HOUSTON (July 09, 2013)

Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center announced that Houstonians Lynn and Oscar Wyatt donated $1.2 million to benefit the Ertan Research and Education Fund at the Ertan Digestive Disease Center. The Wyatt's generous donation will help fund the furthering of research and post-graduate education in gastroenterology (GI) and hepatology. Other major contributors to the Ertan Fund are the Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Foundation, Roy & Mary Cullen, J. Christie, the Ertan family, Carol Chiu, Susan Dunn, Robert LaCoure, the Jeff B. and Katerhine B. Love Foundation, James Masten, Sonya & Bill Carpenter, Aydan Semker and others.

Dr. Atilla Ertan, who is the Medical Director of the Center, and professor at UTHealth Medical School, has achieved national and international recognition as an outstanding clinical scientist, educator, researcher and administrator. "With the help of good friends like Oscar and Lynn, our team of highly-specialized physicians is able to investigate cutting-edge research, offer one of the top GI fellowships in the United States, and provide the most effective treatments for patients suffering from complex and complicated digestive and liver diseases," said Dr. Ertan.

At present, the team of 22 academic physicians at the Center is working towards discovering how to detect early esophageal cancer prior to its late formation, and is studying non-surgical treatments for Barrett's dysplasia and early cancer, inflammatory bowel diseases, biliary and pancreatic benign and malignant disorders plus the need for various advanced GI endoscopic diagnostic/therapeutic modalities.

Dr. Michael Fallon, Gastroenterology Division Director at UTHealth, is leading two federal grant studies focused on the treatment of chronic liver disease. "The Center offers a fully-integrated, program-based model aimed at optimizing patient care with post-graduate education and research in GI and liver diseases in the Texas Medical Center," said Dr. Fallon.

As a leading source in GI and hepatology, the team at the Center is frequently called upon to educate in local, national and international meetings about the field's discoveries, studies and general knowledge. Together, the group has published 12 full articles in peer-reviewed journals and authored four different book chapters in 2012. Striving to provide public educational opportunities, the Center has also hosted more than 40 lectures, seminars, and presentations across the globe since the Center opening in September 2012.

The Ertan Digestive Disease Center is located in the Memorial Hermann Medical Plaza at 6400 Fannin, Suite 1400, Houston, TX 77030. For more information on how you can support this important work, contact the Memorial Hermann Foundation at 713-242-4409.