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May 6, 2014

William S. Middleton Award to Dale Gerding, M.D., and Raj Goyal, M.D.

The William S. Middleton Award is the highest honor awarded annually by the Biomedical Laboratory R&D Service. It goes to a senior VA research scientist in recognition of his other outstanding scientific contributions and achievements in the areas of biomedical and behavioral research relevant to the healthcare of Veterans. Established in 1960, the award honors William S. Middleton, M.D., a former VA chief medical director who was instrumental in initiating and stimulating VA medical research.

This year, VA Research honored two investigators: Dr. Dale Gerding, and Dr. Raj Goyal.

Dale Gerding, M.D.
Research Physician, Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital

(Photo by Jerry Daliege)

A VA clinician scientist for more than 38 years, Dr. Dale Gerding was honored for his significant contributions to epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of hospital infections. Because of Dr. Dale Gerding, health care providers today know more about how to prevent, and better treat infection from C. difficile ("C-diff"), a superbug that can cause severe diarrhea and in some instances may be life-threatening. Among those most susceptible to C-diff are nursing home residents and elderly hospital patients, especially if they've been taking antibiotics (which may have the effect of killing off "good" bacteria). Dr. Gerding is also known for his work designing the first prospective, randomized trial of two antibiotics. The trial, which showed no significant difference in clinical outcome from use of the drugs, led to considerable cost-savings. Dr. Gerding also has served in several leadership roles at VA, including eight years as associate chief of staff for research and development at the Edwards Hines Jr. VA.

Raj Goyal, M.D.
Director, Swallowing and Motility Program, Associate Chief of Research and Development, VA Boston Health Care System, West Roxbury Campus

  Raj Goyal, M.D. A VA clinician-scientist for more than 17 years, Dr. Raj Goyal is nationally and internationally recognized for research that has advanced the diagnosis and treatment of esophageal diseases and gastrointestinal motility disorders (diseases of the gut). Work by Dr. Goyal and his team has provided the foundation for the current understanding of major clinical disorders such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), irritable bowel syndrome, and swallowing disorders, among others. His research also led to the development of the standards used today for the diagnosis, screening, and surveillance of disorders such as Barrett's esophagus (a complication of GERD) and esophageal cancer. Additionally, concepts stemming from Dr. Goyal's research have been included in clinical practice, as well as in current textbooks of internal medicine, gastroenterology, and endocrinology. In addition to his service at the VA Boston VAMC, Dr. Goyal has served at the VAMCs in Houston and Dallas, both as a consulting gastroenterologist and as a mentor to fellows in clinical gastroenterology and research.

To learn more about Dr. Goyal and his work, see www.brighamandwomens.org/Departments_and_Services/medicine/services/gastroenterology/research/goyal.aspx

To learn more about the Middleton Award, or for a list of previous recipients, see www.research.va.gov/services/blrd/research-awards.cfm


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