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Digestive disease expert to chair department of medicine at HersheyDr. Thomas Y. Ma comes to Penn State from University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center

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Dr. Thomas Y. Ma will be the next chairman of the Department of Medicine for Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
Dr. Thomas Y. Ma will be the next chairman of the Department of Medicine for Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. - (Photo / )

An internationally recognized expert on digestive diseases has been chosen to chair the Department of Medicine for Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Dr. Thomas Y. Ma, chief of the division of gastroenterology and hepatology at the University of New Mexico–Health Sciences Center, will take up his new post on Jan. 1.

He will replace Dr. Robert Aber, who plans to step down as chair after 13 years in the position. Aber will remain a member of the department's faculty.

Ma has been recognized for his research on defective intestinal barriers as one of the causes of inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. He is editor-in-chief of the World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pathophysiology and has published hundreds of abstracts, manuscripts and book chapters.

Ma also serves as executive director of the University of New Mexico's Center for Digestive Disorders, Center for Digestive Diseases Research and Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease, as well as director of the New Mexico Veterans Affairs Health Care System’s Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology.

"I am confident that Dr. Ma’s renowned research in digestive diseases will enhance our growing expertise in gastroenterology and GI surgery, a specialty for which the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center was ranked among the best hospitals in the nation this year by U.S. News and World Report," said Dr. A. Craig Hillemeier, dean of Penn State College of Medicine, CEO of the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State’s senior vice president for health affairs.

Ma earned his M.D. and Ph.D. at the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University. His post-graduate work includes a residency in internal medicine at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and a gastroenterology fellowship and an National Institutes of Health-sponsored research fellowship at the University of California, Irvine.

Ma has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health and Veteran’s Affairs  Research Office since 1988, and has served on numerous federal government and professional study committees.  

"His extensive training and expertise will benefit our Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center and the organization as a whole," Hillemeier added.

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Roger DuPuis

Roger DuPuis

Roger DuPuis covers Cumberland County, health care, transportation, distribution, energy and environment. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at rdupuis@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @rogerdupuis2.

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