Alberta has one of the highest rates of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in the world. Because patients with these conditions have a high medical need, inﬂammatory bowel disease remains a core activity of the division. Special inﬂammatory bowel disease clinics, including the use of advanced nurse practitioners, provide multi-faceted, multidisciplinary care.
In 1964 Dr. Richard Sherbaniuk and Dr. Ronald Wensel were instrumental in founding the Division. Together, their leadership established the medical specialty of gastroenterology in Alberta. Since then, Edmonton has led Canada in gastrointestinal patient care, research and teaching.
As a major referral centre, the Division of Gastroenterology at the University of Alberta Hospital has a highly specialized consultation and advanced therapeutic endoscopy facility, a state-of-the-art in-patient unit, and highly skilled Gastroenterologists and gastrointestinal scientists. Today, the Division has clinical specialists and teachers at each major Edmonton hospital, performs more than 25,000 advanced endoscopic surgical procedures annually and has developed internationally recognized programs in inflammatory bowel disease, peptic ulcer disease, liver failure and liver transplantation, viral liver disease and human nutrition.
The Zeidler Gastrointestinal Health Center leads innovation. The building of the Center has helped to propel the Division of Gastroenterology onto an international stage and has led to recruitment and retention of outstanding Gastroenterologists and scientists from Edmonton and around the world.
The Division is now one of the largest in Canada and manages a leading-edge research program involving 45 graduate and undergraduate students, over 3 million dollars in basic and clinical research funding annually, and recently received a prestigious 22 million dollar research award to establish a Center of Excellence in Gastrointestinal Inflammation and Immunity Research.