GI Research Foundation to celebrate the lifetime contributions of Dr. Ira Hanan at the 61st annual Champions for a Cure Ball

  • Dr. Ira Hanan, Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago Medicine Digestive Diseases Center

    Dr. Ira Hanan, Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago Medicine Digestive Diseases Center

Updated 5/27/2022 9:13 AM

Retiring in June 2022, Dr. Hanan will be recognized for his more than 35-year career dedicated to improving the lives of patients suffering from digestive diseases

The GI Research Foundation, an established non-profit dedicated to raising funds to advance the science and treatment of digestive diseases, will honor Ira Hanan, MD, Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago Medicine Digestive Diseases Center, and his outstanding contributions to gastroenterology at its annual ball on June 4, 2022. Dr. Hanan's more than 35-year career as an expert clinician, teacher, and mentor will culminate with his retirement in June 2022. Dr. Hanan's life's work has shaped countless future leaders and transformed the lives of thousands of patients.


"The most gratifying thing is seeing people get better. When they come to you, they're sick. You give them a treatment plan, you listen to them, and they are getting well again. Now, when patients learn I'm retiring and leaving, I hear them say, 'You've made such a change in my life.' And that is what it's all about," said Dr. Hanan.

The Champions for a Cure Ball will highlight Dr. Hanan's accomplishments and the scientific advancements made to help patients improve their digestive health and achieve a life free from GI diseases. This year's ball marks the 61styear the GI Research Foundation's community of medical professionals, patients, and contributors have gathered to raise funds and awareness to further groundbreaking research and exceptional patient care at the University of Chicago Medicine Digestive Diseases Center.

Beginning his long-standing career at the University of Chicago after the legendary Joseph B. Kirsner, MD, invited him to join the faculty in 1985, Dr. Hanan always felt called to academic medicine. He thrived on the cutting-edge atmosphere, significant resources, and brilliant colleagues he found at the University of Chicago. Caring for patients was the centerpiece of Dr. Hanan's work, for which he was named to the list of "Top Doctors" by Castle Connelly, Inc., and one of the "Best Doctors in America" by Best Doctors, Inc. Dr. Hanan has taught and mentored many medical students, residents, and fellows in gastroenterology and endoscopy, while also prioritizing strategies to avoid burnout and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

"With 70 million Americans affected by digestive diseases each year, our society needs physicians like Dr. Hanan who work tirelessly to provide better treatments and cures for patients through clinical care and scientific research. His dedication and expertise will be greatly missed, but we know his legacy will live on in the next generation of physicians. We [at the GI Research Foundation] congratulate him on his well-earned retirement and look forward to celebrating his incredible achievements at the Champions for a Cure Ball," said Kathy Shafer, ball co-chair.

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Along with being honored by the GI Research Foundation, Dr. Hanan will receive the 2022 Gold Key Award for outstanding and loyal service to the Division of the Biological Sciences and to the University of Chicago Medicine. An expert in his field, Dr. Hanan has coauthored more than 10 book chapters and numerous scientific articles on colorectal disease. He received his medical degree from the State University of New York College of Medicine and completed his residency and gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Chicago.

Supporters can still reserve a ticket to attend the 61st Anniversary Champions for a Cure Ball taking place on Saturday, June 4, 2022, at the Geraghty in Chicago. For those who are unable to attend in person, a livestream broadcast of the event can be accessed from the GI Research Foundation's website.

About GI Research Foundation

The GI Research Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds to support the physicians and scientists at the University of Chicago Medicine Digestive Diseases Center in their efforts to provide outstanding care, train future leaders, and perform innovative clinical and laboratory research to treat, cure, and prevent digestive diseases. Founded in 1961 by grateful patients and friends of the late Dr. Joseph B. Kirsner, the organization helps ensure the UChicago Digestive Diseases Center remains at the forefront of innovation and personalized care. With millions of dollars raised, the GI Research Foundation is changing lives through groundbreaking research and exceptional patient care. For more information, visit

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