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Reza Shaker, is a Tenured Professor of Medicine, Radiology, and Otolaryngology at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), USA. He is also Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology and Director of the Digestive Disease Center.
Dr Shaker is the founder of the Dysphagia Research Society and MCW’s Dysphagia Institute.
Dr Shaker joined the Medical College faculty in 1988.
He received his medical degree from Tehran University Medical School in Tehran, Iran. He then completed residencies in surgery at Sinai University Hospital in Tehran and the London Hospital in London, England. He also completed an internal medicine residency at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in New York, USA, where he was also appointed Chief Medical Resident.
He received his Fellowship in Gastroenterology at MCW.
Dr Shaker’s area of research includes gastroesophageal reflux disease and its supraesophageal complications, dysphagia, and the functional relationship of the upper gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts.
He has described several airway protective reflexes against aspiration of refluxed gastric content, including the esophagoglottal and pharyngoglottal closure reflexes, as well as the pharyngo-UES contractile reflex.
His work has also resulted in a new understanding of the inhibitory effect of pharyngeal stimulation on esophageal peristalsis and the lower esophageal sphincter.
Dr Shaker is internationally recognized for his research work on the protective mechanisms of the upper airway during swallowing and gastroesophageal reflux.
He developed the Shaker Exercise, an isotonic/isometric head lift exercise for treatment of swallowing difficulties due to abnormalities of upper esophageal sphincter opening.
He also developed the technique of unsedated transnasal upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, which simultaneously evaluates the esophageal, laryngeal, and pharyngeal sequelae of reflux disease.
Dr Shaker has published over 300 full manuscripts and abstracts in peer reviewed journals such as Gastroenterology, the American Journal of Physiology, Laryngoscope, the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and others. He has also published 11 book chapters.
Since 1989 he has been the recipient of several research grants from both the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Dr Shaker is currently the program director of a program project grant, studying airway protection against aspiration.
He is also the principal investigator of an RO1 grant, studying the pathophysiological basis of gastroesophageal reflux disease and its complications. In this, he is also looking at the weakening effect of alcohol and sleep on the defense mechanism against supraesophageal complications of reflux disease.