launches Largest-Ever Trial on Screening Methods for Liver Cancer

    The largest clinical trial in history related to liver cancer screening is launching in 2023, funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The project is scheduled to recruit 4,700 veterans with cirrhosis from 47 VA medical centers. Cirrhosis is a major risk factor for liver cancer and affects veterans disproportionally.

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