The Passing of Dr. Jeffrey L. Conklin – UCLA Vatche & Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases

Dear Colleagues:    

It is with a heavy heart that we share that Dr. Jeffrey L. Conklin passed away on Monday, August 8, 2022. Dr. Conklin was the medical director of the UCLA Robert G. Kardashian Center for Esophageal Health and the director of the GI Motility Program.

Dr. Conklin was also a fellow Iowa hawkeye. He completed a bachelor of science in journalism, his medical degree, and internal medicine and gastroenterology training at the University of Iowa. He joined the University of Massachusetts Medical School for a postdoctoral fellowship studying the physiological and pharmacological control of gastrointestinal smooth muscle. Upon completing his training, he returned to teach at Iowa as a professor of medicine and lead cutting-edge research examining how nitric oxide serves as a neurotransmitter controlling the lower esophageal sphincter and peristalsis in the smooth muscle esophagus. He was also one of the first investigators to demonstrate that colonic motor function is controlled by interstitial cells of Cajal, which are pacemaker cells.

After 15 years at the University of Iowa, he moved on to the Mayo Clinic, Rochester and in 2003, joined Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where his passion for training future physicians helped guide the UCLA GI Fellowship for ten years. We were privileged to have him join the UCLA Health community to direct the Robert G. Kardashian Center for Esophageal Health and GI Motility Program in 2013. Under his leadership and with support of the department, the center has become world-renowned for its high-quality clinical care and groundbreaking research.

Dr. Conklin has left a profound impact in the field of gastroenterology and in the lives of all who were fortunate to know him. Additional information about Dr. Conklin’s life and contributions to the field of medicine is available here. We will share details about events celebrating the life of Dr. Conklin as they become available.


E. Dale Abel, MD, PhD

William S. Adams Distinguished Professor of Medicine
Chair and Executive Medical Director
Department of Medicine
David Geffen School of Medicine and UCLA Health

Eric Esrailian, MD, MPH

Chief, Vatche & Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases 
Director, Melvin & Bren Simon Digestive Diseases Center
Lincy Foundation Chair in Clinical Gastroenterology
Health Sciences Clinical Professor of Medicine
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Related Posts