2021 Abstract Award Recipients

AASLD Foundation Abstract Awards recognize research excellence and promote the professional development of young investigators. In addition to a monetary award to alleviate costs associated with participation in educational events, these awards offer the career-shaping experience of presenting the awardee’s science at a major hepatology meeting.

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The Liver Meeting Abstract Awards
Digestive Disease Week Abstract Awards

The Liver Meeting Digital Experience 2021 Abstract Awards

Advanced Practice Providers Awards

Erin Parkinson, MS, APRN-C  Erin Parkinson, MS, APRN-C
  Tampa General Medical Group
  Patient Experience and 30-Day Readmissions for an Advanced Practice Provider Led Transitional Care Clinic for Patients Awaiting Liver Transplant


Vicki Shah, PA-C, DMSc, MMS  Vicki Shah, PA-C, DMSc, MMS
  Rush University
  An Advanced Practice Provider (APP) Pathway Achieves More Effective Weight Loss in NAFLD Patients Compared to Standard of Care 

Early Career Investigator Awards in Basic Science

Fanta Barrow, BS  Fanta Barrow, BS
  University of Minnesota
  Gut Microbial Factors Activate Intrahepatic B Cells to Promote Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis Via Innate and Adaptive Signaling


Sukriti Baweja, PhD  Sukriti Baweja, PhD
  Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, India
  Fecal Microbial Transplant Suppresses Hepatic and Systemic Inflammatory Responses and Gut Leakiness in Severe Alcoholic Hepatitis Patients


Yeonhee Cho, PhD Candidate  Yeonhee Cho, PhD Candidate
  University of Massachusetts Medical School/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  A Unique Low-Density Neutrophil Subset with Defective Funcions is Associated with Neutrophil Extracellular Trap Formation Contributing to Liver Damage in Alcoholic Hepatitis


Kuo Du, PhD  Kuo Du, PhD
  Duke University
  HIPPO-YAP Pathway is a Master Regulator of Hepatic Stellate Cell Senescence and Ferroptosis Susceptibility



Souradipta Ganguly, PhD  Souradipta Ganguly, PhD
  University of California, San Diego
  Mechanistic Role of TREM2 in NASH and HCC Development



Hui Han, PhD  Hui Han, PhD
  University of Illinois at Chicago
  Hepatic Macrophage-Derived Osteopontin Protects from Diet-Induced Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease



Mengwei Jiang, MD
University of Louisville
Probiotic Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GG -Derived Exosome-Like Nanoparticles (LDNPS) Protect Against Alcohol-Associated Liver Disease Through Regulation of the Intestinal miR194- FXR-FGF15-Mediated Bile Acid Synthesis Pathway in Mice


Impreet Kaur, PhD Candidate  Impreet Kaur, PhD Candidate
  Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, India
  Lithocholic Acid Modulates Angiocrine Profile and Functions of Liver Sinusoidal Endothelial Cells During Liver Regeneration


Satoshi Kawamura, MD, PhD  Satoshi Kawamura, MD, PhD
  University of Tokyo, Japan
  Inhibition of SCAP/SREBP-Mediated Lipogenesis Exacerbates Liver Injury and Carcinogenesis in Murine NASH via Phospholipid Metabolism Disturbance


Seung Kim, MD  Seung Kim, MD
  Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
  Patient-Derived Cholangiocyte Organoids Identify Reactive Ciliopathy in Pathogenesis of Epithelial Injury in Biliary Atresia


Enis Kostallari, PhD  Enis Kostallari, PhD
  Mayo Clinic 
  Glycolysis in Hepatic Stellate Cells Induces Fibrogenic EV Release and Promotes Liver Fibrosis



Emilien Loeuillard, PhD
Mayo Clinic
Tumor Necrosis Factor-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand (TRAIL) Fosters Myeloid Derived Suppressor Cell Mediated Tumor Immune Evasion in Cholangiocarcinoma


Raquel Maeso-Diaz, PhD  Raquel Maeso-Diaz, PhD
  Duke University
  Aging Reduces Liver Resiliency by Dysregulating Hedgehog Signaling



Fatima Rizvi, PhD  Fatima Rizvi, PhD
  Boston University and Boston Medical Center
  VEGFA Induces Cholangiocyte-Driven Liver Regeneration in Mouse Models of Acute and Chronic Liver Injury



Kai Markus Schneider, MD, PhD  Kai Markus Schneider, MD, PhD
  RWTH Aachen University, Germany
  Imbalanced Gut Microbiota Fuels HCC Development by Shaping the Hepatic Inflammatory Microenvironment



Tejasav Sehrawat, MBBS  Tejasav Sehrawat, MBBS
  Mayo Clinic
  Single-Cell Multiomics Reveal Hepatocyte Transcriptome and Regulatory Network Zonation Underlying Alcohol-Induced Liver Steatosis


Satoshi Shigeno, MD  Satoshi Shigeno, MD
  Osaka University, Japan
  Establishment of A Novel Immunocompetent Mouse Model of Chronic Hepatitis B


Shuang Wang, PhD  Shuang Wang, PhD
  Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  DNA Methylation Controls Fibrogenic Memory in Liver Fibrosis



Zi Yang, MSc  Zi Yang, MSc
  Cincinnati Children's Hospital
  Discovery of The Cell-Cell Communication and Gene Regulatory Networks Driving Toxic Bile Induced Biliary Epithelial Injury, Repair, And Liver Fibrosis


Annika Yang vom Hofe  Annika Yang vom Hofe
  Cincinnati Children's Hospital 
  Pharmacological Activation Of FXR Antagonizes Hepatic IFNΓ Lymphocyte Responses and Bile Duct Obstruction in Experimental Biliary Atresia

Early Career Investigator Award in Clinical/Translational Science

Anna Brujats  Anna Brujats
  Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Spain
  Βeta-Blockers Induce Lower Portal Pressure Decreasing Effect in Patients with MAFLD-Cirrhosis Than in Those with Alcoholic or HCV-Cirrhosis


Bing Chen, MD  Bing Chen, MD
  NYU Grossman School of Medicine
  HBV and HCV are Each Associated with Adverse Pregnancy Complications: A 7-Year Nationwide Inpatient Sample Study


George Cholankeril, MD, MS  George Cholankeril, MD, MS
  Baylor College of Medicine
  Association Between Longitudinal Changes in Markers of Liver Fibrosis and Risk for Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease


Yasmina Chouik, MD  Yasmina Chouik, MD
  Cancer Research Center of Lyon / INSERM Unit 1052, France
  Circulating microRNAs Improve Early Diagnosis of Bacterial Infections in Acute Decompensation of Liver Cirrhosis


Naoto Fujiwara MD, PhD  Naoto Fujiwara MD, PhD
  University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  A Blood-Based Prognostic Liver Secretome Signature Predictive of Long-Term HCC Risk to Guide Chemopreventive Intervention in Advanced   Liver Fibrosis


John Guardiola, MD  John Guardiola, MD
  Indiana University
  Exploring Cholestatic Itch in Primary Biliary Cholangitis via Serum Metabolomics



Nghiem B. Ha, MD, MAS  Nghiem B. Ha, MD, MAS
  University of California, San Francisco
  Sarcopenic Visceral Obesity is Associated with Increased Post-Liver Transplant Mortality in Acutely-Ill Patients with Cirrhosis


Grishma Hirode, BE, MSc  Grishma Hirode, BE, MSc
  Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network
  Nucleos(t)Ide Analogue Withdrawal in Chronic Hepatitis B Patients Leads to Limited Sustained Remission in the Absence of HBsAg Loss: Results from the RETRACT-B Study


Danai Kati, PhD Candidate  Danai Kati, PhD Candidate
  University College London, England
  A Proteomic Approach to Serum Biomarker Discovery for Prediction and Evaluation of Ursodeoxycholic Acid Response in Primary Biliary Cholangitis


Lisa Kojima, BSE  Lisa Kojima, BSE
  Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine
  Earlier and Stronger Than Expected: The Multi-Center Clinical Study to Investigate the Influence of Post-Transplant Tacrolimus Level on HCC Recurrence


Anand V. Kulkarni. MD, DM  Anand V. Kulkarni. MD, DM
  AIG Hospitals, India
  Neuropsychiatric Manifestations are Common in Post-Transplant Period in Patients Undergoing Early Living Donor Liver Transplantation for Severe Alcoholic Hepatitis


Iiris Nyholm, MD  Iiris Nyholm, MD
  University of Helsinki / Helsinki University Hospital, Finland
  Serum FGF19 Predicts Outcomes of Kasai Portoenterostomy in Biliary Atresia



​​​​​​​Kenji Okumura, MD  Kenji Okumura, MD
  Westchester Medical Center / New York Medical College
  Early Outcomes in Liver Transplant Recipients During Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic in The United States


Duilio Pagano, MD, PhD  Duilio Pagano, MD, PhD
  Donor Simvastatin Treatment is Safe and Might Improve Outcomes After Liver Transplantation: A Randomized Double-Blind Clinical Trial


Sarju Panchal, MD, PharmD  Sarju Panchal, MD, PharmD
  Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
  The Impact of Race-Adjusted GFR Estimation on Eligibility for Simultaneous Liver-Kidney Transplantation



Fakhar Ali Qazi Arisar. MBBS. MRCP (UK). FCPS - GI (Pak)  Fakhar Ali Qazi Arisar. MBBS. MRCP (UK). FCPS - GI (Pak)
  Dow University of Health Sciences, Pakistan
  Availability of Living Donor Optimizes Timing of Liver Transplant in High-Risk Waitlisted Cirrhosis Patients Independent of NASH Etiology


Stephanie Rutledge, MBBCh, BAO, MRCPI  Stephanie Rutledge, MBBCh, BAO, MRCPI
  Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  Loss-Of-Function Variants in HSD17B13 in an Ancestrally Diverse Patient Population – Implications for Liver Disease Risk


Maj. Arun Valsan, MD, DNB, MNAMS  Maj. Arun Valsan, MD, DNB, MNAMS
  Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, India
  A Pragmatic Randomized Trial Comparing the Efficacy of Early Empiric Versus Pre-Emptive Antifungal Therapy in Acute-On-Chronic Liver Failure Patients with Suspected Invasive Fungal Infections: An Interim Analysis (PEP-ACLF)


Kali Zhou, MD, MAS  Kali Zhou, MD, MAS
  University of Southern California
  Coffee Emerges as Dominant Lifestyle Factor in Population Attributable Risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in an Ethnically Diverse Cohort


​​​​​​​Biyao Zou, MPP  Biyao Zou, MPP
  Stanford University
  Reduced Hepatocellular Carcinoma Risk in Statin Users with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Nationwide U.S. Study

Early Career Investigator Award in Healthcare Disparities

Mohammad Amin Fallahzadeh, MD, MPH  Mohammad Amin Fallahzadeh, MD, MPH
  Baylor University Medical Center
  Multiple Chronic Conditions and Mortality in Compensated and Decompensated Cirrhosis



Dahn Jeong, MSc  Dahn Jeong, MSc
  University of British Columbia
  The 2019 HCV Cascade of Care for Children and Youth in British Columbia, Canada



Margaret C. Liu, MD  Margaret C. Liu, MD
  Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
  Reducing Geographic Disparities in Access to Liver Transplantation Through the Development of a Virtual Transplant Center


Alexandra T. Strauss, MD, MIE  Alexandra T. Strauss, MD, MIE
  Johns Hopkins University
  Health Disparities in Liver Transplant Evaluation by the Patient’s Neighborhood Deprivation



Nabeel Wahid, MD  Nabeel Wahid, MD
  Weill Cornell Medicine
  Medicaid Expansion Under The Affordable Care Act Associated with Improvements in Liver Transplant Waitlist Mortality and Differential Impacts on Racial And Ethnic Disparities in Transplant Access

Fellow Research Award

Sindhu Pandurangi, MD  Sindhu Pandurangi, MD
  Cincinnati Children's Hospital 
  Accuracy Of Serum MMP-7 as a Diagnostic Biomarker for Biliary Atresia in a Large U.S. Cohort

International Early Career Investigator Award

Guilherme Grossi Lopes Cançado, MD, MSc   Guilherme Grossi Lopes Cançado, MD, MSc 
  Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil
  Response to Ursodeoxycholic Acid Should be Assessed Earlier to Allow Add-On Second-Line Therapy in Patients with Primary Biliary Cholangitis Unresponsive to Initial Treatment


Jiang Chen, MD, PhD  Jiang Chen, MD, PhD
  Sir Run-Run Shaw Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, China
  A CRISPR-Cas9 Based Genome-Wide Screening Identified Novel Targets for Treating Sorafenib-Resistant Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Cross-Talk of FGF21 and NRF2 Pathway


Cyriac Abby Philips MD, DM  Cyriac Abby Philips MD, DM
  The Liver Institute, Rajagiri Hospital, India
  Three Year Follow-Up of Alcohol-Related Hepatitis Patients Undergoing Healthy Donor Fecal Transplant: Analysis of Clinical Outcomes, Relapse, Gut Microbiota and Comparisons with Standard Care


Raad Rahmat, BSc  Raad Rahmat, BSc
  Brac University, Bangladesh
  Detection and Characterization of Hepatitis E Virus Genotype 1f by Partial ORF2 Genome Sequence Analysis from Bangladesh 


Pimsiri Sripongpun, MD  Pimsiri Sripongpun, MD
  Prince of Songkla University, Thailand
  The Steatosis-Associated Fibrosis Estimator (SAFE) Score: A Tool for Primary Care to Triage Low-Risk Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Patients

Leonard B. Seeff Award for Outstanding Research by an Early Career Investigator

Noelle Ebel, MD  Noelle Ebel, MD
  Stanford University
  The Impact of SARS-CoV2 Infection in Pediatric Liver Transplant Recipients: An International Observational Registry Study

Liver Transplant & Hepatobiliary Surgery Fellow Award

Andrew Benintende, MD  Andrew Benintende, MD
  Northwestern University
  The Effect of Matrix Stiffness on Lipid Processing, Cell Function, and Morphology in HepG2 Cells



Nichola Manu, MBChB, MRCS  Nichola Manu, MBChB, MRCS
  Liverpool University Foundation Trust, England
  Evaluation of the Utility of Prognostic Models for Patients Diagnosed with Peri-Hilar Cholangiocarcinoma

Maribel Rodriguez-Torres Memorial Travel Award

Carlos García-Crespo   Carlos García-Crespo 
  Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa, Spain 
  Inhibition of High Fitness Viruses by Different Antiviral Strategies When the Infection Has Started

Pediatric Research Award

Simon Lam, MD  Simon Lam, MD
  Alberta Children's Hospital
  Fn14 (Tweak Receptor) is a Potential Therapeutic Target to Block Th1/17 Lymphocyte Polarization in Pediatric Onset Autoimmune Liver Disease with Concomitant Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Professor Margit Hamosh Memorial Travel Award

Allison Kwong, MD  Allison Kwong, MD
  Stanford University
  Decreasing Urgency of Liver Transplant Candidates with Hepatocellular Carcinoma in The United States

Professor Mindie H. Nguyen Award

Makuza Jean Damascene, MD
Rwanda Biomedical Center
Risk Factors of Mortality Among People on HBV Treatment In Rwanda

Apichat Kaewdech, MD
Prince of Songkla University, Thailand
Clinical Utility of Scale-B in the Prediction of Relapse and HBsAg Loss After Antiviral Discontinuation in Asian Chronic Hepatitis B Patients After 2 Years Follow-Up

Nobuharu Tamaki, MD, PhD  Nobuharu Tamaki, MD, PhD
  Musashino Red Cross Hospital, Japan
  Longitudinal Association Between Magnetic Resonance Elastography and Liver-Related Events and Cardiovascular Events in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

PSC Partners Seeking a Cure Award

Nidhi Jalan-Sakrikar, PhD  Nidhi Jalan-Sakrikar, PhD
  Mayo Clinic
  Epigenetically Mediated Telomere Attrition Contributes to the Pathogenesis of Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis

Resident Research Award

Manik Aggarwal, MBBS, MD  Manik Aggarwal, MBBS, MD
  Cleveland Clinic
  Machine Learning Model Outperforms Noninvasive Tests to Detect Fibrotic Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis in Patients with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Rosalyn and Leo Fried Memorial Travel Award

Yana Davidov-Derevyanko, MD
Sheba Medical Center, Israel 
Safety and Efficacy of BNT162b2 mRNA Vaccine Among Liver Transplant Recipients


David Yardeni, MD   
Soroka University Medical Center
MELD Score May Underestimate Disease Severity and Risk of Death in Patients with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Student Research Award

Reika Fujiwara, BS  Reika Fujiwara, BS
  University of Michigan
  Emergence of Highly Fibrogenic LRAT+FBLN2+ Hepatic Stellate Cell Subpopulation In Alcoholic Hepatitis



Digestive Disease Week Abstract Awards

These 11 investigators presented their award-winning abstracts at Digestive Disease Week May 21-23, 2021.

Meet the Awardees

AASLD Foundation Abstract Award in Healthcare Disparities Research

Nabeel Wahid, MD, MA  Nabeel Wahid, MD, MA   
  Weill Cornell Medicine/New York-Presbyterian Hospital
  Association Between Medicaid Expansion Under The Affordable Care Act And Racial-, Ethnic-, And Gender-Related Disparities in Hepatitis C Virus Mortality

AASLD Foundation Fellow Abstract Awards

Heidi Ahmed, MD  Heidi Ahmed, MD    
  Boston University Medical Center
  The Association Between Hepatic Steatosis and Incident Cardiovascular Disease and All-Cause Mortality in a U.S. Multi-Cohort Study

Joseph C. Ahn, MD  Joseph C. Ahn, MD    
  Mayo Clinic 
  Deep Learning Based AI-ECG-Cirrhosis (ACE) Score Accurately Predicts Cirrhosis And Gauges Its Severity



Wael Al-Yaman, MD   Wael Al-Yaman, MD    
  Cleveland Clinic
  Chemopreventive Effect of Statin on Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis Patients with Cirrhosis


Lixian Chen, PhD  Lixian Chen, PhD    
  Indiana University
  Differential Effects of Melatonin and IL-33/ST-2/NFκB Signaling on Mast Cell-Induced Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC)

Lindsey Kennedy, PhD    Lindsey Kennedy, PhD    
  Indiana University
  Long-Term Secretin Treatment Restores the Ductulo-Canalicular Junctions (DCJ) and Ameliorates Biliary Damage and Liver Fibrosis in a Model of Late-Stage Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC)

Hyunseok Kim, MD, MPH, PhD    Hyunseok Kim, MD, MPH, PhD
  Baylor College of Medicine
  Comparative Performance of Prediction Models of Hepatitis B Virus-Related Hepatocellular Carcinoma in the United States Population


Michael Li, MD  Michael Li, MD    
  Brigham and Women's Hospital
  Effect of Corticosteroid Dosing on Outcomes in High-Grade Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Hepatitis



Andy Tien, MD, MS    Andy Tien, MD, MS    
  Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center
  Incidence and Mortality of COVID-19 in Post-Liver Transplant Patients in a Large Integrated Healthcare System



Jennifer Wang, MD  Jennifer Wang, MD    
  University of Chicago
  Raising Hope: Improved Outcomes for HIV/HCV Co-Infected Liver Transplant Recipients in the Direct-Acting Antiviral Era

Nan Wu, MD  Nan Wu, MD
  Indiana University
  Knockdown of the MT1 MELATONIN Receptor Ameliorates the Phenotypes of the MDR2-/- Mouse Model of Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) by Downregulation of Orphan GPR50 Receptor-Promoted Constitutive TGF-β1 Receptor Signaling

Past Abstract Award Recipients: