Research Program Overview

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

Since 1979, the Research Awards Program has provided nearly $28 million in research funding. Over 870 qualified scientists and physicians have pursued research careers in liver biology, disease 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 cures for liver disease.

The American Liver Foundation is thrilled to announce that our Research Awards Program resumed in 2023. Review each award’s page for more information and instructions on how to apply. 

Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award

The Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award (DSAA) is a prestigious award honoring a scientist who has made major contributions to liver research.

Learn More and nominate a colleague

Liver Scholar Award

The Liver Scholar Award provides junior faculty with funding for their research and supports the development of early career scientists in liver biology and disease.

Learn more and apply

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Award

The Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Award provides a supplementary stipend to support the development of promising research trainees and their transition to a career in independent research.

Learn more and apply

Travel Awards

ALF Travel Awards support early career investigators attending scientific conferences on liver research.

Learn more and apply

Join our Research Awards Mail List

Subscribe to the ALF Research Awards Mail List to receive email updates about ALF Research Awards. These alerts will only contain information related to ALF Research Awards (e.g., new RFPs, etc.) and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Join ALF Research Awards Program Mailing List

For any questions about the ALF Research Program, contact us.

Meet our Awardees

2023
Jeffrey V. Lazarus, PhD, MIH, MA
Professor of Global Health, CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, New York
Press Release

2022
David E. Cohen, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine and Chief of Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Endoscopy at Brigham and Women's Hospital
Press Release

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

2023 ALF Research Award Program Recipients

American Liver Foundation Liver Scholar Research Award
$225,000 over three years

Maria E Moreno-Fernandez, PhD (n.e. Fields)
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Regulatory CD4+ T (Treg) cells in the pathogenesis of metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD)
Mentor: Senad Divanovic, PhD

Charles Trey, MD Memorial Liver Scholar Award
$225,000 over three years

Sujith Rajan, PhD
NYU Grossman Long Island School of Medicine

Role of adipose MTP in the regulation of plasma lipids and hepatic steatosis
Mentor: M Mahmood Hussain, PhD

American Liver Foundation Liver Scholar Research Award
$225,000 over three years

Beng San Yeoh, PhD
The University of Toledo Health Science Campus

Interplay between Diet and Gut Microbiota in Portosystemic shunt-associated MASH-HCC
Mentor: Matam Vijay-Kumar, PhD

Steatotic Liver Disease Fund for The Cure Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Award
$25,000 over one year

Jieun Kim, PhD
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Regulation and Role of CXCL12/CXCR4 Axis on Metastatic Microenvironmental Remodeling in Fatty Liver
Mentor: Ekihiro Seki, MD, PhD

American Liver Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Award
$25,000 over one year

American Liver Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Award
$25,000 over one year

Vineeth Daniel Poovannalil, PhD
Mayo Clinic, Rochester

Lipotoxic ER stress upregulates S100A11 in an epigenetic manner contributing to liver inflammation in MASH
Mentor: Harmeet Malhi, MBBS

Alexander M. White, III Memorial Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Award
$25,000 over one year

John Sincavage, MD
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Center for Fetal Research

In Utero Epigenetic Editing in a Humanized Mouse Model of Hereditary Tyrosinemia Type 1: Building a Therapeutic Paradigm for Congenital Metabolic Liver Disease
Mentor: William Peranteau, MD

Irwin M. Arias, MD Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
$25,000 over one year

Atsushi Sugimoto, PhD
Columbia University

Role of hepatic stellate cells in liver homeostasis, injury and regeneration
Mentor: Robert F. Schwabe, MD

American Liver Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Award
$25,000 over one year

Themis Thoudam, PhD
Indiana University

Mechanism of PDK4 in mitochondrial dynamics and mitochondrial function in alcohol-associated liver disease
Mentor: Suthat Liangpunsakul, MD, MPH

Hans Popper Memorial Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Award
$25,000 over one year

Changyu Zhu, PhD
Sloan Kettering Institute for Cancer Research

The crosstalk between fatty liver disease and liver metastasis
Mentor: Scott W. Lowe, PhD

Past ALF Research Award Program Recipients

Charles Trey, MD Memorial Liver Scholar Award

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

Hien Dang, PhD
Thomas Jefferson University

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

American Liver Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Awards

$12,500 over 1 year

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

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

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

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

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

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”

Weici Zhang, PhD
University of California, Davis
Project: “IGFBP4 Expression Licenses Macrophage Immune-Mediated Biliary Destruction in PBC”

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

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

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

James Heslop, PhD
Medical University of South Carolina
Project: “The Role of GATA6 in Endoderm Formation and Hepatic Specification”
Mentor: Stephen A. Duncan

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 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

Last updated on January 24th, 2024 at 11:48 am

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