Vay Liang & Frisca Go Award for Lifetime Achievement

Darwin L. Conwell, MD, MSc, FACG

Dr. Conwell graduated from Ohio University, and received his MD from the University of Cincinnati and MSc from the University of Michigan School of Public Health. His training in internal medicine was completed at The Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, OH and then was followed by his post-doctoral fellowship and chief fellowship training in gastroenterology at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. He subsequently became a staff physician at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation from 1994 through 2007. Dr. Conwell established the Pancreas Clinic at the Cleveland Clinic for over a decade. In 2007, he joined Peter Banks and the faculty at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and was promoted to Associate Professor of Medicine in 2011 at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Conwell served as the Faculty Co-Leader for the Pancreas Study Group at Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard, and was the Associate Director for the Center for Pancreatic Disease from 2007 – 2013. Dr. Conwell matriculated to The Ohio State University Medical Center and served as the Director of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (GHN) from 2013 – 2022. During his time at Ohio State he led initiatives to enhance process improvement, diversify the fellowship and faculty and expand the research portfolio. Under his leadership The Ohio State GHN Division became an NIH funded unit and the Gastroenterology / GI Surgery program reached Top 50 in US News and World Report.

In 2022, Dr. Conwell became the Chair of Internal Medicine at University of Kentucky. During his short 18 months at UK he has recruited 84 faculty to the UK Department of Internal, improved Press-Ganey faculty engagement scores, developed the first Academy of Educators in the Department, established faculty development tracks in – education, research, clinical excellence and healthcare leadership; executed an academic mission-based department leadership plan, received a Service Award for Colorectal Cancer Outreach, Prevention and Year-Round Excellence (SCOPY) Award from the American College of Gastroenterology, established University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center as a National Pancreas Foundation Center of Excellence in pancreatitis and pancreas cancer and launched UK PRIME – Pancreas Research Innovation and Medical Education.

Dr. Conwell has won teaching, leadership and mentoring awards while serving at the Cleveland Clinic, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, The Ohio State University and University of Kentucky. Furthermore, he has guided and mentored numerous postdoctoral fellows and faculty who are now in both private practice and academic positions throughout the United States. He has been an extensively acclaimed speaker on leadership, mentorship, racial inequality, and the management of chronic pancreatitis at educational programs sponsored by multiple universities, including the ACG, AGA, APA, ASGE and the NIH/NIDDK. Dr. Conwell is a former President of the APA, senior author of the APA Practice Guidelines for Diagnosis of Chronic Pancreatitis, has published over 250 manuscripts and co-authors pancreas disease chapters in Harrison’s Textbook of Internal Medicine.

Dr. Conwell has been a lifelong member of the APA and attended his first meeting as a Gastroenterology Fellow. Over the years, he has served on the APA board in various capacities and was appointed as the APA president in 2018. Being a part of the APA and serving the Pancreas community has been one of the greatest honors of Dr. Conwell’s career. He continues to be closely associated with the organization and continues to mentor and guide emerging leaders and talents in the field.

Dr. Conwell enjoys broad and diverse interests in topics spanning from bible doctrine / systematic theology, leadership development, financial toxicity, social determinants of health, social vulnerability, racial inequality in healthcare, poverty/homelessness and community engagement/empowerment. Further academic research interests include interdisciplinary clinical and translational research and collaborative team science. He has past and current research funding from several foundations and extramural funding from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Conwell currently is MPI for the NIH-funded CPDPC and T1DAPC NIDDK Consortiums.

Dr. Conwell is blessed to be the son of Deotis and Dorsey Conwell; brother of Delandual Conwell and father to 3 sons (Joseph, Jason and Jordan) and grandfather to 5 beautiful children (Austin, Hannah, Isabela, Zion and Javier). He and his lovely wife Kathy, have been happily married for 16 years and reside in Nicholasville, Kentucky with their Airedale Terrier (Major).


2022:   Carlos Fernández-del Castillo MD
2021:   Markus M. Lerch MD, FRCP
2020:   Anna S. Gukosvskaya PhD
2019:   Suresh Chari MD
             Tooru Shimosegawa MD, PhD
2018:   Martin L. Freeman MD
2017:   Rodger A. Liddle MD
2016:   Chris E. Forsmark MD
2015:   Stephen Pandol MD
2014:   William Chey MD
             Ashok Saluja PhD
2013:   Michael Steer MD
             Masao Tanaka MD, PhD
2012:   Horst F. Kern MD
             Murray Korc MD
2011:   Andrew L. Warshaw MD
2010:   Peter A. Banks MD
2009:   Fred S. Gorelick MD
              Katsusuke Satake MD
2008:   Daniel S. Longnecker MD
2007:   Howard A. Reber MD
2006:   Tadashi Takeuchi MD, PhD
              Phillip P. Toskes
2005:   John A. Williams MD, PhD
2004:   Paul D. Webster III MD
2003:   James D. Jamieson MD, PhD
2002:   Eugene P. Dimagno MD
2001:   Vay Liang W. Go MD

Distinguished Service Award

John A. Williams, MD, PhD
Professor Emeritus
Emeritus Horace W. Davenport Collegiate Professor of Physiology
University of Michigan Medical School Ann Arbor, MI

Dr. John A. Williams is a distinguished Professor in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology at the University of Michigan. With nearly forty years of experience, he has dedicated his research to understanding the function of the exocrine pancreas, with notable forays into pancreatic disease models.

Dr. Williams is a regular attendee at the annual meetings of the American Pancreatic Association, cherishing the opportunity to reconnect with colleagues and friends. In addition to his research pursuits, he imparts his extensive knowledge of GI physiology to medical students and provides mentorship to PhD candidates at the University of Michigan. Previously, Dr. Williams directed a Predoctoral Training Grant in Systems and Integrative Biology, and also assumed the role of Acting Director at the Center for Integrative Genomics, a mouse phenotyping facility. Currently, he is in the process of winding down his research laboratory and has scaled back his University commitments to 75%. Beyond academia, Dr. Williams has a keen interest in alternative energy and finds solace in activities such as hiking, kayaking, reading, and cherishing moments with his grandchildren.


2022  Megan Golden JD
2021  Patter Birsic
           Jane Holt
2020  Vay Liang W. Go MD
2019   Barbara Kenner PhD
            Jean Alfred Morisset PhD
2018   Dana K. Andersen PhD
2017   Julie Fleshman JD, MBA
2016   Sudhir Srivastava PhD, MPH, MS
2015   Jose Serrano MD, PhD
            Mushtaq Khan DVM, PhD
2014   Stephen P. James MD
2013   Agi Hirshberg
2012   Edward D. Purich PhD

Young Investigator in Pancreatology Grant


Submit Application


The American Pancreatic Association Foundation is pleased to offer impactful grant opportunities for advancing pancreatology research. These grants primarily target basic and translational research in pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer. This year, four grants valued at $100,000 USD each are available:

APAF & IAP Grant: Co-sponsored by the International Association of Pancreatology, fostering research among emerging international scientists located in the institutions outside North America.

APAF & Pfizer Grant: Dedicated to studying clinical and scientific disparities in pancreatology, open to applicants from both international and North American institutions, thanks to support from Pfizer Inc.

Two APAF Grants: Aimed at encouraging research among the next generation of scientists, prioritizing applications related to pancreatitis and the relationship between pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer, but also welcomes proposals related to all types of exocrine pancreatic disease. Open to applicants from both international and North American institutions.

These award opportunities are available for investigators that are in the early stages of their career. Included are senior post-doctoral researchers, instructors, research associates and assistant professors including clinical and research track faculty (MD, MD-PhD, PhD or DVM). To enhance the training experience, we require the support and participation of a senior mentor and that the applicant have substantive new learning experiences and a mentoring/academic development committee. We require that the mentor have a substantial record of research accomplishments in a relevant field as well a history of successful mentorship. The applicant and mentor must be a member of the APA or IAP (for the APAF/IAP grant) in good standing. Applications from individuals not holding U.S. citizenship or immigration, pursuing research in the United States institutions are welcome. Funds may be used at APAF/IAP approved sites outside of the United States. Applications by individuals from diversity groups that are under-represented in medicine and biomedical research are encouraged.

Applications will be scored based on the experience and goals of the applicant, the quality of the research plan, the qualifications of the mentor, the training environment, and the relevance of the proposal to the scientific goals of the APA. The APA will prioritize applications related to pancreatitis and the relationship between pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer, but also welcomes proposals related to all types of exocrine pancreatic disease.

Application Checklist:

  • Applicant information
  • Abstract (300 words or less)
  • Upload the following documents formatted with 11 pt Arial font and at least .5″ margins
  • Applicant’s personal statement (training, project and mentor selection, career goals)
  • Research plan organized along NIH format (Specific Aims: 1page: Research Plan; Background and Significance, Approach and Preliminary results: 3 pages)
  • Plan for mentoring, new learning, academic development plan
  • Facilities & Environment
  • References Cited
  • Vertebrate Animals (if applicable)
  • Protection of Human Subjects (if applicable)
  • Investigator and Mentor’s NIH Biosketch (maximum 5 pages each)
  • Mentor’s support letter

Budget justification is not required but this award may not be used to support indirect (F&A) cost reimbursement or provide salary support for the mentor.

Hirshberg Award

Generously supported by the Hirshberg Foundation

Best Abstracts in Early Detection of Pancreatic Cancer Research

Generously supported by the Kenner Family Research Fund

Best Abstracts in Basic and Clinical Pancreatitis Research

Generously supported by the National Pancreas Foundation