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Research Awards Program

Petrie Dish

Research is essential to ALF in improving, treating and finding a cure for liver disease

Since 1979, the Research Awards Program has provided more than $26 million in research funding. Over 850 qualified scientists and physicians have pursued careers in liver disease research and treatment as a result of receiving these grants early in their careers.

The American Liver Foundation is proud to support these research efforts and is hopeful that they will bring us closer to finding a cure for liver disease.

Contact us here for any questions about these research awards.

Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award

The Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award is a prestigious award honoring a scientist who has made a major contribution to liver disease research in basic science or in its application towards the prevention, treatment or cure of liver disease.

Download the 2021 Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award Form
Nominations –  Due October 4th.

2021
Guadalupe Garcia-Tsao
Professor of Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine and Chief of Digestive Diseases at the VA-Connecticut Healthcare System

2020
Gyongyi Szabo, MD
Professor of Medicine and Faculty Dean at Harvard Medical School, Chief Academic Officer at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Beth Israel Lahey Health

2019
David Brenner, MD
Distinguished Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego

2018
Michael Houghton, PhD
Li Ka Shing Applied Virology Institute, University of Alberta

2017
Arun Sanyal, MD
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine

2016
Scott L. Friedman, MD

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

2015
Anna Suk-Fong Lok, MD

University of Michigan Health System

2014
Raymond Schinazi, PhD, DSc

Emory University, Center for AIDS Research

2013
Charles M. Rice, PhD

The Rockefeller University

2012
Allan W. Wolkoff, MD

Albert Einstein College of Medicine

2011
Robert H. Purcell, MD

National Institutes of Health

2010
George K. Michalopoulos, MD, PhD

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

2009
Snorri S. Thorgeisson, MD, PhD

National Cancer Institute

2008
Neil Kaplowitz, MD

University of Southern California School of Medicine

2006
Roberto J. Groszmann, MD

West Haven VA Medical Center

2004
Nelson Fausto, MD

University of Washington School of Medicine

2002
Harvey J. Alter, MD

National Institutes of Health

2001
Nancy L. Bucher, MD

Boston University School of Medicine

2000
David A. Shafritz, MD

Albert Einstein College of Medicine

1999
James L. Boyer, MD

Yale University

1998
Irwin M. Arias, MD

Tufts University School of Medicine

1997
Francis V. Chisari, MD

The Scripps Research Institute

Past ALF Research Award Program Recipients

Charles Trey, MD Memorial Liver Scholar Award

$75,000 annually/3 years; $225,000 total

Hien Dang

Hien Dang, PhD
Thomas Jefferson University

Project: Genome-wide CRISPR/Cas9 screening for synthetic lethal targets in NELFE/MYC HCC
Mentor:  Jonathan Brody, PhD

Learn more about Dr. Dang and her research project…


American Liver Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Awards

$12,500 over 1 year

Jessica Llewellyn

Biliary Atresia Fund for the Cure Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Award

Jessica Llewellyn, PhD
University of Pennsylvania

Project: Identification and characterization of fibrogenic cell of the extrahepatic bile duct
Mentor:  Rebecca G. Wells, MD

Learn more about Jessica and her research…

Omar Haque

Hans Popper Memorial Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

Omar Haque, MD
Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Project: Ex-Vivo Liver Graft Regeneration via Normothermic Machine Perfusion in a Two-Thirds Partial Hepatectomy Model
Mentors: Korkut Uygun, PhD & James F. Markmann, MD, PhD

Learn more about Dr. Omar Haque and his research…

Debanjali Dasgupta

Alexander M. White, III Memorial Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Award

Debanjali Dasgupta, PhD
Mayo Clinic, Rochester

Project: Hepatic IRE1alpha activation induces EV release, leading to hepatic injury
Mentor:  Harmeet Malhi, MBBS

Learn more about Debanjali and her research…

Taylor Coe

Irwin M. Arias, MD Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

Taylor M. Coe, MD
Massachusetts General Hospital

Project: Role of IdeS in Depletion of IgG to Reduce Antibody Mediated Graft Damage in Non-Human Primate Liver Xenotransplantation
Mentor:  James F. Markmann, MD, PhD

Learn more about Dr. Coe and her research…


Research Award Recipients

American Liver Foundation Liver Scholar Award
$75,000 annually/3 years; $225,000 total

Xiaobo Wang, PhD
Columbia University
Project: “Regulation and Role of TAZ in NASH-Associated Hepatocellular Carcinoma”
Mentor: Ira A. Tabas, MD, PhD
Click more to learn more about Dr. Wang and his research project


American Liver Foundation PBC Fund for the Cure Award
$
100,000 over 1 year

Marina Silveira, MD
Yale University
Project: “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in the Treatment of Fatigue in Patients with PBC”
Click Here to learn more about Dr. Silveira and her research project

Weici Zhang, PhD
University of California, Davis
Project: “IGFBP4 Expression Licenses Macrophage Immune-Mediated Biliary Destruction in PBC”
Click here to learn more about Dr. Weici Zhang and her research project


American Liver Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Awards
$
12,500 over 1 year

Irwin M. Arias, MD Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

Norihiro Imai, MD, PhD
Joan & Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Project: “Muscle-Specific Metabolic Regulation by Thioesterase Superfamily Member 2 (Them2) in the Pathogenesis of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease”
Mentor:  David E. Cohen, MD, PhD
Click here to learn more about Imai and his research

Hans Popper Memorial Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

Aveline Filliol, PhD
The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York
Project: “Role of HSC and ECM in the Development of Hepatocellular Carcinoma”
Mentor: Robert F. Schwabe, MD
Click here to learn more about Dr. Aveline Filliol and her research

Sandra Steensels, PhD
Joan & Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Project: “Thioesterase-mediated Control of Hepatic Lipid and Glucose Homeostasis”
Mentor: Baran A. Ersoy, PhD
Click here to learn more about Dr. Steensels and her research

James Heslop, PhD
Medical University of South Carolina
Project: “The Role of GATA6 in Endoderm Formation and Hepatic Specification”
Mentor: Stephen A. Duncan
Click here to learn more about Dr. Heslop and his research

American Liver Foundation Liver Scholar Award
$75,000 annually/3 years; $225,000 total

Graham Brady, MD, PhD
University of Michigan
Role of the nuclear lamina in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
Mentor: M. Bishr Omary, MD, PhD

American Liver Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship Research Award Winners
$12,500 over 1 year

Yongfeng Song, MD, PhD
University of Connecticut
ZEB1/EpCAM Axis in LncRNA H19-Mediated Cholestasis
Mentor: Li Wang, PhD

Mariana L. Acuña, PhD
Cornell University
ACOT12-Mediated Acetyl-CoA Degradation in the Pathogenesis of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Mentor: David E. Cohen, MD, PhD

Enis Kostallari, PhD
Mayo Clinic
PDGFR-alpha trafficking through hepatic stellate cell-derived extracellular vesicles
Mentor: Vijay H. Shah, MD

Paul J. Wrighton, PhD
Brigham and Women’s Hospital / Harvard Medical School
How Liver Stiffness Promotes Liver Cancer
Mentor: Wolfram Goessling, MD, PhD

Kazuki Takeshi, MD, PhD
University of Pittsburgh
Mass Production of iPS-derived Hepatocytes to engineer Autologous Liver Graft
Mentor: Alejandro Soto-Gutierrez, MD, PhD

Ruisi (Rose) Wang, PhD
The Rockefeller University
Novel stem cell approaches to explore hepatic stellate cell biology
Mentor: Charles M. Rice, PhD

Liuyi Hao, PhD
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
The role of ATF4 in alcoholic hepatitis
Mentor: Zhanxiang Zhou, PhD

Barent N. DuBois, PhD
Chapman University School of Pharmacy
Effect of acute-on-chronic liver failure on drug metabolism in the brain.
Mentor: Reza Mehvar, PharmD, PhD

Chun-Hao Huang, PhD
The Regents of the University of California, Berkeley
Understanding cellular immune response to viral translation during liver damage
Mentor: Jennifer A. Doudna, PhD

Wei Wang, MD
New York University School of Medicine
Role of gamma delta-T cells in the pathogenesis of NASH
Mentor: George Miller, MD


American Liver Foundation Liver Scholar Award
$75,000 annually/3 years; $225,000 total

Hepatitis Fund for the Cure Liver Scholar Award

Holly Ramage, PhD
University of Pennsylvania

Characterizing the Role of Host Cell Ubiquitylation Machinery in HCV Infection
Mentor: Sara R. Cherry, PhD


American Liver Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards
$12,000 over 1 year

NASH Fatty Liver Disease Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

Michele Alves-Bezerra, PhD
Weill Cornell Medicine
Phospholipid-mediated control of hepatic insulin signaling
Mentor: David E. Cohen, MD, PhD

Herman Lopata Memorial Hepatitis Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

Joshua A. Jackman, PhD
Stanford University School of Medicine
Engineering Platform for Deciphering Inositol-Binding Domains in Hepatitis C Virus
Mentor: Jeffrey S. Glenn, MD, PhD

Thomas E. Starzl, MD Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

Negin Karimian, MD, PhD
Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard Medical School
A Novel Approach to Improve Organ Viability and Availability before Orthotopic Liver Transplantation
Mentor: Korkut Uygun, PhD

Charles Trey, MD Memorial Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

Chad M. Walesky, PhD
Brigham and Women’s Hospital / Harvard Medical School
A Balancing Act: Role of HNF4α/β-catenin in Hepatobiliary Development and Cholangiocarcinoma Formation
Mentor:  Wolfram Goessling, MD, PhD

Hans Popper Memorial Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

Ju Dong Yang, MD
Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
Detection of Actionable or Predictive Tumor DNA Mutations in Peripheral Blood (Liquid Biopsy) from Patients with Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA)
Mentor:  Lewis R. Roberts, PhD

Irwin M. Arias, MD Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

Janice E. Yang, PhD
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
The role of hyaluronan synthase-2 in the pathogenesis of Liver Fibrosis
Mentor:  Ekihiro Seki, MD, PhD

Thomas F. Nealon, III Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Honoring Zachary Rue

Anna L. Peters, MD, PhD
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Control of cholangiocyte proliferation by innate lymphoid cells
Mentor:  Jorge A. Bezerra, MD

Congressman John Joseph Moakley Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

Regina Español-Suñer, PhD
University of California, San Francisco
In vivo reprogramming of scar tissue into hepatocytes as a therapy for liver fibrosis
Mentor:  Holger Willenbring, MD, PhD

PSC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

Ana Catalina Arce-Clachar, MD
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
The role of TGR5 signaling in the pathogenesis of murine fibrosing cholangitis and its response to pharmacological inhibition of intestinal bile acid reuptake
Mentor:  Alexander Miethke, MD

Roger L. Jenkins, MD Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

Stephanie A. Kingman, MD
The Regents of the University of California, Los Angeles
Gene Therapy-Corrected Autologous Hepatocyte-Like Cells from Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells For the Treatment of Pediatric Single Enzyme Disorders
Mentor:  Gerald S. Lipshutz, MD


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