The mission of the GI Fellowship Program at UTMB is to train academic gastroenterologists for leadership positions in the specialty. UTMB was established as the state's first medical school and has a tradition of providing outstanding clinical care to our patients for well over a century. We recognize the importance of clinical training and take great pride in offering our trainees an exciting educational experience with state-of-the-art procedural components. Our curriculum is designed to provide trainees the opportunity to acquire the cognitive information, procedural skills, professional attitudes and practical experience in the specialty of gastroenterology.

Overall Structure and Organization

The GI Fellowship Program consists of three years of training. Five fellowship positions are offered annually, with a total of 15 Fellows. The first year is focused on clinical training in gastroenterology and hepatology. The second and third years of training focus increasingly on refining clinical expertise in specific areas of GI (sub-specialty) and developing the scholarly foundation for an academic career in Gastroenterology.

Clinical Training

Training takes place in a variety of clinical settings to provide exposure to a broad array of gastrointestinal disease pathology. Fellows provide consultative services at Jennie Sealy Hospital - a tertiary care center, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice hospital (connected to Jennie Sealy Hospital), as well as community-based campuses in League City and Clear Lake which feature ambulatory surgery centers and high-volume endoscopy.

Ambulatory educational opportunities include rotating with faculty in clinic as well as the fellow's own continuity clinic.

Major Components of clinical training include:

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease

    UTMB provides clinical care to a large population of patients with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Fellows provide longitudinal care for this population in the inpatient setting, dedicated IBD clinic, and multidisciplinary IBD conference.

  • Motility

    The UTMB Division of Gastroenterology has an active esophageal disease and motility practice which gives fellows the opportunity to learn how to evaluate and treat these patients in a multidisciplinary fashion as well as gain experience in interpreting high-resolution esophageal manometry, esophageal pH and impedance studies, hydrogen breath tests, and high-resolution anorectal manometry. Additionally, fellows participate in a regularly occurring multidisciplinary motility conference.

  • Hepatology

    Hepatology training features management of a wide variety of acute and chronic liver pathology.

  • Advanced Therapeutic Endoscopy

    Fellows receive extensive training in hepatobiliary disease and opportunities to perform ERCP, EUS, esophageal stenting, complex polypectomy including EMR and ESD, POEM, and other advanced techniques with faculty starting in the second year of training.

Research Training and Scholarly Activity

All fellows are supported in research training, including basic science, translational, and clinical research opportunities. We encourage our fellows to attend and present at local and national conferences including DDW, ACG, The Liver Meeting, and CCFA.

For those interested in careers in clinical and translational research, the Clinical Science Track provides an opportunity to earn a Masters degree in Clinical Science.

The objective is to train future clinical and translational investigators in gastroenterology who are skilled in patient-oriented or health services research. The degree is awarded by the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS). The curriculum includes required courses in statistics and epidemiology and additional electives that may include basic science courses offered by the GSBS. The required master's thesis includes completion of an original research project mentored by an experienced investigator in gastroenterology or a related scientific field. Admission requirements of the GSBS must be met. (Visit Clinical Science website,, for more information)

Combining a GI fellowship with this degree program is an effective and efficient means of educating early career, motivated clinicians to become clinical and translational investigators in gastroenterology. There is a great need for physician scientists with this training and career orientation at many academic medical centers. Pursuit of a PhD in Clinical Sciences is also possible, and would require identification of a source of support for an additional year in the graduate program. UTMB also offers the MPH degree for Residents and Fellows interested in public health practice.

Examples of prior master's thesis topics:

  • Increased vascular endothelial growth factor and hypoxia inducible factor-1α transcription in gastric sporadic acquired angiodysplasias Long-term Survival after Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt (TIPS) for Refractory Ascites and Recurrent Variceal Bleed.
  • Experimental endoscopic approaches to GERD therapy.
  • Neonatal inflammation and stress induced alterations of neuromuscular regulation of colonic motor activity.
  • Microspectroscopy increasing the accuracy of measurement of hepatic fibrosis in patients with hepatitis C.
  • Pathophysiological Mechanisms of Visceral Hyperalgesia in IBS patients.
  • Intestinal pacing and gastric motility.
  • Toll Receptor Expression in Human Intestinal Myofibroblasts.
  • Role of Endoscopic Simulators in Training.
  • Mechanisms of ERCP-induced Pancreatitis.
  • HCV and Alcohol induced Cytotoxicity Involves Synergistic Reactive Oxygen.
  • Effect of Race and Ethnicity on Perceptions of Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
  • Combination of Hepatitis A and B Vaccine (Twinrix) in populations with and without Hepatitis C.
  • Role of EUS FNA in pancreatic cystic lesions.
  • Botulinum toxin for gastrointestinal disorders: therapy and mechanisms.
  • Investigating the feasibility of using capsule esophagoscopy as an initial screening method to detect esophageal varices in patients without prior screening.
  • Increased vascular endothelial growth factor and hypoxia inducible factor-1α transcription in gastric sporadic acquired angiodysplasias.
  • Associations among Susceptibility Factors in Patients with Porphyria Cutanea Tarda.
  • Role of Immunosuppressives in Lymphocytopenia in Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
  • Metolazone in diurectic refractory ascites.
  • Comparison of the efficacy and safety of Phlebotomy and hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of porphyria cutanea tarda: A prospective study.