#WomenInWellness: 9 Trailblazers in Digestive Health

Driving innovation AND empowering patients is no easy feat. Fortunately, trailblazers in the fields of digestive wellness, gastroenterology, and acid reflux management are making incredible strides through clinical practice, research, and advocacy.

This month, we’re celebrating the achievements of 9 remarkable women who have become true trailblazers in their respective fields. Let’s dive into their inspiring journeys and celebrate the pivotal role they each play in shaping today’s digestive health landscape.

Click each name below to jump to their bio:

  1. Dr. Amy Oxentenko
  2. Dr. Maria Abreu
  3. Dr. Jennifer Christie
  4. Dr. Jamie Koufman
  5. Dr. Megan Rossi
  6. Dr. Asma Khapra
  7. Molly Pelletier
  8. Dr. Michelle Kang Kim
  9. Dr. Michelle Hughes

Dr. Amy Oxentenko:
A Trailblazing Gastroenterologist & Educator 

Dr. Amy Oxentenko MD, FACP, FACG, AGAF, named the 2020 Woman Disruptor of the Year by Healio GI, is a distinguished Professor of Medicine and a leading gastroenterologist specializing in celiac disease and malabsorption.

Leadership Roles:

Trailblazing Recognition and Awards:

Dr. Oxentenko has shared her insights through a podcast on GERD, available here. Her multifaceted contributions, from medical education to leadership and advocacy, highlight her as a true trailblazer in the field of gastroenterology.

—> You can find more information on Dr. Oxentenko here and find her on Twitter here.

Dr. Maria Abreu:
Groundbreaking IBD Research

Dr. Maria T. Abreu MD, AGAF stands as an internationally acclaimed gastroenterologist and physician scientist with over two decades of leadership in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). With a medical degree from the University of Miami and extensive training, she currently serves as the Director of the Crohn’s & Colitis Center at the University of Miami Health System.

Commitment to Diversity and Research:

Leadership and Impact:

true Renaissance woman—physician-scientist, mother, wife, dancer, triathlete, chefDr. Maria Abreu's unwavering commitment to advancing gastroenterology and improving the lives of IBD patients cements her legacy as a pioneering force in the field. 

—> You can find more information on Dr. Abreu here and here and find her on Twitter here.

Dr. Jennifer Christie:
Spearheading Advances in GI Health

Dr. Jennifer Christie MD, the current president of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) and the division head at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, stands at the forefront of innovation and discovery in gastrointestinal (GI) health.

Key Leadership Roles:

DART Research Program:

Dr. Jennifer Christie's leadership and research contributions exemplify her commitment to pushing the boundaries of knowledge in gastroenterology, bringing cutting-edge advancements to both her patients and the broader medical community.

—> You can find more information on Dr. Christie here and find her on LinkedIn here.


Dr. Jamie Koufman:
A Pioneer in Acid Reflux Care

Dr. Jamie Koufman stands as a luminary in the realm of acid reflux research, with a distinguished career marked by groundbreaking contributions. Renowned for her extensive work in understanding and treating gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Dr. Koufman has significantly advanced our comprehension of the condition. 

Medical Expertise:

Scientific Contributions:

Recognition and Awards:

Innovative Approaches:

Current Projects:

Dr. Jamie Koufman's commitment to advancing healthcare, groundbreaking scientific work, and innovative approaches make her a pivotal figure in the field of acid reflux care. Her multifaceted contributions continue to shape the landscape of gastroesophageal reflux research, bringing about positive changes in both patient care and medical understanding.

—> You can find more information about Dr. Jamie Koufman on her website.

Dr. Megan Rossi:
Advancing Our Understanding of Gut Health

Dr. Megan Rossi, a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist with a PhD in gut health, has continually pushed the boundaries of scientific exploration in understanding the intricate link between our gut and overall health. Her academic journey, from achieving first-class honors in Dietetics to becoming a leading Research Fellow at King's College London, reflects her unwavering commitment to unraveling the complexities of gut health.

Recognition and Awards:

Multi-Faceted Roles:

Dr. Megan Rossi's roles as a researcher, educator, and advocate exemplify her commitment to advancing our understanding of gut health. Her notable achievements, from academic excellence to public engagement, make her a prominent figure shaping the discourse around the vital connection between nutrition and gut health.

—> You can find more information about Dr. Megan Rossi on the Gut Health Doctor site.

Dr. Asma Khapra:
Championing Women's Digestive Health

Dr. Asma Khapra, an accomplished gastroenterologist hailing from metropolitan Washington, D.C., has distinguished herself in the field with comprehensive expertise in gastroenterology. Specializing in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and Women's Digestive Health, Dr. Khapra's contributions extend beyond clinical practice, encompassing research, education, and leadership.

Research and Publications:

Recognition and Awards:

Leadership and Academic Affiliation:

Dr. Asma Khapra's impactful contributions to gastroenterology, coupled with her leadership in establishing the Women in GI Network, solidify her status as a distinguished and influential figure in the field. 

—> You can find more information about Dr. Asma Khapra here and on LinkedIn here.

Molly Pelletier:
The Acid Reflux Dietitian

Molly Pelletier, MS, RD, CDN, stands at the forefront of Gut Health Nutrition as a Registered Dietitian and the visionary Founder of FLORA Nutrition and The FLORA App. With a solid foundation in nutrition science and research, Molly brings a unique perspective to her practice, seamlessly blending cutting-edge GI science with integrative modalities for highly effective nutrition therapy.


Holistic Approach:

Professional Recognition & Entrepreneurial Ventures:

Molly Pelletier's role as a trailblazer in gut health nutrition is underscored by her innovative approach, entrepreneurial ventures, and the recognition she has received from the World Gastroenterology Organization. As she continues to bridge cutting-edge science with holistic methodologies, Molly stands as a key figure in advancing the field, empowering individuals to achieve optimal gut health and overall well-being.

—> You can find more information about Molly Pelletier on her website here.

Dr. Michelle Kang Kim:
Advocating for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Dr. Michelle Kang Kim, MD, PhD, stands as a prominent figure in the field of Gastroenterology, making significant contributions through her roles as an active researcher, clinician, and trailblazing leader. As the First Female Chair of Gastroenterology at the Cleveland Clinic, she not only made history but also continues to drive advancements in translational and epidemiologic approaches, with a primary focus on assessing patient outcomes.

Leadership Achievements:

Research and Advocacy:

Dr. Michelle Kang Kim's impactful contributions, historic leadership role, and advocacy for diversity underscore her pivotal role in shaping the landscape of Gastroenterology, setting a precedent for equality and inclusivity.

—> You can find more information about Dr. Michelle Kang Kim here and on LinkedIn here.

Dr. Michelle Hughes:
A Leader in GI Patient Care

Dr. Michelle Hughes, MD, an accomplished Assistant Professor specializing in digestive diseases at the Yale School of Medicine, stands out as a distinguished figure in the field of gastroenterology. With a commitment to comprehensive and compassionate patient care, she has earned recognition for her exceptional accomplishments.

Leadership Recognition:

Clinical Expertise and Education:

Dr. Michelle Hughes exemplifies excellence in gastroenterology, combining clinical expertise, leadership recognition, and a commitment to advancing the field. 

—> You can find more information about Dr. Michelle Hughes here and on Instagram here.

Innovation, Resilience & Dedication in Shaping the Future of Gastrointestinal Healthcare

In the dynamic realm of digestive health, these exceptional women have not only broken barriers but have significantly influenced gastroenterology, acid reflux management, and gut health.

From Dr. Amy Oxentenko's leadership at Mayo Clinic to Dr. Maria Abreu's groundbreaking research in inflammatory bowel diseases, and Dr. Jennifer Christie's role as the president of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, these trailblazers showcase innovation, resilience, and dedication in shaping the future of gastrointestinal healthcare. Their collective impact underscores the transformative power of individual contributions, leaving an indelible mark on patient care, research, and advocacy for women in digestive health.