Dr. Ahlquist is a consultant in the Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, professor of medicine, and the Carol M. Gatton Professor of Digestive Diseases Research Honoring Peter Carryer, M.D., at Mayo Clinic.
He earned a B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Minnesota and M.D. from Mayo Medical School (1977). He completed a residency in internal medicine and later a fellowship in gastroenterology at Mayo Graduate School of Medicine. Dr. Ahlquist was appointed to the Mayo Clinic staff in 1983.
Throughout his training and career, Dr. Ahlquist has received numerous honors and awards, most recently as the 2014 Mayo Investigator of the Year. He has held multiple internal and external professional leadership positions in his subspecialty, and he has given many national and international presentations. At Mayo Clinic, he served as president of the Staff (Rochester) and medical director for the Department of Development.
Dr. Ahlquist is internationally recognized for his research in the early detection of colorectal and other gastrointestinal neoplasms. His research has focused particularly on the development and clinical validation of novel molecular screening tools which are noninvasive, accurate, and user-friendly. Dr. Ahlquist has mentored more than 50 residents and fellows in his research program. He has published extensively and holds numerous patents related to his research. He and his team co-developed a stool DNA test for colorectal cancer screening that was recently approved by FDA and is now available commercially.