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2019 Speakers

Fernando Alvarez

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Fernando Alvarez received his medical education at the University of Buenos Aires with his training in paediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Buenos Aires. His post-graduate training in paediatric hepatology was done at Hôpital de Bicêtre, Paris, under the mentorship of Prof. Daniel Alagille, and has completed research training at the Dept. of Cell Biology,  New York University, under the mentorship of Prof. David Sabatini.

Currently, Fernando is a Prof. of Paediatrics at the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition, at CHU-Sainte Justine, University of Montreal. My clinical research interests include paediatric liver disorders and liver transplantation.

Shazhan Amed

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Dr. Amed is a pediatric endocrinologist at BC Children’s Hospital, a Clinical Associate Professor at UBC, an Associate Clinician Scientist at the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute, and Acting Head of the Division of Endocrinology at BC Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Amed completed medical school at the University of Calgary (Calgary, Alberta), Pediatric Residency at the University of Manitoba (Winnipeg, Manitoba), and her Endocrinology Fellowship at The Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto, Ontario). She has also completed a Masters of Science in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (London, England, U.K).

Dr. Amed is a health services and population health researcher. She is the Founder and Lead of Live 5-2-1-0 – an initiative that works with communities to prevent childhood obesity and youth-onset type 2 diabetes. For this work, she recently received annual funding from the BC Ministry of Health. She also leads a childhood diabetes research program that uses linked administrative data combined with clinical and patient-level data to conduct population-level surveillance of childhood type 1 and type 2 diabetes and implement and evaluate quality improvement initiatives related to health service delivery for children and youth with diabetes. Over the last 5 years, she has published over 25 articles in high impact diabetes and pediatrics journals and has been successful in securing almost 2.5 million dollars in grant funding from national granting agencies such as the CIHR, Diabetes Canada, Lawson Foundation, and Public Health Agency of Canada.

Tamara Barnett

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Tamara Barnett graduated from University of Victoria Nursing School and has had a varied career including work in the dialysis unit, sexual assault nursing, women’s clinic, and street outreach nursing. Tamara has worked for the last 5 years in an inner city primary health care setting. Tamara loves the intersection between infectious disease, mental health and addictions.

Lisa Barrett

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Dr. Barrett is a clinical investigator with broad experience in viral immunology and treatment of chronic viral infections. She is Royal College certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease and is also a viral immunologist studying chronic viral infection in humans. She is involved in hepatitis C studies at the local, national and international levels, and is currently doing trials assessing the clinical and pathogenesis aspects of HCV.  She is actively involved in the CanHepC Network, the Canadian Network Undertaking against Hepatitis C (CANUC) Cohort and the CTN HIV/HCV Coinfection Cohort as well as a leader in chronic viral infection research in Atlantic Canada.

Dr. Barrett is heavily involved with community activities and knowledge translation through membership with the non-profit HCV community support group HepNS, and medical advisory activities with the Canadian HIV and HCV community group CATIE. Her research spans laboratory based discovery science, clinical research, and implementation science in public health systems with an emphasis on policy influence.

Ralf Bartenschlager

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Ralf Bartenschlager is molecular biologist by training and interested in the complexities of the interactions between viruses and their host cells. His work centers on hepatitis viruses, notably hepatitis C and B virus (HCV and HBV, respectively) and comparative analyses with flaviviruses (Dengue and Zikavirus).  One research direction in the Bartenschlager lab deals with the strategies used by HCV and HBV to establish persistence with a focus on the innate antiviral defense.

Another direction centers on the cell biology of the replication cycle of these viruses, how and to what extent they perturb host cell factors and pathways for efficient replication and how such perturbations contribute to pathogenesis, most notably liver cancer development.

Mamatha Bhat

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Dr. Mamatha Bhat is a staff Hepatologist and clinician-scientist at UHN's Multi Organ Transplant Program and UofT's Division of Gastroenterology. She completed medical school and residency training at the McGill University Health Centre, followed by a fellowship in Transplant Hepatology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. She completed a PhD through a CIHR Fellowship for Health Professionals, acquiring both wet lab and bioinformatics skills. Dr. Bhat runs a translational research program with a precision medicine approach to long-term metabolic and malignant complications after liver transplantation . She has been specifically examining hepatocellular carcinoma, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis in the context of liver transplantation, connecting clinical outcomes with basic research using tools from systems biology, including bioinformatic analysis of ‘omic datasets and machine learning tools. This approach will contribute to a better understanding of the key pathways that underpin these clinical conditions, leading to identification of optimal preventive and therapeutic strategies. She has been the recipient of research support from the Canadian Liver Foundation and the CDTRP.

Mia Biondi

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Mia Biondi, PhD, NP-PHC, received her PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from McGill University, with postdoctoral fellowships at Toronto General Research Institute and the National Microbiology Laboratory. She completed her clinical training at Western University and was recognised as the top BScN in Ontario. She has received numerous awards to support her research including from organizations such as CIHR, NSERC and CanHepC.

Currently she is the Clinical Lead at Health Zone Nurse-Practitioner Led Clinic in London, Ontario; and a member of the VIRCAN Team at Toronto Centre for Liver Disease. Mia holds faculty appointments at Western and McMaster Universities; and teaches in both the BScN and NP programs.

Kelly Burak

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Dr. Kelly Burak is Professor of Medicine at the University of Calgary and is cross-appointed to the Department of Oncology.

Dr. Burak has served as the Director of the Southern Alberta Liver Transplant Clinic in Calgary since 2001. Dr. Burak has more than 80 peer-reviewed publications, which include Canadian clinical practice guidelines on the management of viral hepatitis and HCC. In January 2017, Dr. Burak became the Associate Dean of Continuing Medical Education and Professional Development at the University of Calgary.

 

Helene Castel

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Dr Hélène Castel graduated at the University of Caen (France) in 2004 and did a fellowship in hepatology at Lille (France), where she was involoved in clinical research in alcoholic liver disease. She is a hepatologist in the hepatology and liver transplant unit in the Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM) since 2009.

She is in charge of the hepatocellular tumor board in the hepatology unit at the CHUM, and also in charge of the clinical studies on hepatocellular carcinoma since 2010.

 

Curtis Cooper

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Dr. Curtis Cooper trained at the University of Saskatchewan (MD 1994). He received certification in Internal Medicine in 1997 and in Infectious Diseases in 1999 while at the University of Manitoba. He completed an HIV Research Fellowship and Masters of Epidemiology in 2002 while at the University of Ottawa. He is currently an Associate Professor with the University of Ottawa, Infectious Diseases Consultant with the Ottawa Hospital Division of Infectious Diseases, Associate Clinical Researcher with the Ottawa Health Research Institute and Director of the Ottawa Hospital and Regional Viral Hepatitis Program.

As a clinical researcher, his research activities encompass HIV, viral hepatitis, and vaccine development. His work is focused on the development of new therapeutic agents and the delivery of treatment that maximizes safety, adherence and safety.

Susan Cuvelier

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Dr. Cuvelier is an Assistant Professor of Hepatology at the University of Manitoba.  She completed her medical degree, Internal Medicine residency, and Hepatology fellowship at the University of Manitoba. 

Dr. Cuvelier runs general hepatology clinics at a tertiary care centre as well as a community-based viral hepatitis clinic.  She has strong interests in the management of end-stage liver disease (ESLD) patients, as well as in palliative care in ESLD.  She is also interested in community-based care for marginalized patient groups.

 

Jennifer Estall

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Dr. Jennifer Estall received her Ph.D. in 2005 from the University of Toronto that was followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School. She is currently an Associate Professor at the Montreal Clinical Research Institute (IRCM), where she also serves as Director of the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease Division and holds academic affiliations to the University of Montreal and McGill University. She is known for her work on transcriptional regulators in nutrient metabolism and diabetes pathogenesis. Her current research focuses on how beta cell metabolism impacts function and survival, the role of PGC-1alpha in fatty liver disease, and how mitochondrial dysfunction impacts diabetes through organ crosstalk. Notable honours include the H.L. Holmes Award from the National Research Council of Canada and a CIHR New Investigator Award during the early years of her career. She is now a FRQS Chercheurs-boursiers and has had her own lab for 8 years focused on early molecular mechanisms in the pathogenesis of diabetes and related illness.

She is member of several associations focused on metabolic disease research, including the Montreal Diabetes Research Center (MDRC) and the Canadian Association for the Study of Liver (CASL). She is also part of the steering committee for the recently formed Fatty Liver Integrative Research Team (FLIRT), a group focused on strengthening ties between Quebec scientists focused on NAFLD/NASH research.

Jordan Feld

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Dr. Feld graduated from medical school at the University of Toronto in 1997 and then completed residency programs in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology. Following his clinical training, Dr. Feld focused on developing skills in clinical and laboratory research in liver disease, with a particular interest in viral hepatitis. He completed a clinical research fellowship in hepatology and then spent 4 years doing clinical and laboratory research in the Liver Diseases Branch of the National Institutes of Health. He received a Masters of Public Health with a focus on Infectious Diseases as a Sommer Scholar from Johns Hopkins University and has worked extensively abroad, maintaining a strong interest in International Health.

Currently, Dr. Feld is clinician-scientist based at the Toronto General Hospital, Toronto Centre for Liver Disease and the McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health.

 

Lesley Gallagher

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With insight and experience, gained from delivering Hepatitis C care for over a decade in Vancouver's downtown eastside, Lesley helped to establish a successful Hepatitis C treatment program in Saskatchewan.  In Saskatoon and northern communities, her approach establishes trust, promotes education and provides a supportive environment. Lesley advocates for a change in attitude to Hepatitis C, on the part of the public, care providers and administrators.  She believes that barriers to care should be eliminated and seeks to improve the quality of life of her patients. 

Lesley was honoured in 2015, by Merck Canada, as a recipient of their Patient First Award.   Lesley is the Vice President and a Board of Director for the Canadian Association of Hepatology Nurses (CAHN).  She represents Hepatology Nurses in her position on the steering committee of Action Hepatitis Canada and as a Board of Director for CATIE.    

Adam Gehring

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Adam Gehring received his Ph.D. at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.  His training included a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Institute of Hepatology at University College London and a position of Senior Research Fellow, and subsequently Assistant Principal Investigator, at the Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences with Antonio Bertoletti. Dr. Gehring moved to Saint Louis University as an Assistant Professor in the Molecular Microbiology and Immunology department in March 2013 before joining the Toronto Center for Liver Disease as Biology Lead in February 2016. Dr. Gehring is currently Co-Chair for the International Coalition to Eliminate (ICE) – HBV Immunology Workgroup and the Immune Monitoring Workgroup for the HBV Forum. He is Co-Chair for the International HBV Meeting being organized in Toronto in 2020.

Dr. Gehring runs a translational HBV immunology research lab focused on liver pathogenesis and sex-based differences in disease progression. His primary interest lies in defining the mechanisms driving liver inflammation during HBV-related flares using functional and transcriptomic approaches in liver biopsies. He has established an internal immune monitoring core within his lab to process and analyze immune responses in Phase 2 clinical studies for HBV. In addition, Dr. Gehring was instrumental in developing TCR gene therapy for chronic HBV. His foundational work has resulted in human application of engineered T cells for HBV-related HCC tumors expressing viral antigen. 

Jason Grebely

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Jason Grebely is a Professor in the Viral Hepatitis Clinical Program at the Kirby Institute at UNSW Sydney in Australia. He is also the President of the International Network for Hepatitis in Substance Users.

 

Samir Gupta

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Samir Gupta is a clinician-scientist and an adjunct scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital, in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto.  He completed his Master’s degree in clinical epidemiology and a fellowship in Knowledge Translation methodology.  His research interests include rare disease research methodology, rare lung diseases, and particularly liver-lung interactions and the hepatopulmonary syndrome.  He also has an interest in knowledge translation in primary care across the spectrum of respiratory illness, with the use of electronic tools. 

Samir is the founder and acting Medical Director of the Canadian Hepatopulmonary Syndrome Program (www.hpscare.ca), acts as Chair of the Canadian Respiratory Guidelines Committee, is a principal investigator in the Pulmonary Vascular Complications of Liver Disease Research Consortium, and holds the University of Toronto Michael Locke Term Chair in Knowledge Translation and Rare Lung Disease Research.

Orlee Guttman

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Dr Guttman completed her fellowship training at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and pursued a Master’s degree in Health Professional Education at the University of Toronto. She is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at British Columbia Children’s Hospital, where she is the training program director.

 

Naveed Janjua

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Dr. Naveed Zafar Janjua is a Senior Scientist at the BC Centre for Disease Control and Clinical Associate Professor at School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia. Dr. Janjua is a Medical Doctor (MBBS) with a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Epidemiology & Biostatistics and Doctorate in Public Health (DrPH). At BCCDC, he provides leadership on surveillance, research and policy advice and programing related to hepatitis B and C in British Columbia. 

His research interests include hepatitis B and C epidemiology, syndemics of substance use, mental illness and blood-borne and sexually transmitted infections, intervention effectiveness, disparities in treatment access and disease outcomes, and strategies to enhance access to care. He has been involved initiatives to design and scale up testing, linkage with care and treatment for HCV in various settings.

Saumya Jayakumar

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Saumya Jayakumar, MD, is a hepatologist who treats patients with liver disease. Her clinical and research interests include end-stage liver disease, liver transplant and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

As an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine, she trains interns, residents and fellows at UC San Diego School of Medicine. Before joining UC San Diego Health, she served as director of the Hepatology Fellowship Program at the University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine, then had a leadership role in the gastroenterology section. She has a keen interest in and has served on national committees devoted to trainee education.

Dr. Jayakumar completed a fellowship in transplant hepatology at University of Alberta Hospital and one in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease at University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville. She did her residencies in both internal medicine and gastroenterology at University of Western Ontario in London, Canada, where she was chief resident. Dr. Jayakumar earned her medical degree from University of Manitoba Faculty of Medicine. She is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (FRCPC) in gastroenterology and internal medicine.

Craig Jenne

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Dr. Jenne is an associate professor in the department of Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases and the department of Critical Care Medicine at the University of Calgary and is the Canada Research Chair in Imaging Approaches Towards Studying Infections. The Jenne lab uses the technique of intravital microscopy to study the early innate immune and inflammatory responses to viral and bacterial infections. Intravital microscopy allows us to look directly within the blood vessels and tissues of live animals to “see” interactions between immune cells and pathogens in real-time. Current research projects in the lab include using intravital microscopy to characterize the liver immune response to viral and bacterial infection, the impact of fatty liver disease on host immunity, and the interactions between inflammation and coagulation leading to tissue damage in sepsis.

In addition, Dr. Jenne is the Scientific Director of the Snyder Translational Lab in Critical Care Medicine, a position that allows him to work directly with Clinicians and Researchers on human clinical studies. The Snyder Translational Lab serves to enable and support clinical research within the University of Calgary and Canada as a whole. By providing technical expertise, basic biochemical assay support, advanced multiplexing of biomarkers, novel assay development the Snyder lab has contributed to the publication of numerous basic science and clinical manuscripts in the past four years and has contributed pilot data for a number of grant applications.

Beverley Kok

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Dr Beverley Kok graduated from Kings College London School of Medicine and trained in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology in the London Deanery. She underwent training in Advanced Hepatology & Transplant as a fellow at Kings College Hospital, United Kingdom and subsequently on receiving the 2017 CASL/CLF Clinical Fellowship Award, completed a further year of fellowship in Advanced Hepatology and Liver Transplantation at the University of Alberta Hospital.

Her interests include transplant hepatology and biliary liver diseases.

 

Elizabeth Lee

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Elizabeth Lee practices as a nurse practitioner in the Toronto Centre for Liver Disease, Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network. Previously, she worked for over 10 years in various clinical settings in the community and the University Health Network, spanning the continuum of chronic liver disease from diagnosis to transplantation.

In her current practice as an NP, she has a clinical focus on the management of patients with decompensated liver disease. She was also awarded a clinical fellowship through the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) to further develop her clinical practice in general hepatology. She has a keen interest in clinical education, and serves as an Adjunct Lecturer for the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto, as well as a Hub Team member for ECHO Ontario Liver, a provincial initiative aimed to support and build capacity within primary care providers to help diagnose, treat and manage patients living with liver diseases. 

James Luyendyk

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Dr. James Luyendyk received his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Colorado State University and his PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology from Michigan State University, after which he conducted post-doctoral studies at The Scripps Research Institute. Prior to joining the faculty at Michigan State University in 2012, he was a faculty member of the Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutics at University of Kansas Medical Center for 5 years. Dr. Luyendyk has published more than 97 peer-reviewed research articles and reviews in the areas of liver disease and toxicity. His current research focuses on processes whereby the blood coagulation cascade is activated by hepatic injury and the mechanisms whereby coagulation proteases and their targets, namely fibrinogen, contribute to the pathogenesis of liver toxicity and repair. He is a member of the editorial board of Toxicological Sciences and Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis and serves on the NIH XNDA Study Section.

Dr. Luyendyk is an active member of the Society of Toxicology and is currently Chair of the Committee on Diversity Initiatives and Councilor for the Mechanisms Specialty Section.

Valerie Martel-Laferriere

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Valérie Martel-Laferrière is a medical microbiologist, an associate professor of clinic at the Université de Montréal and a regular researcher at the Centre de recherche de l'Université de Montréal.  Her research interests focus on HIV and HCV screening and treatment of HCV among vulnerable populations, especially people who inject drugs and HIV infected patients.

 

Steven Martin

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Dr Steven Martin is a graduate of the University of Calgary. He trained in pediatrics at McGill University and in pediatric gastroenterology at Harvard University, before joining the GI group at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in 198. From 1992 – 2009 he practiced at Hôpital Sainte-Justine, Montreal where he was Head of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. He is currently Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Calgary and Division Head, Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition, Alberta Children’s Hospital. Previous laboratory-based research interests included liver copper transport in Wilson’s disease and hepatocyte and stem cell transplantation for metabolic liver disease.

His current clinical research contributions focus primarily on pediatric hepatology including liver cell transplantation for metabolic liver disease, hepatitis B and C and liver transplantation. He was a founding member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Studies of Pediatric Liver Transplantation (SPLIT) registry and is currently active in pan-Canadian collaborations related to pediatric liver disease.

Aldo Montano-Loza

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Dr. Montano-Loza graduated from the University of Guadalajara (1998) and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (2005, 2007), where he obtained his degrees in Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology and Endoscopy. He went to obtained further training in Autoimmune Liver Diseases under the mentorship of Dr. Albert J. Czaja at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota in 2008, and in 2009 he finished an Advanced Hepatology Fellowship at the University of Alberta. In addition, Dr. Montano-Loza successfully obtained his Master and Doctoral degree in Medical Sciences (2008, 2013).   

Dr. Montano-Loza was recruited as Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Alberta in 2009 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2015. Currently, he is the Program Director of the Advanced Hepatology Fellowship, and the Director of the Autoimmune Liver Disease Clinic. He was elected president of the Canadian Liver Transplant Network in 2017.

Dr. Montano-Loza is the recipient of International and National Awards. He has published over 120 original publications as lead author in high-impact scientific journals including Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Journal of Hepatology and Nature Premiers, largely in the areas of his major interest in autoimmune liver diseases and liver transplantation. 

Carla Osiowy

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Dr. Osiowy is Chief of the Viral Hepatitis and Bloodborne Pathogens Section at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  She has undergraduate and graduate degrees in Microbiology from the Univ. of Manitoba and a doctorate in Virology from the Univ. of Calgary.  She completed her post-doctoral training in 1998 in Ottawa with the Bureau of Microbiology, Health Canada (Surveillance, Influenza and Viral Exanthemata group). 

As a research scientist with the Public Health Agency of Canada, she is responsible for managing serological and molecular diagnostic reference services for hepatitis B and D viruses (HBV and HDV), investigating HBV outbreaks or suspected transmission events, and providing molecular analyses of hepatitis viruses for clients such as the Canadian Blood Services. She has developed numerous techniques for HBV and HDV biomarker detection for use in clinical studies. Her research interests focus on the molecular characterization and epidemiology of HBV and HDV in Canada, Kenya and in the Indigenous peoples of the circumpolar Arctic.

Dr. Osiowy holds cross appointments with the Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases and the Department of Internal Medicine (Section of Hepatology) at the University of Manitoba. She is a member of the Canadian HBV Network steering committee and an active member of the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver, the Circumpolar Viral Hepatitis Working Group (part of International Circumpolar Surveillance) and the Transfusion Transmitted Infectious Diseases working party of the International Society for Blood Transfusion.

Maitreyi Raman

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Dr. Maitreyi Raman is a Gastroenterologist and Physician Nutrition Specialist, Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine and Division of Gastroenterology at the University of Calgary. She completed medical school at the University of Ottawa, and then Internal Medicine Residency at Dalhousie University, and subsequently a clinical nutrition fellowship at the University of Toronto. Dr. Raman moved to Calgary in 2006, and completed a Masters in medical education. Presently she is the medical director for nutrition services for the Calgary Zone, and Associate Director of Admissions for the Cumming School of medicine.

Dr. Raman has clinical and research interests in malnutrition in gastrointestinal diseases, nutritional modulation of the microbiome in IBD and nutrition support in liver diseases.

 

Rodney Russell

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Dr. Russell was appointed in 2008 as an Assistant Professor within the Division of BioMedical Sciences at Memorial University of Newfoundland and has been promoted to Professor as of September, 2019. Dr. Russell’s experience in virology began in 1997 when he did an MSc studying HIV under the supervision of Dr. Michael Grant, followed by a PhD with Drs. Mark Wainberg and Chen Liang at McGill. His Postdoctoral training was under the supervision of Drs. Bob Purcell and Sue Emerson at the NIH, where he switched his focus to the hepatitis C virus. His research interests have mainly been fundamental virology, including virus assembly, genome packaging and virus entry, but in recent years his lab has refocused on virus-host interactions and mechanisms of virus-induced cell death.

Dr. Russell was a recipient of a CIHR New Investigator Award (2010) and the Memorial University Faculty of Medicine Junior Career Award (2013). His lab is currently funded by CIHR and NSERC, and many of his trainees have been fortunate to be part of the NCRTP-HepC/CanHepC. Dr. Russell has been an active member of the Canadian virology community in the capacity of Graduate Student, Postdoc or PI for 22 years and he has reviewed for the CIHR Virology & Viral Pathogenesis panel since 2011.

Matthew Sadler

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Dr. Matthew Sadler received his Doctor of Medicine with Special Training in Research from the University of Alberta (2009). He completed his internal medicine (2012) and gastroenterology (2014) residency training programs at the University of Calgary. He was awarded a Vertex / Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver Clinical Hepatology Fellowship to complete advanced hepatology training at King’s College Hospital in London, England (2015) and University of Calgary (2016). He worked at the University of Alberta Hospital as a Transplant Hepatologist prior to joining the Calgary Liver Unit in 2018.

Dr. Sadler has a clinical interest in transplant hepatology, viral hepatitis, hepatocellular carcinoma and improving access to care and outcomes in patients with chronic liver disease.

 

Maya Saleh

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Dr. Maya Saleh obtained her Ph. D. in Biochemistry in 2001 from McGill University. In 2002, she joined Merck Research Laboratories to study cell death regulation in neurodegeneration and sepsis. In 2004, she moved to the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology in San Diego, California, to investigate mechanisms of innate immunity in host defense.

Dr. Saleh joined the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University in 2005, and currently holds the positions of Full Professor of Medicine, a McGill University Dawson Scholar and Director of the Inflammation and Cancer Program. Dr. Saleh’s research group investigates the fundamental biology of the innate immune system as well as the regulation of innate immunity, inflammation and cell death in immune-mediated inflammatory diseases and cancer. Her team has focused on dissecting the complex molecular mechanisms used by intracellular sensors to detect microbial products or host-derived danger signals in these conditions and the downstream effector mechanisms that restore homeostasis or promote disease states. Her research program has contributed to the inflammasome field and has implicated the inflammasome in several infectious, inflammatory and metabolic diseases, and more recently in cancer progression and anti-tumor immunity.

Richard Schreiber

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Dr. Schreiber is Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia; Director of the BC Pediatric Liver Transplant Program, Medical Advisor to the Provincial Home Screening Program for Biliary Atresia and Member of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at BC Children’s Hospital, Vancouver, BC, Canada. He is the Past President of the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver (CASL). ( www.hepatology.ca )

 Rick received his MD at McGill University. He completed a Fellowship in Pediatric GI at Harvard University. He is a co-founding member of the Canadian Pediatric Hepatology Research Group.  In 2013, he established the Canadian Biliary Atresia Registry (CBAR), a national research collaborative of pediatric hepatologists (CPHRG) and pediatric surgeons (CAPS) with the goal of developing evidenced based standards of care for biliary atresia in Canada. In 2014 Dr. Schreiber was nominated into the inaugural class of Fellows of the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (FAASLD).

 Dr. Schreiber’s research interest is in Pediatric Hepatology with primary focus on biliary atresia as well as other cholestatic pediatric liver diseases, immune liver disease and viral hepatitis.  

 Rick is married with two children and recently celebrated having his first grandchild!

Giada Sebastini

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Giada Sebastiani is Associate Professor of Medicine at McGill University and Clinician Scientist at the Research Institute of McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, Canada. She provides clinical services in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. She received a medical degree and specialized in internal medicine at the University of Padua, Italy. She had training in clinical and basic research at Harvard Medical School (US), University College of London (UK), University of Bordeaux (France) and Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research (Montreal, Canada). Her work focuses on fatty liver disease, liver fibrosis and non-invasive diagnostic tools in at-risk populations, such as people living with HIV and diabetics.

She is author of 70 articles in peer-reviewed journals (including Hepatology, Journal of Hepatology, Clinical Infectious Diseases, AIDS; h-index=27, total number of citations=3,006), 15 book chapters, 130 conference publications at national and international congresses. She has been invited speaker in 60 international congresses and universities, including European, Asian Pacific, Mexican, Italian and Canadian Associations for the Study of the Liver. She was awarded the prestigious Clinical Research Salary Award from Fonds Recherche Sante Quebec. Other honors include: honorary membership of the Romanian Association for the Study of the Liver; Emerging Stars in Hepatology Award (Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver, 2010); Top 10 cited papers 2006-2008 Award by Journal of Hepatology - European Association for the Study of the Liver.

Mark Sulkowski

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Mark Sulkowski, MD, is a Professor of Medicine and serves as the Medical Director of the Viral Hepatitis Center in the Divisions of Infectious Diseases and Gastroenterology/Hepatology in the Department of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.  He also serves as the Associate Dean for Research in the Capital Region (CAPRES) for Johns Hopkins Medicine.   He received his MD from Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA (1992), pursued training in Internal Medicine at Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC (1995) and completed his Fellowship in Infectious Diseases (1998) at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Prof. Sulkowski has been the principal investigator for more than 100 clinical trials related to the management of viral hepatitis in persons with and without HIV co-infection and has been selected as the global principal investigator on more than a dozen such studies, including the largest clinical trial of agents for the treatment of hepatitis C (New England Journal of Medicine, 2009) and the vanguard study of combination therapy with direct inhibitors of the HCV NS5A and NS5B non-structural proteins (New England Journal of Medicine, 2014). He is the Chair of the Hepatitis Transformative Sciences Group of the National Institute of Health-funded adult AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) leading translational studies of liver disease in persons with HIV infection, namely hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and fatty liver disease.   He is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI, 2011) and the American Association of Physicians (AAP, 2017).

Prof. Sulkowski is a member of numerous professional societies including the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL), and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). He is widely published with works in Annals of Internal Medicine, New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Journal of Infectious Diseases, Journal of Hepatology, and Hepatology. In 2017 and 2018, he was named as a Highly Cited Researcher (Clarivate Analytics) defined as the being in the top 1% of global researchers in 21 fields of the sciences and social sciences based on the number of citations for papers.  As an invited lecturer, he has been frequently invited to present at major national and international medical congresses and has educated learners in more than 25 countries. 

Gyongyi Szabo

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Gyongyi Szabo, MD, PhD is the Worcester Foundation for Biomedical Research Endowed Chair, Professor and Vice Chair of Medicine and Associate Provost at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  Dr. Szabo is an internationally recognized leader in the field of liver inflammation and innate immunity.

Her clinical investigations focus on alcoholic hepatitis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and viral hepatitis. She is the lead investigator on an NIH-supported multicenter clinical trial to study IL-1 receptor antagonism in alcoholic hepatitis. Her laboratory studies pattern recognition receptor signaling pathways and inflammasome activation in macrophage and neutrophil interactions with hepatocytes in alcoholic and non-alcoholic liver diseases. Her investigations recently revealed the importance of micro-RNAs and extracellular vesicles in liver diseases. She is member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and received the prestigious Mendelson Award from the NIH in recognition of her contributions to clinical research. She has served as President (2015) of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) and is the inaugural Editor-in-Chief of Hepatology Communications.

Norah Terrault

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Dr. Norah Terrault is Professor of Medicine and Chief of Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases at the Keck School of Medicine at University of Southern California.  She received her MD from the University of Alberta and completed fellowships in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology at the University of Toronto and a Masters in Public Health at the University of California at Berkeley. 

Dr. Terrault has focused her clinical and research activities on viral hepatitis and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, especially in special populations including those with cirrhosis and those with transplants. In addition to multiple clinical trials related to preventing and treating chronic hepatitis viral hepatitis and fatty liver, Dr. Terrault has been PI on multiple NIH-funded studies, including the current NIH-supported HBV clinical research network (HBRN) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis clinical research network (NASH CRN). She has authored 330 peer-reviewed manuscripts, editorials, invited reviews as well as US national guidelines for treatment of chronic hepatitis B and C. She is past associate editor for Hepatology and deputy editor for Liver Transplantation and co-edited Zakim and Boyer’s textbook in hepatology. She is the founder of ECHO-Plus, a multifaceted program to train and support primary care physicians in California to care for patients with hepatitis. She has a long history of mentoring fellows and junior faculty in clinical research and is passionate about creating research support and opportunities for the next generation of GI/Hepatology investigators.

Dr. Terrault was recently elected as Councilor to the AASLD governing board and will serve as president in 2023.

Cynthia Tsien

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Dr. Tsien completed her medical school, internal medicine, and GI training at McGill University. She then undertook further fellowships at the University of Toronto and Cleveland Clinic in hepatology and transplant hepatology, with a focus on portal hypertensive complications of cirrhosis pre- and post-liver transplant.

Her research interests are in the complications of end-stage liver disease, including sarcopenia, encephalopathy, ascites, and renal failure. 

 

David Wong

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Dr. David Wong is a Hepatologist at the University Health Network and St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. He received training in Internal Medicine at the University of Toronto, Gastroenterology at McMaster, and a PostDoctoral Fellowship at Harvard, investigating the role of T cell immune responses to hepatitis C. He is a Clinician Teacher and has clinics in General Hepatology, Urgent Care, Complex Care, and Liver disease in those living with HIV. 

His interests in Hepatology include hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and alcohol related liver disease.

 

Florence Wong

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Florence Wong, MD is a Full Professor at the University of Toronto and staff Hepatologist at the Toronto General Hospital, Ontario, Canada. She received her medical degree from the University of Melbourne, Australia and completed her postgraduate training in Australia and in Toronto, Canada.

Apart from caring for a large population of patients with advanced liver cirrhosis, Dr. Wong has been active in research in the pathogenesis of portal hypertension, ascites formation, liver-kidney interaction, including the development of hepatorenal syndrome, and renal failure in cirrhosis for the past 28 years. She has received research funding from various funding agencies including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canadian Liver Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

She has been the Secretary of the International Ascites Club, organizing two international meetings on the complications of ascites, She also held the position as the Chair of the Education Committee of the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver. Recently, she served as the Chair of the “Acute-on-Chronic Liver Failure Special Interest Group” of the American Association for the Study of the Liver, and organizer of the Single Topic Symposium of Acute-on-Chronic Liver Failure. Currently, she is the Deputy Editor of Liver Transplantation. In addition, she is a regular grant reviewer for various international funding agencies including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the National Institutions of Health of the USA, the Wellcome Trust of the United Kingdom, Swiss National Science Foundation and The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development. She is also the recipient of the Gold Medal from the Canadian Liver Foundation and the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver for her contribution to academia in Hepatology.

She has published widely on the topics related to ascites, and renal dysfunction in cirrhosis. She has more than 200 peer-reviewed publications as well as contributing regular reviews, book chapters and editorials on similar topics. She is currently on the writing committee to write the guidelines for the management of refractory ascites for the American Association for the Study of the Liver. She has also acted as consultant for the pharmaceutical and device industries for clinical studies on ascites and renal dysfunction in cirrhosis, especially on the use of terlipressin for hepatorenal syndrome and the use of an automated low-flow ascites (ALFA) pump for ascites. Most recently, she has been responsible for putting together a landmark international document defining renal failure in cirrhosis.