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Research at NCIRE

NCIRE-The Veterans Health Research Institute is the leading private nonprofit institute devoted to Veterans health research in the United States. Our mission is to advance Veterans health through research.

We support the work of some of the nation's foremost physicians and scientists at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the premier biomedical research facility in the VA system. All have faculty appointments at the University of California, San Francisco, which has its own proud traditions of research and patient care. We also partner with the U.S. Department of Defense to support health research on behalf of our men and women in the Armed Forces.

Those who have served in uniform have given their best for their country. In return, we believe that they deserve nothing less than the best health care research we can provide.

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Tonya Kaltenbach, MD, MAS

Attending Physician, SFVAHCS
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, UCSF


Focused to Detect, Diagnose & Remove Gastrointestinal Polyps, Lesions & Early Cancers All Using the Endoscope

Dr. Kaltenbach has a keen interest in gastrointestinal cancer prevention through the endoscopic detection, diagnosis and removal of pre and early cancer. She completed internal medicine and gastroenterology subspecialty training at Stanford University. Directing her clinical and research interests to advanced endoscopic imaging and therapy, she matriculated in a clinical research masters program in epidemiology and biostatistics at UCSF during GI Fellowship, and then pursued an additional year of training in advanced endoscopic mucosal imaging and therapy and endoscopic ultrasound. Over the years she has also collaborated and directly trained with Japanese experts.

Dr. Kaltenbach is an active researcher and educator in the field of advanced endoscopic imaging and therapy. She has numerous publications on non-polypoid neoplasia, image enhanced endoscopy and endoscopic mucosal resection. She is currently leading a national intiative to measure and report colonoscopy quality across the VAs, and moreover, aims to improve colonoscopy quality through provider feedback and teaching.  She played a major role in the recent efforts to enhance the quality of colonoscopy for the surveillance and management of dysplasia in inflammatory bowel disease throughout the world. These efforts have brought forward a practice paradigm that is built on evidence based medicine, and have included a new consensus guideline, atlas, teaching video and practice and implementation algorithm.

She also has a strong interest in applying innovative educational methods and its effectiveness, and was recently recognized with the prestigious 2014 ASGE Distinguished Educator award. She actively studies endoscopic training through the use of models, internet-based tools and videos. She has co-produced numerous endoscopy-teaching videos, including Chromoendoscopy with Targeted Biopsy to Detect Nonpolypoid Colorectal Neoplasm in Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Endoscopic Gluing Technique Using the Cyanoacrylate Super Glue, Endoscopic Approach to Hemorrhoids, Treatment of Acute Severe Lower Gastrointestinal Bleeding, Image Enhanced Endoscopy, Non-Polypoid (Flat & Depressed) Colorectal Neoplasm, and Endoscopic Closure of Gastrointestinal Leaks. She continues to serve as faculty at various didactic and hands-on courses worldwide.

To see Dr. Kaltenbach's Pub Med pages click here.