School of Medicine
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Aida Habtezion MD MSc.
Professor of Medicine (Gastroenterology and Hepatology)On Leave from 01/05/2021 To 01/04/2023
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsLeukocyte recruitment & immune responses in diseases affecting digestive organs
Clinical Associate Professor, Medicine - Gastroenterology & Hepatology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsDr. Ho plays an active role in the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) Educational Affairs committee, where she chairs several abstract committees, directs regional post-graduate courses, regularly reviews physician course content, and develops CME content for the American Journal of Gastroenterology. She also serves as a guideline author for the American Gastroenterological Association on endoscopic therapies for weight loss and the medical management of luminal and perianal Crohn's disease. These guidelines shed new knowledge and set new standards of care for clinical practice here and abroad.
Dr. Ho’s research interests include investigating screening practices prior to initiating immunosuppressive therapy, and non-traditional therapies for inflammatory bowel disease.
Instructor, Medicine - Gastroenterology & Hepatology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsEpidemiology
Epidemiology of gastric cancer
Racial and ethnic disparities in gastric cancer
Gastric intestinal metaplasia and other precancerous lesions
Molecular marker development
Joo Ha Hwang, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine (Gastroenterology and Hepatology) and, by courtesy, of Surgery
BioDr. Hwang specializes in early detection of gastrointestinal malignancies including esophageal cancer, gastric (stomach) cancer, pancreatic cancer, bile duct cancer and colon cancer. Dr. Hwang performs advanced endoscopic procedures including EUS-FNA, ERCP and enteroscopy. In addition, Dr. Hwang also performs per-oral endoscopic myotomy (POEM), endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) to resect large colorectal polyps, and endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) to resect early esophageal, gastric, and colorectal cancers.
Dr. Hwang has both a clinical and research interest in improving the early detection of gastric cancer. He is the Principal Investigator of the GAstric Precancerous conditions Study (GAPS), a prospective study of patients with gastric intestinal metaplasia and other precancerous conditions which combines comprehensive clinical and endoscopic data with a large bio-specimen repository. His research group uses both epidemiologic and translational approaches to understand risk factors for gastric cancer, and develop biomarkers to improve the early diagnosis of gastric cancers. He also directed public policy efforts to increase recognition of gastric cancer risk among high-risk populations, and serve as the Chairperson of the Asian American Stomach Cancer Disparity Task Force.
Dr. Hwang received his bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in electrical engineering. He then received his M.D. degree from the University of Chicago and his Ph.D. in bioengineering from the University of Washington. He did his residency in internal medicine and fellowship in gastroenterology at the University of Washington and was a faculty member at the University of Washington from 2004 to 2017. He has been selected as one of “Seattle’s Top Doctors” by both Seattle Magazine and Seattle Metropolitan Magazine.
Dr. Hwang is board certified in gastroenterology. He is active with local, national and international professional societies. He is a fellow of the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (FASGE) and is a past-president of the Pacific Northwest Gastroenterology Society.
In addition to his clinical activities, Dr. Hwang is interested in medical device innovation. Dr. Hwang actively participates in research related to treatment of pancreatic cancer with focused ultrasound. He currently has NIH funding to investigate the use of focused ultrasound for enhancing drug delivery to pancreatic tumors. He is the current president of the International Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound (ISTU).