The research of Kenneth R. DeVault, M.D., pertains to all facets of esophageal disease for over 30 years. Dr. DeVault's special interests include advances in esophageal motility and reflux monitoring. There are treatment trials directed at esophageal symptoms including typical heartburn, regurgitation and atypical symptoms of these disorders.
Recently his group has expanded research into the interaction between the esophagus and the lungs, particularly in patients after lung transplantation. Treatment trials are addressing all aspects of esophageal disease as well as selected trials into other gastrointestinal disorders including dyspepsia and constipation. His group treats a large number of patients with esophageal motility disorders as well as complex dysphagia and strictures. Dr. DeVault has ongoing research into these disorders.
- Interaction between the esophagus and lungs in patients with severe pulmonary disease, including those who have undergone lung transplant. Dr. DeVault's long-term collaboration between gastroenterology and pulmonary disease with Leeds University in the United Kingdom has multiple projects based on 20 years of data collection. His goal is to determine the role of reflux and aspiration in lung failure both before and after transplantation. This provides a roadmap for optimal treatment of patients with these challenging conditions.
- New treatments for acid peptic disorders. Dr. DeVault has been instrumental in the development of new agents for the treatment of peptic acid disorders including gastroesophageal reflux disease, peptic ulcer disease and dyspepsia. Dr. DeVault has been involved in the study of all proton pump inhibitors dating back to omeprazole and most recently the potassium competitive acid blockers.
- Use of new technology in the evaluation of esophageal disease. The esophageal physiology lab is dedicated to including and studying all forms of technology being developed to understand diseases of the esophagus. This is a 30-year program that now is looking at the newest technology and reporting how it influences diagnosis and treatment of esophageal disease.
Significance to patient care
The clinical and research programs in esophageal diseases are advancing the understanding of esophageal disease and the treatment of patients for the past 30 years. The pulmonary and gastroenterology collaboration will continue to define and optimize the treatment of patients with these challenging conditions. Advances are being made in ways to control reflux in a safe and effective clinical manner due to Dr. DeVault's research.
Dr. DeVault's research involves advancements being made in the therapy of patients with swallowing disorders and alterations in esophageal motility.
- Section lead, Esophageal Diseases, Mayo Clinic, 2022-present.
- Member, Gastroenterology Board, American Board of Internal Medicine, 2017-present.
- America's Top Doctors, Castle Connolly, 2003-present.
- Chair, Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 2010-2020.
- President, American College of Gastroenterology, 2015-2016.