BETHESDA, Md., April 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Research Foundation is pleased to welcome Shire Pharmaceuticals as a supporter of the foundation's endowment. The AGA Research Foundation provides research grants to young investigators in gastroenterology and hepatology. The foundation's grants transform young researchers' lives by encouraging them to embark on and continue careers in research. Many ultimately make discoveries that improve patient care. "Young scientists funded by the AGA Research Foundation are working to improve our understanding of the pathogenesis of gastrointestinal and liver diseases. AGA applauds Shire's support of these young researchers, who hold the keys to the patient care improvements of the future," said Nicholas F. LaRusso, MD, AGAF, chair of the AGA Research Foundation. Shire Pharmaceuticals' $200,000 gift to the AGA Research Foundation endowment will help ensure that researchers have the tools they need to discover ways to better diagnose, treat and cure digestive diseases. Dedicated to enabling people with life-altering conditions to lead better lives, Shire develops and provides healthcare in the areas of behavioral health and gastro-intestinal (GI) conditions, rare diseases, and regenerative medicine, as well as other symptomatic conditions treated by specialist physicians. "Shire's support of the AGA Research Foundation reflects our long-standing commitment to fostering innovation to benefit GI patients," said Shire Senior Vice President Roger Adsett, who leads the company's GI business. "As a leader in GI health, we are dedicated to finding the future of GI and are proud to assist those who are seeking next-generation solutions." Many breakthroughs have been achieved through gastroenterological and hepatological research over the past century, forming the basis of the modern medical practice. The AGA Research Foundation is working to continue this tradition of discovery and ultimately improve the lives of patients with digestive diseases.