Prize In IBD Research

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We established the “A Mother’s Wish Foundation Prize in IBD Research” with an Annual Endowment Fund at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

What is A Mother’s Wish Foundation/University of Pennsylvania Hospital Fund’s Mission? To help find a cure and improve the lives of those living with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis by attracting top minds & talent. A Mother’s Wish Foundation will be a constant and continual resource for the betterment of our IBD community by supporting these efforts at Penn Medicine forever.

  • What is the Fund? This annual financial award attracts and rewards top talent and minds supporting basic and /or clinical research in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
  • What purpose does it serve? To recognize the importance of supporting future leaders in IBD research at Penn.
  • How are the candidates selected and by Who? Recipients are selected from Junior Faculty, Fellows, Residents & Medical Students who excel in research and clinical trials in the IBD field. Nominees will be chosen by a committee led by the Associate Chief for Research, Division of Gastroenterology, currently Dr. Gary Wu, M.D., and Gary Lichtenstein, M.D., (and their successors).


Who are We?  A Mother’s Wish was formed by a group of mothers whose families and friends have been impacted by Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.  We contribute to families in need who are dealing with Crohn’s as well as organizations researching treatments for the disease.

Why donate to us? We are an all-volunteer run foundation, which means 100% of the money raised through our foundation goes directly to our cause.

Your Invitation- We invite you to make a contribution to our AMW/Penn Endowment Fund online or by attending one of our events to join our fight and make living with this insidious disease a thing of the past.

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AMW IBD 2024 Recipient of A Mother’s Wish Foundation Prize in IBD Research AWARD

We are thrilled to introduce you to the 2024 Prize winner Dr. Amanda PeBenito. Amanda is a terrific clinician and investigator who has had a significant impact on the lives of patients suffering from IBD.

Here is a short bio: Dr. PeBenito is a Gastroenterologist and physician-scientist at the University of Pennsylvania.  She works as both a clinician, treating patients with inflammatory bowel disease, and a researcher studying infections, such as those caused by the gut pathogen Clostridiodes difficile, which disproportionately affect patients with IBD.  The goal of her research is to better understand why patients with IBD are so susceptible to these infections, and specifically which gut metabolites may be driving this process in the setting of chronic inflammation.  Her work also aims to develop superior testing methods for this condition and identify new strategies to prevent it.  Dr. PeBenito obtained her medical degree from NYU School of Medicine and completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital as part of the Stanbury Physician Scientist Program.  She was then recruited to the University of Pennsylvania for her Gastroenterology fellowship as part of the Basic Science Research track. Keep up the great work Amanda!


AMW IBD 2023 Recipient of A Mother’s Wish Foundation Prize in IBD Research AWARD

We are proud to introduce to you Dr. Chung Sang “CS” Tse, the 2023 Recipient of the A Mother’s Wish Foundation Prize in IBD Research at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr Chung Sang Tse, MD  at University of Pennsylvania Hospital is a terrific clinician and investigator who has had a significant impact on the lives of patients suffering from IBD. Here is a short bio about her.

Chung Sang Tse, MD, is a board-certified Gastroenterologist and Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Tse is an academic clinician-scientist with a clinical focus on inflammatory bowel diseases, specifically Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Her research is focused on addressing the non-inflammatory drivers of disease burden in inflammatory bowel diseases, including areas intersecting with healthcare delivery, healthcare utilization, health disparities, interdisciplinary care, and psychosocial health. Dr. Tse obtained her medical degree from the Yale School of Medicine and thereafter completed her residency in internal medicine at the Mayo Clinic, fellowships in gastroenterology and women’s gastroenterological health at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and Advanced Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Preceptorship at the University of California, San Diego.

In addition, we would like to share a few of the highlights of Dr’s Tse’s pertinent IBD Research and Trials;

    1. With the goal of mitigating the long-term impact of IBD on patients’ function/disability and the overall burden of IBD as part of the treat-to-target paradigm, she conducted epidemiological and biobank cohort studies to provide empirical evidence for the need for multi-disciplinary care to address the psychosocial needs in adults with IBD. In a decade-long nationwide analysis of 260 emergency department visits in the United States, she found that adults with IBD have a greater than 10-fold risk for suicide, self-harm, anxiety/depression, and substance use. This underscores patient-level factors for health disparities and the need for integrative psychosocial care in the management of IBD. This body of work led to the development of a framework for randomized control trials that target neurobehavioral factors in patients with IBD.
    1. Using mixed-methods analysis of 17,000 cross-sectional surveys and 800 longitudinal surveys from over 5,000 IBD clinic visits at 30+ sites participating in the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s IBD Qorus Learning Health System, she identified health confidence (an individual’s belief on their self-efficacy to manage and control disease outcomes) as an independent factor that impacts patients’ healthcare utilization, even after accounting for disease activity. She also identified and categorized 60 of the most salient themes for patients’ goals and concerns at ambulatory IBD clinic visits, classified into four categories: symptoms, disease course and management, psychosocial factors, and medications. Collectively, these contributions can change the approach for patients, clinicians, and researchers to collaborate and co-produce behavioral interventions that address the psychosocial needs of patients with IBD to provide holistic, whole-person care for a chronic, progressive disease.


    1. She explored gaps in knowledge on health disparities where there is inequitable access/availability of resources for disease management between population groups with varying socioeconomic characteristics, including race/ethnicity, gender, and healthcare settings, through clinical epidemiological studies and quality improvement initiatives. This highlights upstream factors of disparities in healthcare delivery that contribute to downstream differences in IBD outcomes. In the largest hospital in Rhode Island, she and her team implemented a hospital-wide steroid-taper order set that reduced the risk of chronic steroid use


To read about these important trials in more detail;

    1. Tse C, Elfanagely Y, Tanzer J, Manudhane A, Rupawala A, Fine S. Reduction of Chronic Steroid Use in Patients Discharged for Inflammatory Bowel Disease Flares: A 28-Month Quality Improvement Study. Gastroenterology. 2021 July 01; 161(1):e33. Available from: issn: 0016-5085
    2. Siva S, Tse C, Coelho-Prabhu N, Jain R. American Gastroenterological Association’s Quality Leadership Council’s Practice Work Group: A Nationwide Initiative to Reduce the Use of Prescription Opioid among Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease at a Local Level. Gastroenterology. 2021 February 01; 160(3, Supplement):S65-S66. Available from: PMID: 0016-5085
    3. Tse C, Andrea S, Elfanagely Y, Tanzer J, Rupawala A. P055 Sociodemographic Differences in Fecal Enteropathogen Testing Patterns in Adults Hospitalized for Inflammatory Bowel Disease Flares. The American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2021; 116(S14):1572-0241. DOI: 10.14309/01.ajg.0000798820.49929.ce
    4. Tse C, Elfanagely Y, Fine S, Rupawala A. Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patients Hospitalized for Flares Are at Risk for Chronic Steroid Use Due to Lack of Clear Instructions at Discharge: A 15-Month Retrospective Study at a Private, Not-For-Profit Academic Hospital. Gastroenterology. 2020 August 01; 159(2):e39. DOI:


We would like to thank the committee led by the Associate Chief for Research, Division of Gastroenterology, Dr. Gary Wu, M.D., and Gary Lichtenstein, M.D. for their due diligence in selecting the nominees and choosing the well-deserved recipient for the annual prize.

A Mother’s Wish Foundation strives to be a constant and continual resource for the betterment of our IBD community and support these efforts at Penn Medicine . If you wish to donate to our fund, you may do so here,  Donate to AMW Prize in IBD Research.



AMW IBD 2022 Recipient of A Mother’s Wish Foundation Prize in IBD Research AWARD

Dear A Mother’s Wish,

I’d like to share with you the terrific news that Nichole M. Belle, MD, PhD (cc’ed) has been chosen by the selection committee as the inaugural recipient of the “A Mother’s Wish Foundation Prize in IBD Research”. She is an outstanding young investigator studying important facets of intestinal epithelial and immune function related to IBD. Christian Hyde will be providing additional information about Nichole that you can share with the members of your Foundation. Nichole would be delighted to participate in your fund-raising event in the fall.


If you have any questions, please let me know and thanks again to you and your Foundation for the gift supporting this award program in IBD research for the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Best, Gary

Gary D. Wu, MD

Ferdinand G. Weisbrod Professor in Gastroenterology

Director, Penn Center for Nutritional Science and Medicine

Co-Director, PennCHOP Microbiome Program

Co-Director, Center for Molecular Studies in Digestive and Liver Diseases

Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

915 BRB II/III, 421 Curie Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19104


Phone: 215-898-0158

Fax: 215-573-2024

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