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High quality research sparks interest for the University of Calgary’s gastroenterology program

Snyder Institute member receives Young Investigator Award

By Karen Brookins

Snyder Institute member Dr. Gil Kaplan, MD’00, MPH, FRCPC, was recently recognized for his outstanding contributions to the gastrointestinal community at the 2013 Canadian Association of Gastroenterology (CAG) Annual Awards Ceremony. Kaplan received the honourable Young Investigator Award, distinguishing his work in basic and/or clinical research.

“This award is an immense honour,” says Kaplan. “It speaks to the patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) I care for. It also provides me the motivation to tirelessly conduct research on the underlying causes of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

“In addition, it is the collective support I have received from my colleagues and funders that has been critical to my research productivity, which is now being recognized nationally.”

By winning the award, Kaplan was given the privilege to give the CAG Young Investigator Award Lecture at the Canadian Digestive week Conference on March 3, 2013.The talk was entitled “IBD in the Year 2023: Challenges and Opportunities”, highlighting the major areas of his research and future directions.

In 2011, Kaplan earned a spot in the Avenue Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40 after being the first researcher to show that air pollution can be a contributing factor to IBD. Since then, he continues to study how the environment causes IBD and is one of the leaders of the Alberta IBD Consortium.

The Calvin, Phoebe and Joan Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases was named in 2008 in honour of Joan Snyder and her parents, who she credits for teaching her the value of philanthropy. It is a group of more than 104 clinicians, clinician-scientists and basic scientists who are impacting and changing the lives of people suffering from chronic diseases, including sepsis, MRSA, cystic fibrosis, type-1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. For more information on the Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases, please visit us at or follow us on Twitter @SnyderInstitute.