Dr. Neal Shahidi (Division of Gastroenterology) is a 2023 Health Research BC Scholar Award recipient

The UBC Department of Medicine is pleased to report that Dr. Neal Shahidi, Division of Gastroenterology has been named a 2023 Michael Smith Health Research BC Scholar Award recipient.


The Scholar Program supports early-career health researchers who are building leading-edge health research programs, training the next generation of scientists and expanding their potential to make significant contributions to their field.

Dr. Neal Shahidi, Assistant Professor, Division of Gastroenterology

Host Institute: University of British Columbia

Research Location: St. Paul’s Hospital

Dr. Shahidi is a gastroenterologist at St. Paul’s Hospital and Pacific Gastroenterology Associates with a focus on the screening and management of pre-cancerous and cancerous lesions of the esophagus, stomach, colon and rectum; this includes the application of organ-sparing minimally invasive endoscopic resection techniques and third space endoscopy. 

Organ-sparing minimally-invasive endoscopic resection techniques program: incorporating high-quality endoscopic management into everyday clinical practice

Colon cancer is a leading cause of death, disability and healthcare costs in BC. This emphasizes the importance of removing polyps during colonoscopy, which are pre-cancerous growths in the colon that develop into cancer over time. Large polyps (LPs) are especially important. They are common and are more likely to be cancerous at the time they are removed. A number of techniques have been created to safely remove LPs during colonoscopy, including those which can cure early cancers. These techniques, called minimally-invasive endoscopic resection techniques, stop patients from undergoing unnecessary surgery which can lead to disability and death. However, many patients with LPs are still undergoing unnecessary surgery in BC and worldwide. We propose a research program on LPs with two key goals: 1) identifying the best techniques to safely remove LPs and 2) incorporating these techniques into everyday clinical practice. These goals will be achieved by collaborative research projects with national and international experts within this field including the BC Colon Screening Program. Achieving these goals has the potential to improve the health of patients in BC and reduce healthcare costs.

Click here to read about all of the 2023 Michael Smith Health Research BC Scholar and Trainee Award recipients