Page Content

Meet The Faculty

The faculty members of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona, are committed to teaching and facilitating the growth of medical knowledge as well as performing high-quality clinical care. While our faculty members have published and lectured extensively, they remain clinicians first and foremost, so you will have direct access to their clinical expertise on a daily basis throughout your training.

During gastroenterology training, fellows have access to the following resources and support services:

  • Computerized patient records system allowing immediate access to medical records from any workstation in the clinic or hospital setting, and through broadband Internet access from home
  • Electronic access to medical journals and UpToDate
  • Endoscopy simulator
  • Teaching tapes for endoscopic training
  • Gastroenterology, hepatology, and nutrition texts
  • Pathology teaching files
  • Secretarial services for patient care and academic activities
  • Broadband access to the Internet through a dedicated T1 line to allow rapid literature search, slide creation, database management, word-processing, and e-mail
  • Professional graphic services for slide, video, and poster presentations
  • Dedicated office space

From the program director

Mashal Batheja, M.D.Greetings and welcome to our online home!

At Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona, our Gastroenterology Fellowship Program has a dual mission: to provide world-class training and excellence in clinical care and endoscopy and to create the next generation of leaders and clinical investigators.

Many of our GI and liver faculty are world-renowned in their subspecialties and our fellows' knowledge and skills are honed as they learn directly from the experts at the bedside, through didactic sessions, in the endoscopy suites, and by conducting clinical research. Our faculty are well represented among the ranks of leadership at national GI and Hepatology societies, leading to myriad opportunities for mentorship and sponsorship for our fellows, a critical aspect in the journey to establish academic careers. 

The exceptional number of resources available at our institution greatly facilitates your education during these fundamental years of training. Our three-year fellowship accepts three fellows per year and is expanding to four fellows per year in 2023, reflecting our program's growth. In addition, we offer advanced 4th-year fellowships in therapeutic advanced endoscopy with additional fellows in luminal interventions, transplant hepatology, and esophageal disorders. There are many exciting educational offerings including our Annual Update in Gastroenterology and Hepatology with interactive live endoscopy, Annual Mayo Clinic Esophageal Diseases Course, and our annual three-site Mayo Clinic Gastroenterology and Hepatology Course. 

Mayo Clinic is recognized globally for its collaborative and multidisciplinary approach to patient care. This is one of my favorite attributes of our institution, where I trained myself and chose to return as faculty and educator. I strongly believe teamwork is the path to clinical and academic success, and this spirit of camaraderie is how we best support each other on a daily basis and over the arch of our careers. In the words of Dr. William Mayo, "No one is big enough to be independent of others." If you are interested in an academic program, recognized nationally for its excellence in patient care, education, and research, and one that highly values teamwork, we encourage you to apply!

Mashal Batheja, M.D.
Program Director

Program faculty

Our faculty are dedicated to maintaining a supportive learning environment and consider fellow education as one of the most rewarding parts of their careers. In addition to holding many leadership positions within Mayo Clinic, our faculty members hold or have held many national leadership positions as well.

You have direct access to the Gastroenterology Faculty at Mayo Clinic throughout your training in the Gastroenterology Fellowship and future practice. 

Neena Abraham, M.D., M.S.

Neena Abraham, M.D., M.S.
Professor of Medicine
Program Director, CardioGastroenterology Clinic

Area of specialty:
Cardio Gastroenterology, antiplatelet and anticoagulant drug management

Academic or research interests:

  • Large observational dataset research and methodology
  • Shared decision-making guidelines
  • Leadership training and mentoring

Leadership roles:

  • Institute Director, American College of Gastroenterology Institute for Clinical Research
  • Director, ACG Institute Center for Leadership, Ethics & Equity
  • Executive Team Member, American College of Gastroenterology
  • Board of Trustees, American College of Gastroenterology
  • Chair, ACG Institute Board of Directors
  • Chair, ACG Institute LE&E Center Advisory Board

Mashal Batheja, M.D.

Mashal Batheja, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Program Director, Gastroenterology Fellowship

Academic and research interests:

  • Innovation in medical education

Leadership roles:

  • Program Director, Gastroenterology Fellowship
  • GI Faculty Lecturer, University of Arizona-Phoenix Medical School

Tisha Lundsford, M.D.

Tisha Lunsford, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Section Director, Motility

Area of specialty: Motility

Society fellowships: FACG, AGAF

N. Jewel Samadder, M.D.

N. Jewel Samadder, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
Enterprise Co-Leader Precision/Individualized Cancer Medicine, Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center

Area of specialty: Cancer genetics and hereditary gastrointestinal cancer

Academic or research interests:

  • Familial and genetic risk of colorectal cancer
  • Cancer prevention
  • Chemo-prevention
  • Cancer genomics
  • Population-based genomics
  • Cancer epidemiology
  • Genetic epidemiology
  • Cancer prevention and screening clinical trials

Bashar Aqel, M.D.

Bashar Aqel, M.D.
Associate Professor of Medicine
Medical Director, Liver Transplant Program

Academic and research interests:

  • Liver transplant outcomes
  • Cholangiocarcinoma
  • Extended criteria donors (DCD, HCV viremic donors, HBV viremic donors)
  • NAFLD

Leadership roles:

  • Member, National Liver Review Board

Shabana Pasha, M.D.

Shabana Pasha, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
Chair, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Section Director, Small Bowel Disorders

Area of specialty: IBD, colorectal neoplasia, small bowel enteroscopy

Academic or research interests:

  • Small bowel enteroscopy
  • Artificial intelligence in capsule endoscopy
  • IBD Biobank co-founder and biomarker research

Society fellowships:

  • FACG
  • FASGE

Leadership roles:

  • American College of Gastroenterology Governor of Arizona
  • ASGE Scientific Committee
  • ACG Prior Authorization Task Force
  • WGO Guidelines Committee
  • GI Nutrition Block Faculty and Student Affairs Executive Committee, Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine

Francisco Ramirez, M.D.

Francisco Ramirez, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
Director of Endoscopy (Scottsdale, Arizona)

Area of specialty: Esophageal disorders (Barrett's esophagus, dysphagia, complex procedures in the esophagus)

Academic and research interests:

  • Barrett's esophagus
  • Endoscopic treatments of dysplastic Barrett's
  • Innovative endoscopic techniques
  • Quality in endoscopy

Leadership roles:

  • Associate Chair for Staff Development, Department of Medicine
  • Chair, Endoscopy Committee
  • American College of Gastroenterology Diversity Committee
  • American College of Gastroenterology Research Committee

David Chascsa, M.D.

David Chascsa, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Program Director, Transplant Hepatology Fellowship

Area of specialty: Transplant hepatology

Academic and research interests: NAFLD and obesity specifically in the setting of cirrhosis and liver transplantation

Leadership roles:

  • Transplant Center Associate Chair for Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity, Arizona

Suryakanth Gurudu, M.D.

Suryakanth Gurudu, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
Section Director for Colorectal Neoplasia

Area of specialty: Colorectal neoplasia, GI neoplasia, IBD

Academic and research interests:

  • Outcomes in colonoscopy quality
  • AI in colonoscopy
  • Hereditary colorectal cancer
  • Multi-target stool DNA
  • Capsule endoscopy

Leadership roles:

  • Director of Quality, Mayo Clinic Arizona Gastroenterology and Hepatology
  • Member representing Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, NCCN Guidelines Committee

Jonathan Leighton, M.D.

Jonathan Leighton, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
Arizona Medical Director, Office of Joy and Wellbeing

Area of specialty: IBD

Academic and research interests:

  • Small bowel imaging, including capsule endoscopy
  • Deep enteroscopy and cross-sectional imaging
  • Artificial intelligence and biomarker discovery in IBD

Leadership roles:

  • Enterprise Medical Director, Office of Mayo Clinic Experience
  • Vice President, American College of Gastroenterology
  • Vice Chair, Scientific Programs Committee, World Gastroenterology Organization

Marcelo Vela, M.D.

Marcelo Vela, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
Section Director of Esophageal Disorders
Program Director, Advanced Esophageal Diseases Fellowship

Area of specialty: Esophageal disorders

Academic and research interests:

  • GERD
  • Dysphagia
  • Esophageal motility disorders
  • Non-cardiac chest pain
  • Eosinophilic esophagitis
  • Barrett's esophagus

Christina Ha, M.D.

Christina Ha, M.D.
Associate Professor of Medicine
Section Director, IBD

Area of specialty: Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis

Academic and research interests:

  • Medical education
  • Impact on aging in IBD

Leadership roles:

  • Chair, Professional Education Committee, Crohn's Colitis Foundation
  • National Scientific Advisory Committee, Crohn's Colitis Foundation
  • Associate Editor American Journal of Gastroenterology
  • Co-Chair, Milestone-IBD Advanced IBD Fellowship Initiative

Rahul Pannala, M.D.

Rahul Pannala, M.D.
Associate Professor
Section Director, Pancreas Clinic

Area of specialty: Pancreas, therapeutic endoscopy, and endobariatrics

Academic and research interests:

  • Pancreatobiliary diseases
  • Endobariatrics
  • Medical innovation
  • Global health

Leadership roles:

  • Vice Chair, Education Committee, World Endoscopy Organization
  • Chair, GI Disease Oriented Group, Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona

Norio Fukami, M.D.

Norio Fukami, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
Director of Therapeutic Endoscopy

Area of specialty: Therapeutic endoscopy

Academic and research interests:

  • Advanced tissue resection
  • Pancreaticobiliary disease
  • Third space endoscopy

Leadership roles:

  • Program Director, Advanced Therapeutic Endoscopy Fellowship
  • Program Director, Interventional Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Fellowship

Visiting professors

Many prominent professors visit Mayo Clinic each year. They present their work during morning and late afternoon lectures. Residents and fellows are encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities to interact with experts from other academic centers and are relieved from clinical assignments to do so.