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A welcome message from the Chief

Dr. Kenneth J. Chang, chief of the Division of Gastroenterology at UC Irvine's School of Medicine
Kerrin Piché Serna / University Communications
Dr. Kenneth J. Chang, chief of the Division of Gastroenterology at UC Irvine's School of Medicine

It is the mission of the Division of Gastroenterology at UC Irvine's School of Medicine to be a world-class center for the study and treatment of digestive diseases.

Our internationally renowned faculty members have built a reputation for conducting leading-edge research and perfecting clinical applications for new technologies, all with the goal of delivering exceptional patient care. Many of our physicians consistently rank among the nation's top gastroenterologists in surveys of their peers.

The division's main clinical enterprise is the H.H. Chao Comprehensive Digestive Disease Center (CDDC), a multidisciplinary "one-stop shop" where gastroenterologists, hepatologists, oncologists, pathologists, radiologists and surgeons all work in concert to provide the best possible care.

The CDDC has been recognized as being among the top 50 centers for gastroenterology care by US News & World Report.

Our faculty members also are engaged in a broad spectrum of clinical and basic research to advance the knowledge, treatment and cure of gastrointestinal diseases.

Their work has brought the Division of Gastroenterology national and international recognition for excellence. Subjects under study include novel mechanisms for arresting cancer growth; molecular mechanisms of gastrointestinal and esophageal ulcers; gene therapy for treating esophageal and pancreatic cancers; new techniques and modalities in interventional endoscopy; new developments in the diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis B and C and liver cancer, and new advances in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease

Education is also a vital part of our mission. We have a superior accredited three-year fellowship program, as well as a one-year program in advanced endoscopic ultrasound for gastrointestinal oncology. Training includes rotations at four sites, each offering a unique clinical experience and perspective on patient care. They are UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, the VA Long Beach Healthcare System and Kaiser Permanente's Anaheim and Irvine centers.

Our fellows work with the division's highly skilled faculty members to treat a broad range of gastrointestinal diseases. They also learn break-through treatments perfected by division faculty members, including gene therapy for pancreatic cancer and endoscopic ultrasound for the early diagnosis and pre-operative staging of gastrointestinal cancers.

Another technique pioneered at UC Irvine is endoscopic ultrasound-guided, fine-needle aspiration. Today it is used worldwide as a superior, cost-effective and less invasive alternative to surgical biopsy, sparing patients from difficult and painful exploratory surgeries.

More recently our faculty members have developed other leading-edge techniques such as radiofrequency and cyroablation for Barrett's esophagus, interventional endoscopic ultrasound and confocal laser-induced endomicroscopy.

It is through this emphasis on leading-edge research and outstanding clinical training that we in the Division of Gastroenterology dedicate ourselves to providing the highest quality, compassionate patient care.