Executive Committee and Midwest Regional Conference Course Directors

Russell D. Cohen, MD, FACG, AGAF

Professor of Medicine

Director, Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center

The University of Chicago Medicine

Russell Cohen, MD, is a renowned gastroenterologist with clinical expertise in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Under his leadership, a multidisciplinary team of specialists in gastroenterology, surgery, pathology and radiology provide comprehensive care for patients with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.​

In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Cohen is an active researcher. He has served as the principal investigator on several long-term studies designed to test the efficacy and safety of both oral and intravenous drugs in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

Dr. Cohen serves as associate editor and ad-hoc reviewer for numerous medical journals, including The New England Journal of Medicine and The American Journal of Gastroenterology. He has published more than 30 scientific articles, 50 abstracts and 10 book chapters. He also is the editor of Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Diagnosis and Therapeutics, which is now in its second edition as a leading textbook in this field.

A dedicated educator and mentor, Dr. Cohen teaches medical students, residents and fellows about endoscopes and the pharmacology of gastroenterological drugs. In addition, he is frequently invited to deliver lectures at grand rounds and at national and international conferences on the diagnosis and management of IBD.

Dr. Cohen has been named one of the "Best Doctors in America" by Best Doctors, Inc. for more than 10 consecutive years and is consistently named one of Chicago's "Top Doctors" by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd.

Eugene F. Yen, MD, MBA, FACG

Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine

NorthShore University HealthSystem

Dr. Eugene Yen is the interim chair of the gastroenterology division at NorthShore University Healthsystem, and Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago Medicine. He has been with NorthShore since 2007, after completing his gastroenterology fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco.

Dr. Yen is also currently the Director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at NorthShore, and he has focused on the clinical, research, and teaching aspects of IBD. Since arriving at NorthShore, he has successfully built a research program with clinical trials in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, as well as his own research in microscopic colitis. In addition, he leads one of the largest programs in the country in fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) for patients with recurrent or refractory C difficile infection.

Educating patients and his peers is an important component of Dr. Yen’s practice. For the past decade, he has organized a successful quarterly IBD education conference for nurses and physicians. In addition, Dr. Yen has been on the leadership committee of the annual patient and professional symposium for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America for the past decade. He currently holds national positions in the American College of Gastroenterology Training and Education Committee, and is a chairperson for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation National Scientific Advisory Committee for Patient Education.

Dr. Yen brings his experience in education, clinical research, and patient care to the Crohn’s and colitis foundation educational events.

Professional Program Committee Chairs

Joel Pekow, MD

Assistant Professor

The University of Chicago Medicine

Joel Pekow, MD, specializes in the treatment of digestive disorders, with a particular focus on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Dr. Pekow performs clinical and translational research investigations with a goal of preventing disease progression and improving response to therapy in patients with IBD. A major focus of this research is in providing better understanding as to why cancers develop in IBD patients. He hopes this knowledge will ultimately lead to improved risk assessment of patients with IBD and methods to prevent IBD-associated colon cancer.

Andres Yarur, MD 

Medical College of Wisconsin

Dr. Yarur completed an Internal Medicine residency and Gastroenterology fellowship at Jackson Memorial Hospital-University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. This was followed by an Advanced Inflammatory Bowel Disease fellowship at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. He is a member of the Alpha-Omega-Alpha honor medical society. His research interests focus on Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, including novel therapies and optimization of current treatments. Dr. Yarur leads a team of researchers studying inflammatory bowel diseases and is internationally recognized for his contributions to advance the care of patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Michele Rubin MSN, APRN, CNS-BC, CGRN 

The University of Chicago Medicine 

Michele Rubin is an Advanced Practice Nurse certified as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in IBD and certified as a Gastroenterology Nurse. She has 40 years of experience in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) at the University of Chicago Medicine (UCM) ranging from positions in nursing leadership, IBD research, to IBD Clinical Nurse Specialist. She is also the Associate Director of the IBD Center and Director of Advanced Practice Nursing at the University of Chicago Medicine (UCM).

Lena Coletta, RN

NorthShore University Health System

Lena Colletta, APN, CNP, has worked at NorthShore since 2005 and steadily built on her extensive nursing experience. She began as a patient care tech, became a registered nurse and now, is a GI nurse practitioner with a special interest in caring for patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Lena earned her BSN degree at North Park University in 2007 and worked as a surgical intensive care nurse in a level one trauma center for eight years. Taking a brief hiatus, she returned to her alma mater to pursue an advanced nurse practitioner degree and graduated with honors in 2015. As an advanced practice nurse, Lena is confident the time spent with her patients encompasses more than just diagnosing and prescribing, she believes her patients expect and deserve a relationship of mutual respect and reciprocity.

David Choi, PharmD, BCACP

Clinical Assistant Professor

The University of Chicago 

College of Pharmacy

David Choi is currently a clinical assistant professor at the University of Chicago College of Pharmacy. His practice area is in Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Post-Liver Transplant. He obtained his Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. He completed his general PGY-1 and PGY-2 ambulatory care pharmacy residency at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Stefanie Cisek, PharmD, BCACP

Clinical Pharmacist

Northwestern Medicine

Stefanie Cisek, PharmD, BCACP is a Clinical Pharmacist at Northwestern Medicine Specialty Pharmacy (NMSP). She primarily cares for gastroenterology patients and secondarily supports the other inflammatory service lines (rheumatology, dermatology) as well as the hepatology and cardiology service lines. Stefanie leads and coordinates NMSP’s biweekly inflammatory team meeting and is the department’s Clinical Team Lead and Safety Champion. She obtained her doctorate of pharmacy from University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Pharmacy and completed a PGY1 Community Residency at UIC. .

Patient Program Committee Chairs

Nikiya Asamoah, MD

Assistant Professor

Loyola University Medical Center

Dr. Asamoah is an Assistant Professor of Gastroenterology & Nutrition and Associate Program Director of the Gastroenterology Fellowship program at Loyola University Medical Center. Her clinical duties include managing both inpatients and outpatients in the Inflammatory Bowel Disease program at Loyola.

Omar Khan, MD

Clinical Assistant Professor

NorthShore University HealthSystem

Dr. Omar Khan completed his medical school and undergraduate training at Boston University Medical Center and completed his Internal Medicine residency at the University of California San Francisco.

He went on to complete his Gastroenterology Fellowship training at the University of Chicago.

Dr Khan’s clinical and research interests include Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Hereditary Colorectal Cancer Syndromes, and Resident/Fellow education.

Dr. Khan is currently the Associate Program Director of the Gastroenterology fellowship at NorthShore University HealthSystem, and is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.

Parent Program Committee Chairs

Jennifer A Strople, MD

Attending Physician, Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

Associate Professor of Pediatrics

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

My primary clinical interest is pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis) with a goal to improve outcomes in patients with these diseases. My research overlaps with this clinical interest through participation in ImproveCareNow, a collaborative chronic care network that focuses on improving care and health of children with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, and in several clinical studies that will advance understanding of these complex diseases and better direct clinical care. In addition to this clinical focus, I have a passion for medical trainee and professional education and devote a significant amount time to these endeavors both at an institutional and national level.

Jonathan Cordova, DO

NorthShore University HealthSystem

Jonathan Cordova, DO is a pediatric gastroenterologist with NorthShore University HealthSystem. Dr. Cordova completed his training at the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital where he completed his fellowship in Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. Dr. Cordova has a special interest in Inflammatory Bowel Disease –Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis and Indeterminate Colitis. As part of the Chicagoland Children’s Health Alliance (partnership between Advocate Health and NorthShore), Dr. Cordova has implemented a state of the art infusion center for children receiving IV biologic medications.