David H. Alpers, MD

David H. Alpers, MD

Emeritus William B. Kountz Professor of Medicine
Co-Director, Center for Human Nutrition

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Dr. Alpers was Chief of the Gastroenterology Division at Washington University School of Medicine from 1969 to 1997 and is currently the William B. Kountz Professor of Medicine and assistant director of the Center for Human Nutrition. He received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1960 and completed training in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). He studied molecular biology at the NIH under Gordon Tomkins (1962-64) before returning to MGH for gastroenterology fellowship (1964-66) and junior faculty positions (1966-69). Since moving to Washington University as division chief, he has been Professor of Medicine since 1973. Dr. Alpers is an active participant in the national focus of gastroenterology, served as the president of the American Gastroenterological Association and received the Friedenwald Medal from that association, the most prestigious recognition for a career of scientific contribution to the field. He is currently senior author of the Manual of Nutritional Therapeutics and an Associate Editor of the Am J Clinical Nutrition. He is also a senior medical consultant in R&D of Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and Takeda North America.

Research Interests

Dr. Alpers’ major laboratory research interests have involved the synthesis, secretion and transcytotic movement of intestinal proteins and the regulation of these processes, including the role of cobalamin (vitamin B-12) binding proteins in the absorption of the vitamin. Although his laboratory is now closed, work on these topics continues with some of his former collaborators. His long-standing clinical research interest involving the recognition and treatment of psychiatric disorders in clinical gastroenterology, particularly as they interact with irritable bowel syndrome and other functional syndromes, is being continued in collaboration with Gregory Sayuk (WUMS) and Carol North (Dept of Psychiatry, UT Texas Southwestern).