2019 Research and Career Development Award Recipients

AASLD Foundation is pleased to announce our investment in hepatology’s future continues to grow. This year, we have committed $3.42 million in funding towards our Research and Career Development Awards. These awards:

  • Secure education training for those caring for patients with liver disease
  • Provide critical funding for new and innovative liver research
  • Encourage young investigators new to the field
  • Increase access to trained hepatology providers for patients with liver disease

This year’s 29 award recipients — selected from a highly competitive applicant pool by a committee of academic and clinical specialists, physicians and advanced practice providers in the fields of hepatology and transplant hepatology — demonstrate both exceptional aptitude and deep interest in liver disease research and treatment. Their work will further advance the mission of the Foundation and hepatology as a medical specialty.

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, AASLD Foundation provides more funding of hepatology research and training than any other private organization in the United States. Since 2000, more than $50 million has been committed by AASLD, and now the Foundation, to invest in innovative hepatology research and in the those who study and treat liver disease.

2019 Research Awards

Pinnacle Research Award in Liver Disease

Eva BillerbeckEva Billerbeck, PhD
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Project Title: New insights into the hepatic immune response during hepaciviral infection and liver disease
Mentor: Allan W. Wolkoff, MD, FAASLD

 

 

Caroline C. DuwaertsCaroline C. Duwaerts, PhD
University of California, San Francisco
Project Title: Role of ER Stress in NAFLD Development and Progression
Mentor: Jacquelyn J. Maher, MD

 

 

Enis KEnis Kostallari, PhD
Mayo Clinic, Rochester
Project Title: Extracellular vesicles and liver fibrosis
Mentor: Vijay H. Shah, MD, FAASLD

 

 

Shuang LiangShuang Liang, PhD
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Project Title: Role of Macrophage Mitochondrial DNA in Obesity-induced Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Mentor: David A. Brenner, MD

 

 

The 2019 Pinnacle Research Awards in Liver Diseases are made possible through independent grants and unrestricted donations from AASLD, AbbVie, Allergan, Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Gilead Sciences, and donors to the AASLD Foundation.

Autoimmune Hepatitis Pinnacle Research Award in Liver Disease

Pascal LapierrePascal Lapierre, PhD
Centre de recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l’Universite de Montreal
Project Title: Tolerogenic effect of pregnancy in autoimmune hepatitis
Mentor: Marc Bilodeau, MD

 

 

The 2019 Autoimmune Hepatitis Pinnacle Research Award in Liver Disease is made possible through the AASLD Foundation Autoimmune Hepatitis Research Fund established by a generous donor who wishes to remain anonymous.

Alan Hofmann Clinical, Translational, and Outcomes Research Award in Liver Disease

Suzanne SharptonSuzanne R. Sharpton, MD, MAS
University of California, San Diego
Project Title: Defining Gut Microbial Function In Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Mentor: Rohit Loomba, MD

 

 

The 2019 Alan Hofmann Clinical, Translational, and Outcomes Research Award in Liver Disease is made possible through an independent grant from Intercept Pharmaceuticals and donors to the AASLD Foundation.

Clinical, Translational, and Outcomes Research Award in Liver Transplantation

In memory of the University of Michigan Transplant Team

Krupa MysoreKrupa Mysore, MBBS, MS
Texas Children’s Hospital – Baylor College of Medicine
Project Title: Infection Susceptibility and Impaired T Cell and Dendritic Cell Function in Children with Chronic Liver Diseases
Mentor: Benjamin L. Shneider, MD, FAASLD

 

 

The 2019 Clinical, Translational, and Outcomes Research Award in Liver Transplantation is made possible through an independent grant from Astellas Scientific & Medical Affairs and donors to the AASLD Foundation.

Clinical, Translational, and Outcomes Research Award in Liver Disease

Irun BhanIrun Bhan, MD
Massachusetts General Hospital
Project Title: Circulating Epithelial Cells: A Liquid Biopsy in Chronic Liver Disease
Mentor: Raymond T. Chung, MD, FAASLD

 

 

Matthew McConnellMatthew J. McConnell, MD
Yale University
Project Title: The Role of Platelet Hyperreactivity in the Pathogenesis of Alcoholic Liver Disease
Mentor: Yasuko Iwakiri, PhD

 

 

The 2019 Clinical, Translational, and Outcomes Research Award in Liver Diseases is made possible through independent grants and unrestricted donations from AASLD, AbbVie, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pfizer, and donors to the AASLD Foundation.

Bridge Award

Yuxia ZhangYuxia Zhang, PhD
University of Kansas Medical Center
Project Title: Unraveling the role of HuR in liver inflammation and carcinogenesis

 

 

Jaime ChuJaime Chu, MD
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Project Title: Mannose regulation of metabolic reprogramming in hepatic stellate cells

 

 

The 2019 Bridge Awards are made possible through unrestricted donations from AASLD and donors to the AASLD Foundation.

Gupta Family Pilot Research Award in PSC

Jang Yoon YoungYoon-Young Jang, MD, PhD
Johns Hopkins University
Project Title: Developing a preclinical human model of PSC using patient stem cells

 

 

The 2019 Gupta Family Pilot Research Award is made possible through The Lalit and Anubha Gupta Family Foundation, Inc. and donors to the AASLD Foundation.

Pilot Research Award

Nidhi Jalan-SakrikarNidhi Jalan-Sakrikar, PhD
Mayo Clinic, Rochester
Project Title: Defining the Epigenetic Landscape in iPSC-Derived Biliary Organoids from PSC Patients
Mentor: Robert C. Huebert, MD

 

 

Gregory TietjenGregory Tietjen, PhD
Yale University
Project Title: Delivery of anti-inflammatory nanomedicines during ex vivo organ perfusion to ameliorate ischemia-reperfusion injury in marginal liver allografts
Mentor: David C. Mulligan, MD, FACS, FAASLD

The 2019 Pilot Research Awards are made possible through an unrestricted donation from AASLD and donors to the AASLD Foundation.

Afdhal / McHutchison LIFER Award

Margot CousinMargot Cousin, PhD
Mayo Clinic, Rochester
Project Title: Determining the pathomechanism and treatment potential of the novel recessive condition: RINT1-associated recurrent acute liver failure
Mentor: Konstantinos N. Lazaridis, MD, FAASLD

 

The 2019 Afdhal / McHutchison LIFER Award is made possible through an independent grant from the Liver Institute and Foundation for Education and Research (LIFER) and donors to the AASLD Foundation.

Clinical and Translational Research Fellowship in Liver Disease

Arvind AshwiniAshwini Arvind, MBBS
Massachusetts General Hospital
Project Title: Aspirin and Novel Lipid Mediators in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease-Related Fibrosis
Mentor: Raymond T. Chung, MD, FAASLD

 

 

The 2019 Clinical and Translational Research Fellowship in Liver Disease is made possible by an unrestricted donation from AASLD and by donors to the AASLD Foundation.

Autoimmune Liver Disease Pilot Research Award

James SquiresJames E. Squires, MD, MS
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
Project Title: A Learning Health System for Pediatric Autoimmune Liver Disease Through Partnership with ImproveCareNow
Mentor: Alexander G. Miethke, MD

 

 

The 2019 Autoimmune Liver Disease Pilot Research Award is made possible through a generous contribution given to establish this award and unrestricted donations from AASLD Foundation donors.

Anna S. Lok Advanced/Transplant Hepatology Award

Patricia BloomPatricia Bloom, MD
Massachusetts General Hospital
Project Title: Fecal Microbiota Transplant as Treatment for Hepatic Encephalopathy
Mentor: Raymond T. Chung, MD, FAASLD

 

 

The 2019 Anna S. Lok Advanced/Transplant Hepatology Award is made possible through the Anna S. Lok Fund for Excellence in Research and Training and donors to the AASLD Foundation.

Advanced/Transplant Hepatology Award

Jihane BenhammouJihane N. Benhammou, MD
University of California, Los Angeles
Project Title: Identifying cell subpopulations and heterogeneity of NASH associated HCC using single cell RNA-sequencing
Mentor: Steven-Huy B. Han, MD, FAASLD

 

 

Giuseppe CullaroGiuseppe Cullaro, MD, MAS
Columbia University
Project Title: Discovery of Novel Laboratory and Imaging Biomarkers to Accurately Identify Chronic Kidney Disease in Outpatients with Cirrhosis
Mentor: Jean C. Emond, MD, FAASLD

 

 

Ani KardashianAni Kardashian, MD
University of California, San Francisco
Project Title: The Role of the Microbiome in Liver Disease Progression in HIV
Mentor: Jennifer C. Price, MD

 

 

Sarah LieberSarah R. Lieber, MD, MSCR
University of North Carolina
Project Title: Using Patient-Centered Smartphone Technology to Improve Immunosuppressant Adherence and Coordination of Care Among Adult Liver Transplant Recipients: A Pilot Feasibility Study
Mentor: Michael W. Fried, MD, FAASLD

 

 

Nicole ShenNicole T. Shen, MD, MSc
Weill Cornell Medical Center
Project Title: A Comprehensive Alcohol-associated Liver Lexicon (CALL): A CALL to Action
Mentor: Robert Brown, Jr., MD, MPH, FAASLD

 

 

Mary ThomsonMary Thomson, MD, MSc
University of Michigan
Project Title: Appropriate Statin Use in Patients with Cirrhosis and Cardiovascular Disease
Mentor: Anna S. Lok, MD, FAASLD

 

 

Sharad WadhwaniSharad Wadhwani, MD, MPH
University of California, San Francisco
Project Title: The effect of community risk factors on outcomes following pediatric liver transplantation
Mentor: Jennifer C. Lai, MD

 

 

The 2019 Advanced/Transplant Hepatology Awards are made possible through unrestricted donations from AASLD and donors to the AASLD Foundation.

NP/PA Clinical Hepatology Fellowship

Paola GonzalezPaola González, PA-C, MPAS
University of Florida
Mentor: Roberto J. Firpi, MD, FAASLD

 

 

Zenaida MalpayaZenaida Malpaya, MSN, AGACNP-BC
McGuire Veteran Hospital
Mentor: Puneet Puri, MD, MBBS, FAASLD

 

 

Michelle MortonMichelle Morton, FNP
The Liver Institute at Methodist Dallas
Mentor: Parvez S. Mantry, MD, AGAF, FAASLD

 

 

Divya RobertsDivya Roberts, BSN, MSN
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Mentor: David Goldberg, MD, MSCE

 

 

The 2019 NP/PA Clinical Hepatology Fellowships are made possible through independent grants and unrestricted donations from AASLD, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead Sciences, Merck, and donors to the AASLD Foundation.

Consider a gift today to support the Foundation’s Research and Career Development Awards.

Learn about donors to the Foundation’s Named Funds, which enable us to fund more programming each year.