Trailblazer for women in gastroenterology, Dr. Barbara H. Jung takes over as AGA president

Bethesda, MD (June 1, 2023) – Today, Barbara H. Jung, MD, AGAF, will begin her term as the 118th president of the AGA Institute. She currently serves as the first woman Robert G. Petersdorf professor and chair of internal medicine at the University of Washington and is the fourth woman president to lead AGA.

Dr. Jung is an international expert in the field of TGF-beta superfamily signaling in colon cancer and has made significant contributions at AGA prior to becoming president, most recently as a member of the finance and operations committee, chair-elect of audit committee and vice chair of the AGA Research Foundation.

“Barbara is the quintessential example of the quadruple threat in academic medicine – she is a brilliant researcher, astute clinician, engaging teacher and most importantly a nice person,” says Nirmala Gonsalves, co-director of eosinophilic GI disorders at Northwestern University. “Despite all of her accolades, she is humble, gracious and kind and always willing to mentor and support her colleagues. Through the years I have known Barbara, I am continually impressed with her dedication to her profession, her family and her friends.”

Born in Portland, Oregon and raised in Munich, Germany, Dr. Jung’s parents provided unconditional support for her career choice in medicine and nurtured her leadership skills throughout her childhood.

Her academic career began at Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich followed by post-doctoral studies in colon cancer at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center in San Diego and eventually culminating in an internal medicine residency at University of California, San Diego.

Dr. Jung joined the AGA Governing Board in June 2021 as vice president and served as president-elect prior to assuming the top leadership role. Over her time as an AGA member (which started during fellowship), Dr. Jung has also served on the AGA Audit Committee, AGA Registry Research and Publications Committee, AGA Research Policy Committee and AGA Innovation and Technology Task Force. In 2017, she co-organized the AGA Academic Skills Workshop training the next generation of gastroenterologists.

“Barbara is the consummate mentor and visionary leader who leads by example,” says Dr. Rotonya Carr, chief of gastroenterology and hepatology at University of Washington. “I am inspired by her fortitude, resolve, dedication to those she helps develop, and ability to make the complex relatable. As a woman physician-scientist leading a premier academic department, she is also such a role model for me and other women physician-scientists who aim to sow into the next generation of GIs.”

Learn more about Dr. Jung’s inspiring journey to AGA presidency in Gastroenterology.

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