It’s not every day that you meet a gastroenterologist who started out in chartered accounting. Dr. Neeraj Narula not only made the switch from accounting to medicine, he excels as an emerging researcher in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Dr. Narula’s excellence has earned him many achievements, and we at Crohn’s and Colitis Canada are delighted to present him with this year’s Rising Star Award.
Although Dr. Narula’s faculty appointment was relatively recent, he has since demonstrated tremendous productivity. In this short period of time, Dr. Narula has produced 47 peer-reviewed publications, 3 book chapters, and 11 invited contributions. The impact of his work goes beyond these numbers; several of his systemic reviews have translated into changes in clinical practice. His current research interests include dietary interventions and the use of fecal microbiota transplantation in people with IBD.
In addition to his productivity, Dr. Narula’s CV reflects his creativity and innovation. Most scientists communicate their work in publications, lectures, and presentations. However, Dr. Narula’s communication activities do not stop there. He creatively uses websites, podcasts, and videos to engage various audiences in topics regarding IBD and internal medicine. Dr. Narula is also interested in using technology to improve patient care. Such technologies include using a form of ultrasound to evaluate IBD patients in real-time and using telemedicine to facilitate care for patients who live in remote areas.
Dr. Narula constantly strives to learn and lead. Currently, he is the Director of the IBD Clinic at McMaster University and serves as Vice President for the Canadian IBD Research Consortium. While starting his academic career, he also completed his Masters of Public Health at Harvard University.
Moreover, Dr. Narula has collaborated on several larger-scale research projects, including Crohn’s and Colitis Canada’s Promoting Access and Care through Centres of Excellence (PACE) program. As a co-lead of the PACE project at McMaster University, Dr. Narula is implementing innovative e-health tools to help patients self-manage their disease. These tools also allow healthcare teams to better monitor the patients’ disease during and between visits to the clinic.
Dr. John Marshall, the Director in the Division of Gastroenterology at McMaster University, speaks very highly of Dr. Narula’s all-around merit. “He is efficient, intelligent and decisive, but also a compassionate and caring physician well-liked by patients,” Dr. Marshall states. “In my opinion he represents perfectly the Crohn’s and Colitis Canada values of pursing innovation and collaboration, to advance research, education and awareness.”
At Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, our promise is to cure Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and improve the lives of people affected by these chronic diseases. Our capacity to deliver on this promise is only as great as the researchers who drive IBD research forward. People like Dr. Narula ensure that the outlook of IBD research is full of potential. That is why we at Crohn’s and Colitis Canada are pleased to recognize Dr. Narula with this award.