Emmanuel Thomas, MD, PhD of University of Miami School of Medicine to lead national board of directors
Over the weekend at its quarterly meeting, the national board of directors for the American Liver Foundation (ALF) announced the election of a new board chair, Emmanuel Thomas, MD, PhD, FAASLD, Associate Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Dr. Thomas replaces outgoing chair, Daniel Weil of Highwood, Illinois who has served for the past three years. ALF board chairs serve three consecutive one-year terms.
“It’s been an honor to lead ALF’s national board of directors these past three years and help the organization navigate its reorganization to emerge stronger than ever with a bright future ahead,” said Dan Weil, immediate past board chair of ALF, Senior Vice President and Producer at Alliant Insurance Services, and husband to Liz, who has had liver disease for 25 years. “On behalf of the entire board, we are so grateful to Dr. Thomas for his leadership at ALF. We are confident that with his academic background, combined with his great devotion to working on behalf of liver patients, he will be a game-changing board chair and we look forward to all that he will bring to the organization.”
“I am honored and humbled to be elected as board chair of an organization that has led the way for liver patients for nearly 47 years,” said Dr. Thomas. “My passion is viral hepatitis and novel liver model development to study new drugs that can benefit patients. I hope in my new role as chairman to build upon ALF’s work in viral hepatitis and liver cancer, expand our research portfolio, and address the burgeoning public health crisis of fatty liver disease, which affects nearly 100 million Americans.”
Before his election as board chair of ALF, Dr. Thomas served the organization as a national board member, medical advisor, and chair of the board nominating committee. In addition to his associate professor role at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Dr. Thomas is also a member of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Schiff Center for Liver Diseases at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. During his post-doctorate training, Dr. Thomas worked at UNC-Chapel Hill with Dr. Michael Fried and in the Liver Diseases Branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with Dr. Jake Liang. His multidisciplinary research program in liver disease and cancer is funded by the NIH. He is also helping lead the Hepatitis C elimination effort in Florida. Dr. Thomas and his wife Caroline, a cardiovascular ICU nurse, live in Miami, Florida.
Over the past two years under the new leadership of CEO Lorraine Stiehl, ALF has elected several new members to the national board who represent leaders in medicine, business, finance, industry, law and media, including: Rotonya M. Carr, MD, Peter Cullen, Connie Deneweth, Anne Doyen, Udeme D. Ekong, David Frank, Carlo Frappolli, Kevin Lee, Richard Miller, Robert Pollichino, Ellen Rucker Sellers, and Deb Tully.
Your liver is essential to your life. It is the largest solid internal organ in the body. It is about the size of a football and weighs about 3 to 3.5 pounds (1.36–1.59kg). It is located on your right side, just under your rib cage. The liver performs many vital functions, including filtering toxins from your blood, managing blood clotting, making bile to digest fat, storing sugar for energy, turning extra glucose into glycogen, making protein for blood plasma, and helping with digestion.
There are many kinds of liver diseases and conditions, the most common are hepatitis viruses, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), autoimmune diseases, genetic conditions, cancer, and others. More than 100 million people in the U.S. have some form of liver disease. Approximately 4.5 million U.S. adults (1.8%) have been diagnosed with liver disease. But it is estimated that 80-100 million adults in the U.S. have fatty liver disease, and many do not know they have it. Research estimates that fatty liver disease is present in up to 75% of overweight people and in more than 90% with severe obesity. Globally, it affects one billion people. In 2020, 51,642 adults in the U.S. died from liver disease (15.7 per 100,000 population). Find more information about Liver Disease.
The American Liver Foundation is the nation’s largest non-profit organization focused solely on promoting liver health and disease prevention. The American Liver Foundation achieves its mission in the fight against liver disease by funding scientific research, education for medical professionals, advocacy, information and support programs for patients and their families as well as public awareness campaigns about liver wellness and disease prevention. The mission of the American Liver Foundation is to promote education, advocacy, support services and research for the prevention, treatment and cure of liver disease. For more information visit www.liverfoundation.org or call:1 800 GO LIVER (800-465-4837).