Cleveland Clinic Elevates John Fung MD PhD to Chair of Digestive Disease Institute


After an international search, Cleveland Clinic announced today, John Fung, MD, PhD, has been named Chair of its Digestive Disease Institute. Dr. Fung will replace Robert Wyllie, MD, who has served as interim Chair of the Digestive Disease Institute since March 2010. The previous chair was Victor Fazio, MD, who is currently on staff at Cleveland Clinic.

Ranked No. 2 in the nation for digestive disorders by U.S.News & World Report for several years, the Digestive Disease Institute is one of the largest in the country. It is also the first of its kind to integrate specialists in gastroenterology and hepatology, colorectal surgery, hepato-pancreato-biliary and transplant surgery, general surgery and nutrition.

“Dr. Fung is an internationally renowned and highly respected transplant surgeon who has been part of the Cleveland Clinic team since 2004,” said Delos M. Cosgrove, MD, CEO and President of Cleveland Clinic. “He is an effective leader and will build on the strong history of innovation and world-class care the Digestive Disease Institute provides for our patients.”

In his new capacity, Dr. Fung will oversee more than 350 employees of the Digestive Disease Institute. Prior to his appointment, Dr. Fung had served as Chairman of the Department of General Surgery at Cleveland Clinic. He is currently a Professor of Surgery at the Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western University.

“John Fung is an outstanding surgical leader, dedicated to his patients,” said Joseph Hahn, MD, Chief of Staff, Cleveland Clinic. “His leadership, combined with his global reputation and clinical and surgical talent, strongly position him to lead the Digestive Disease Institute.”

With more than 25 years experience in kidney, liver, pancreas, islet, and intestinal transplantation, he is also an accomplished immunologist. Dr. Fung received degrees from the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Chicago. He completed his surgical residency at the University of Rochester, and a transplant surgery fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh, under the guidance of Dr. Thomas Starzl.

“The breadth of expertise amongst the clinical staff and healthcare providers – along with a long history of innovations in gastrointestinal diseases – makes this appointment as Chair of the Digestive Disease Institute a notable honor for me,” Dr. Fung said. “The commitment of Cleveland Clinic to enhancing the delivery of care while advancing the understanding of digestive disorders and teaching the next generation of trainees goes hand-in-hand with the objectives of the Digestive Disease Institute.”

His principal research interests are in transplantation immunology, immunosuppressive therapies, and liver related immunology. He has received funding from the NIH, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, as well as support from industry.

About the Digestive Disease Institute

The Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic is among the nation’s only integrated diagnosis and treatment centers combining gastrointestinal and colorectal specialists. The institute offers expertise in advanced endoscopy, minimally-invasive surgery, hepatobiliary and transplant surgery, nutrition therapy and support, pancreatic-biliary disorders, inflammatory bowel diseases and swallowing and esophageal conditions.

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic, located in Cleveland, Ohio, is a not-for-profit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. It was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. About 2,100 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 11,000 nurses represent 120 medical specialties and subspecialties. In addition to its main campus, Cleveland Clinic operates nine community hospitals and 15 Family Health Centers in Northeast Ohio, Cleveland Clinic Florida, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Cleveland Clinic Canada, and opening in 2012, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. In 2009, there were more than 4.6 million visits throughout the Cleveland Clinic health system and 170,000 hospital admissions. Patients came for treatment from every state and from more than 100 countries.

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