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2015 Gold Medalist

Reza Shaker, MD, is Joseph E. Geenen professor, chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, director of the Digestive Disease Center and senior associate dean for Clinical and Translational Research at the Medical College of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is the principle investigator and director of the Southeastern Wisconsin Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

His research career includes both T1 and T2 clinical and translational research, NIH- and industry-sponsored clinical trials and the development and clinical use of medical devices and endoscopic techniques. He is internationally recognized for his studies of deglutition and deglutition disorders, gastroesophageal reflux disease and cerebral cortical control of gastrointestinal sensory motor function. Dr. Shaker is a Master of American College of Physicians and is frequently cited among America's 'Top Doctors.'

Continuous NIH support of his work for the past 25 years has led to seminal discoveries in the area of airway protection against aspiration, which have opened new avenues of investigation and treatment for patients with swallowing disorders and gastroesophageal reflux disease. He developed the rehabilitative exercises for treatment of upper esophageal sphincter dysphagia: the ‘Shaker Exercises’ which are commonly used in clinical practice. He developed the field of functional interaction between the upper gut and aerodigestive tract that has resulted in discovery of several airway protective reflexes. In addition, he developed the technique of T-EGD for concurrent evaluation of the aerodigestive and upper GI tracts.

Most recently his work on pathophysiologic mechanisms of reflux induced aerodigestive and airway disorders resulted in development of the 'UES Assist Device' for prevention of reflux of gastric content into the pharynx and its aspiration. His scholarly work has been published in over 360 manuscripts. Dr. Shaker has a long record of training students, fellows and faculty, some of whom currently hold leadership positions.

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