Middleton Award to GI researcher
Yvette Tache, Ph.D.
Dr. Yvette Tache of the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System received VA's 2014 William S. Middleton Award for her studies on the links between the central nervous system and the digestive system.
Tache's research focuses on "functional disorders" such as irritable bowel syndrome and gastroparesis (a partial paralysis of the stomach, resulting in food remaining there for an abnormally long time). Patients with such disorders have chronic—and often severe and disabling—abdominal symptoms such as pain or bloating, but no underlying physical abnormalities in the GI tract.
Her work has shed light on the chemical pathways between the central nervous system and the peripheral autonomic system, and she has helped pioneer the field of neurogastroenterology—the study of brain-gut interactions.
Tache is also the associate director of the CURE: Digestive Diseases Research Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, and is co-director of UCLA's Gail and Gerald Oppenheimer Family Center for Neurobiology of Stress. She is the first woman researcher to receive the Middleton Award since 1962.
The William S. Middleton Award is the highest honor given by VA's Biomedical Laboratory R&D Service. It goes to a senior research scientist in recognition of outstanding scientific contributions and achievements in the areas of biomedical and behavioral research relevant to the health care of Veterans. The award honors William S. Middleton, M.D., a former VA chief medical director who was instrumental in initiating and expanding VA medical research.