Clinical Research and Medical Information

We welcome your interest in our research department.  Digestive and Liver Disease Specialists is a research oriented, private specialty practice of seven physicians who are board-certified in Gastroenterology. Our physicians have been involved in research since 1994 and have served as principal investigators for numerous clinical trials.

We have a dedicated research suite. Our research staff consists of full time study coordinators and a full time regulatory affairs specialist.  Our physicians are active in national and state affairs and hold leadership positions in the American College of Gastroenterology, American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and the American Gastroenterology Association and serve on the faculty of Eastern Virginia Medical School located in Norfolk, Virginia.

Our practice has a national reputation as being one of the prominent private practices involved in academic and research pursuits.

The physicians of Digestive and Liver Disease Specialists draw referrals from the Hampton Roads area.  Our referral area includes Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Hampton, and Newport News.  Patients are also referred to our site from North Carolina, West Virginia, the Eastern Shore of Virginia, Delaware, and Maryland.

Our Clinical Investigators are known for their high caliber work, research experience, community reputations, and significant patient databases that ensure timely and easily met enrollment goals and successfully completed clinical trials.  Our Clinical Research Coordinators are exceptionally well prepared by direction of a Certified Clinical Research Coordinator and are experienced in all phases of clinical trials.  Certification upon eligibility is a requirement.

The Tidewater area, which includes Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Chesapeake, and Virginia Beach, encompasses a population base of over two million people, 10 hospitals, and a nationally renowned academic center at the Eastern Virginia Medical School/Eastern Virginia Graduate School of Medicine.

The Physicians of Digestive and Liver Disease Specialists maintain an interactive referral link with the transplant centers at the Medical College of Virginia, Fairfax Hospital, and Georgetown University Medical Center.

Southeastern Virginia is easily accessible.  All major domestic airlines serve Norfolk International Airport located in Norfolk, Virginia.  Train service and ground transportation are available from Washington, D.C. and the Research Triangle area of northeastern North Car

Investigators™ Expertise
CVs available upon request
Research Phase Experience
Phase I-IV clinical trials
Areas of Clinical Research Experience
Chronic Liver Disease
Clostridium difficile
Colonoscopy preparation
Colorectal neoplasia
Crohn’s Disease
Diabetic Gastroparesis
Dyspepsia (non-ulcer)
Erosive Esophagitis
Esophageal Candidiasis
Gastric Ulcers
Helicobacter pylori
Hepatitis C virus
Hepatocellular carcinoma
Irritable bowel syndrome
Medical devices
Metastatic intrahepatic carcinoma
Photodynamic therapy
Prevention of gastric ulcers
Ulcerative colitis
CRO Experience
Covance Periapproval Services, Inc.
Duke Clinical Research Institute
ICON Clinical Research
Kern McNeill International
MTRA AAI International
Phoenix International
PPD Development

Clinical Investigators   (Board Certified Gastroenterologists)
Michael J. Ryan, MD-Research Director
F. Taylor Wootton, MD
David A. Johnson, MD
Jeff R. Willis, MD
Kelvin Hornbuckle, MD
Whitney D. Brooks, MD
Syed I.M. Thiwan, MD
John H. Smith, MD

Clinical Research Staff
Pamela Hoisington, CCRP, Manager
Shirley Terry, Regulatory Affairs Specialist
Jodie Howell, LPN, Coordinator
Susan Steele, Coordinator
Deanna Rixon, Regulatory Affairs Specialist

Sponsor Experience   
Abbott Laboratories
Astra Pharmaceuticals, L.P.
Bristol-Myers Squibb
C. B. Fleet Co., Inc.
Cytokine PharmaSciences
Eisai, Inc.
Enteric Medical Technologies, Inc.
EXACT Sciences Corporation
G.D. Searle & Co.
Glaxo Smith Kline
Immunex Corporation
Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.


Matrix Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Merck & Co., Inc.
Osiris Therapeutics, Inc.
Otsuka America Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Roche Laboratories, Inc.
Santarus, Inc.
Schering-Plough Research Institute
Shire Pharmaceutical Development
Sucampo Pharmaceutical
Synsorb Biotech, Inc.
Takeda Global Research and Development Center, Inc.
Tap Holdings, Inc.
Tibotech Research & Development
UCB Celltech