Antonio Mendoza-Ladd, M.D., FACG, FASGE, an assistant professor in Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso’s division of gastroenterology, is one of 10 early career, underrepresented minority physician-scientists selected as a scholar in the 2019-2020 American Gastroenterological Association’s FORWARD (Fostering Opportunities Resulting in Workforce and Research Diversity) program.
Supported by the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Mendoza-Ladd will participate in FORWARD’s 1½-years training and mentorship program designed to provide skills to advance his career as a physician-researcher and emerging leader. FORWARD scholars are paired with top national gastroenterology researchers who serve as mentors during the program.
Because of his interest in pancreatic diseases, Dr. Mendoza-Ladd has been paired with Darwin Conwell, M.D., M.S., director of the division of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
“Through the FORWARD program, and Dr. Conwell’s guidance, I’ve been able to connect with multicenter clinical trials on pancreatic diseases, so now TTUHSC El Paso is a participating site,” Dr. Mendoza-Ladd said. “That’s one of the benefits of participating in this program. We are able to interact with very well-established people in this field.”
The FORWARD program’s mentoring will help push forward Dr. Mendoza-Ladd’s medical research for TTUHSC El Paso. In addition, as the only health sciences center on the U.S.-Mexico border, the university is dedicated to the development of a diverse campus.
“The AGA FORWARD Program underscores AGA’s longstanding commitment to diversity in gastroenterology and biomedical research,” said project director Byron Cryer, M.D., associate dean for faculty diversity and development at UT Southwestern Medical Center. “We’ve developed a comprehensive program focused on mentorship, leadership training and academic skills development which will prepare each scholar for a long and successful career in academic medicine. These efforts should also facilitate future growth of diversity in our specialty’s leadership.”
Learn more about the AGA FORWARD Program on the AGA website.