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An international expert in the field of pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition, Dr. Marvin Ament joined Valley Children’s in January 2011. Board certified in pediatrics and pediatric gastroenterology, Dr. Ament is medical director, pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition. Dr. Ament came to Valley Children’s from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he was a distinguished professor of pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine. He brings his expertise in the management of gastrointestinal and liver diseases and nutritional support to Valley children.

One of the recognized founders of the pediatric gastroenterology subspecialty in the United States, Dr. Ament established one of the premier training programs and has trained over 100 individuals in pediatric gastroenterology during his 38-year career at UCLA. He was also instrumental in establishing the liver and multivisceral transplantation program in 1984 at UCLA Medical Center and the small intestinal and multivisceral transplantation program in 1999-2000.

Dr. Ament developed many of the tools and therapies now accepted as standard practice in pediatric gastroenterology. He is responsible for initially developing a pediatric small bowel biopsy instrument during his early years of training. He pioneered the development of flexible fiber optic upper and lower intestinal endoscopes for infants and children and is recognized as one of the authorities in this field. Dr. Ament was foremost in the recognition of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in infants and children and was one of the early pioneers in developing the instrumentation for the evaluation of GERD.

Dr. Ament is unique in that he is both a pediatric and adult gastroenterologist and has continued because of his special training to care for both children and adults throughout his medical career. Dr. Ament was the first gastroenterologist in the world to develop a home parenteral nutrition program for infants and children and was primary in establishing such a center at UCLA Medical Center in 1974. He also pioneered and established the first program for adults in California. The techniques he established for infants, children and adults became the standard for therapy in the U.S. He developed a program for intestinal rehabilitation to maximize use of the digestive tract that makes it grow in order to minimize use of intravenous nutritional support.

Recognized nationally and internationally for his pediatric gastroenterology achievements, Dr. Ament was awarded the Harry Schwachman Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics for his contributions to the development of the pediatric gastroenterology subspecialty. The American Gastroenterological Association recognized him for his pioneering work in developing the subspecialty and establishing home parenteral nutrition as a standard therapy for individuals with a variety of small intestinal diseases. He was awarded the Janssen Award in Gastroenterology for his development of the instrumentation necessary to evaluate esophageal and gastric motility disorders in infants and children. Dr. Ament was also awarded the Lifetime Research Development Award from the North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition for his lifelong commitment to developing the pediatric gastroenterology specialty, including the multitude of studies he has done in management of reflux disease, chronic diarrhea and home total parenteral nutrition.

Dr. Ament has served as a visiting professor at more than 50 national and international universities where he lectured and consulted. He has published over 300 peer-reviewed papers and over 30 book chapters dealing with problems related to gastrointestinal, hepatobiliary and nutritional disorders.

Dr. Ament received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis. He completed a pediatric residency at UCLA and received his training in gastroenterology in the department of internal medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle at a time when the pediatric gastroenterology subspecialty did not exist.

Dr. Ament is a member of Specialty Medical Group.

Medical Education

  • Medical SchoolUniversity of Minnesota Medical School
  • InternshipUniversity of Minnesota Hospital
  • ResidencyMattel Children's, UCLA
  • ResidencyUniversity of Washington
  • FellowshipUniversity of Washington