American Liver Foundation Honors David E. Cohen, MD, PhD with Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award

November 7, 2022

Dr. Cohen honored for his extensive contributions to basic and translational liver disease research

The American Liver Foundation (ALF) is pleased to announce the winner of its 2022 Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award, David E. Cohen, MD, PhD of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA recognized for his significant impact on basic and translational liver disease research. ALF will present the award to Dr. Cohen during an evening reception held in his honor on November 7th in Washington, DC. 

“Dr. Cohen has been a world leader in liver disease research for decades,” said Lorraine Stiehl, Chief Executive Officer, American Liver Foundation. “We are grateful for the impact his work has had on the prevention, treatment, and potential cures for several liver diseases and are delighted to honor him with our 2022 Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award.”  

​For the past three decades, Dr. Cohen has conducted extensive research on the pathogenesis of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, now called metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease or MASLD, focusing on hepatic and systemic lipid metabolism, glucose metabolism, obesity and hepatic and systemic energy utilization and expenditure. His basic and translational studies are now being used to develop new treatments for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), now called metabolic dysfunction associated steatohepatitis or MASH, and other liver disorders. In addition to his vast body of scholarly work and numerous publications, he has also held several editorial leadership positions that led to a significant impact on the field of liver disease research, education and therapies. Most recently he served from 2016-2021 as the Editor in Chief of the leading liver disease publication, Hepatology

“I am both honored to be the recipient of this award and humbled to be listed among its prior recipients, many of whom have been important role models and mentors for me over the course of my career,” said Dr. Cohen. “I am deeply appreciative of all my collaborators and trainees, who have made invaluable contributions to these discoveries. And I am particularly grateful to the American Liver Foundation for its many years of passionate support of research aimed at the causes and cures for liver disease, including my own, as well as patient advocacyand education.”

Dr. Cohen received his MD from Harvard Medical School in 1987 and that same year also received his PhD in Physiology and Biophysics at Harvard University, training in the laboratory of Martin C. Carey, MD, D.Sc. He then served as a resident in Internal Medicine, and as a Clinical and Research fellow in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Upon completion of his training, he was appointed as a faculty member at Harvard Medical School. Over the past three decades, he has been a faculty member at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine, and a Professor and Robert H. Ebert Endowed Chair at Harvard Medical School and Chief of Hepatology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Director of the Harvard-Massachusetts Institute of Technology Division of Health Sciences and Technology. He subsequently was the Vincent Astor Distinguished Professor and Chief of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Weill Cornell Medical College. Since 2021, he been a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endoscopy at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and Association of American Physicians, as well as several other clinical and research societies. Notably, Dr. Cohen was the recipient of the 1991 Charles Trey American Liver Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, the 1992 American Liver Foundation Research Prize and a 1994 American Liver Foundation Liver Scholar Award. Ten of his trainees have been the recipients of American Liver Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards and two American Liver Foundation Student Research Fellowship Awards.

​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. The 2021 winner of the Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award was Guadalupe Garcia-Tsao, MD, FRCP, Professor of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine and Chief of Digestive Diseases at the VA-Connecticut Healthcare System. 

​The American Liver Foundation relies on strong healthcare professional partnerships to fulfill our mission. To learn more and become involved please visit:

About Liver Disease

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

About the American Liver Foundation

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 or call:1 800 GO LIVER (800-465-4837).

Last updated on April 9th, 2024 at 10:13 am

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