Mario “Motts” Tonelli Esophageal Function Lab

On November 11th, 2011, we honored the memory and legacy of Mario “Motts” Tonelli by dedicating the Esophageal Function Laboratory in his name.  The Esophageal Function Laboratory at Northwestern Medicine is a world renown center of excellence in research in disorders of the esophagus.  The center has a focus on educating trainees from around the world and it is fitting that Mario Tonelli be attached to this important component of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.  Mr. Tonelli was a patient of Dr. Pandolfino, who was the first official director of the Esophageal Function Lab in the Galter Pavillion at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

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Motts58 Foundation Founder, Dr. John Pandolfino, dedicates the Mario “Motts” Tonelli Esophageal Function Lab on November 11th 2011- Veteran’s day.

Dr. Pandolfino petitioned to have the center named after Mr. Tonelli in recognition of his heroic service to his country during World war II and his tireless advocacy for young people in the city of Chicago.  The Northwestern Memorial Foundation was generous enough to grant this dedication and they have been a strong supporter of the efforts of the Esophageal Center at Northwestern and the Motts 58 Foundation.

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Nancy Reynolds and Mary, daughter and granddaughter of Mario Tonelli

Update: New Research at the Mario Tonelli Esophageal Function Lab helps patients and children at CYBC.

A new technology that was developed at Northwestern University and the Mario Tonelli Esophageal Function Lab at Northwestern Memorial Hospital was recently FDA approved and developed into a new method to assess esophageal diseases.  The new approach using an existing technology called the Functional Lumen Imaging Probe was modified to study how the esophagus reacts to distention.  This device could potentially replace a very uncomfortable procedure known as manometry by performing the procedure while the patient is sedated during their routine endoscopy.

The existing technology was owned by Crospon LTD and they were recently acquired by Medtronic and Dr. Pandolfino was able to donate stock options to the Motts 58 Foundation for this invention.  The proceeds from the stock options will go to support scholarships at CYBC and to help support fundraising initiatives for their after school program.