Fabio Cominelli has been selected for the 2017 Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine Medal for Excellence in Health Science Innovation, the School of Medicine’s highest honor, for his accomplishments in advancing digestive system health.

Cominelli, associate dean for program development and director of the Digestive Health Research Institute, is an internationally recognized expert in such conditions as inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, GI cancer and ulcerative colitis. He joined the School of Medicine faculty in 2008 and holds the Herman Menges, MD Professorship in Internal Medicine.

His pioneering research findings have led to greater understanding of these painful and debilitating conditions, paving the way for interventions that could dramatically improve quality of life for millions of patients in the United States and globally. Most recently, he received a $9.7 million five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the role of the body’s innate immune response in the development of Crohn’s disease.

In addition to his scientific contributions, Cominelli has generated significant resources for Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland community in general, a recent notable example being a $6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to establish Cleveland as a Digestive Diseases Research Core Center, one of only 17 in the country.

The Case Western Reserve School of Medicine Medal for Excellence in Health Science Innovation is the highest honor the medical school bestows. It is given to individuals who have distinguished themselves for efforts that advance research, education and care in extraordinary ways.

Cominelli is the seventh faculty member to receive the award. Previous recipients are:

  • Jackson T. Wright Jr.,
  • P. Hunter Peckham,
  • Mark Griswold,
  • Michael W. Konstan,
  • Robert C. Stern,
  • Stanton Gerson, and
  • Richard Rudick.