WFUBMC Gastroenterologist Wins Medical Research Award

January 30, 2006

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Girish Mishra, M.D., M.S., associate professor of internal medicine, section on gastroenterology at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, was recently awarded the Research Excellence in Gastroenterology and Liver (REGAL) award, a national honor for gastrointestinal and liver researchers.

Mishra, director of the gastroenterology fellowship program at Wake Forest Baptist, received the REGAL award for a research project to determine the best way to diagnose pancreatic cancer. His research has been accepted for publication in the scholarly journal, Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.

His study evaluated the benefit of screening for telomerase (an indirect marker for cancer) in addition to cytology (the examination of suspected cells) in helping diagnose pancreatic cancer. He found that the additional test for telomerase increased the sensitivity for detecting pancreatic cancer from 85 percent to 98 percent.

The REGAL awards program honors junior faculty members or clinical fellows who demonstrate the ability to conduct important research in areas of upper gastroenterology, endoscopy, lower gastroenterology, outcomes or hepatobiliary (referring to disease of the pancreas, bile ducts and gall bladder) research. Twenty recipients were selected from medical research centers throughout the country by a national panel of eight senior-level researchers. Each received a cash award plus travel and lodging to attend a symposium in San Francisco, Calif., where they presented a summary of their research.


Media Contacts: Jim Steele,, Shannon Koontz,, or Karen Richardson,, at (336) 716-4587.

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine. The system comprises 1,187 acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and is consistently ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report.

The Digestive Health Center offers patients the region’s most advanced equipment and procedures to diagnose and treat gastrointestinal diseases. The center has established a Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Disorders Service to address the particular needs of patients with disease of the pancreas, bile ducts and gall bladder. Gastroenterologists on this team offer the latest technology in tissue biopsy, gall stone removal, and the use of stents in bile and pancreatic ducts to restore the flow of digestive fluids.

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