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2018 Speakers

Liza Abraham, BA, BSCn, RN 

Liza began her career in 2006 working solo in the GTA (greater Toronto area) community during the interferon era. She joined the St. Michael's Hospital team in downtown Toronto in 2014 where she works alongside the HIV and Hemophilia clinics, treating the Hep C mono and co-infected patients with the new DAA’s. As part of the Hepatitis C Secretariat, her mandate is to treat the urban patient population in the St. Michael's catchment area, primarily marginalized and IVDU.

Robert Bailey, MD, FRCPC

Dr. Robert J. Bailey is currently a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Alberta, and maintains a varied hepatology, gastroenterology and endoscopy practice in Edmonton, Alberta. He is active in teaching, research and the delivery of clinical care. A graduate of the University of Ottawa in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, he finished his internal medicine specialty training at the University of Alberta. Dr. Bailey then became the first fellow of the University of Alberta Gastroenterology training program. Following that he was the recipient of the first Canadian Liver Foundation Fellowship, which provided support for hepatology training with Dr. Roger Williams at the King’s College London. He is or has been involved as an executive on numerous medical societies and committees, including President of the Alberta Internist Society, Treasurer of the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology (CAG), President of SIED (The Pan-American Endoscopy Society), Treasurer of the Canadian Association of Study of Liver Disease (CASL), President of the Medical Staff of the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, Treasurer of World Endoscopy Organization, Endoscopy Chair for the 2005 World Congress of Gastroenterology, Steering Committee member for the World Congress of Gastroenterology meeting in Shanghai 2013, Alberta Society Gastroenterology (ASG) Financial Chair and Steering Committee member for the Alberta Digestive Disease Summit (ADDS). Dr. Bailey is currently Medical Director of the Northern Health Services Network for Alberta Health Services and N.W.T. and for the Gastrointestinal Research and Liver Disease Group.

Lisa Barrett, MD, PhD, FRCPC

Dr. Lisa Barrett is Assistant Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Dalhousie University in Halifax. She is Royal College certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease and is also a viral immunologist studying chronic viral infection in humans. She was involved in hepatitis C studies at the National Institutes of Health, and is currently doing trials assessing both the clinical and pathogenesis aspects of HCV to expand the body of knowledge in treatment and prevention.

Carla Coffin, MSc, MD

Dr. Carla Coffin is Associate Professor, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary and Medical Director of the Calgary Liver Unit. Dr. Coffin received her MSc and MD from Memorial University of Newfoundland. She completed training in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology at the University of Calgary and an American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) Advanced Hepatology Fellowship at the University of California San Francisco. Dr. Coffin was a recipient of a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) New Investigator Award and has received research funding from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, CIHR, AASLD and the American Gastroenterology Association. In 2015, she was a member of the World Health Organization advisory panel for essential medicines list (Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C antiviral therapy). She is co-organizer of the Canadian Hepatitis B Network to facilitate national multi-site studies on hepatitis B. Her clinical and bench laboratory research is focused on the natural history and pathogenesis of chronic and occult hepatitis B virus infection.

Richardo Baptista-Leite, MP, MD, PhD(c)

Baptista Leite is a Member of Parliament, Head of Public Health, Medical Doctor, University Professor and Public Health Advocate. As a Member of the Portuguese Parliament, currently on a 2nd term (2011-Present), serving as a permanent member of the Parliamentary Health Committee and of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee and having served as Vice-President of the Foreign Affairs Committee, permanent member of the Parliamentary group on Population and Development, Chair of the allparty Parliamentary HIV/AIDS workgroup and President of the Portuguese-Canadian Parliamentary Friendship Group. He is the Head of Public Health at the Institute of Health Sciences of Católica University of Portugal. Guest Lecturer at NOVA Medical School (Infectious Diseases and Microbiology) and at NOVA Information Management School (Coordinator of Sustainable Healthcare Unit), both at NOVA University. Senior Fellow at New Westminster College (BC, Canada) and PhD candidate in Public Health and Health Systems at Maastricht University (The Netherlands). Elected member of the supervisory board of the National Genetic Database Protection Agency.

Bertus Eksteen, MBChB, FRCP, PhD

Dr Bertus Eksteen is the founder of the Calgary PSC clinic and a member of the Calgary Liver Unit and the Southern Alberta Liver Transplant Clinic. His main interests are autoimmune liver and gastrointestinal diseases such as Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC), Auto-immune hepatitis (AIH) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). His research has defined many of the crucial immune pathways that underpin these diseases in the search for new therapies. He is part of the International PSC study group (IPSCSG) and runs one of the biggest PSC clinics in the world. Closely linked to his clinical practice is his clinical research and clinical trials to develop novel drugs in PSC. Dr Eksteen was born in South Africa where he completed his basic medical degree at the University of Pretoria before moved to the University of Birmingham in the UK in 1996 where he completed his training in gastroenterology and transplant hepatology. He spent 10 years on the renowned Birmingham liver transplant unit as a MRC Clinician scientist and member of clinical staff before moving to the University of Calgary in 2011 before starting the Aspen Woods Clinic in 2016. Dr Eksteen obtained a PhD in liver immunology in Birmingham in 2007 under the supervision of Prof. David Adams. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London, UK in 2011. His work has been published in illustrious scientific journals such as Science, the Journal of Experimental Medicine, Gastroenterology and Hepatology. His work has received numerous prestigious awards including the Dame Sheila Sherlock Research prize from the British Association for the Study of the Liver (BASL) in 2007 and in 2010 the Sir Francis Avery Jones Research Medal from the British Society of Gastroenterology. In 2011/2012 he was the United European Gastroenterology and American Gastroenterology Association rising Star recipient.

Jordan Feld, MD, MPH

Jordan Feld, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, graduated from medical school at the University of Toronto in 1997 and than 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 than 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.

Jennifer Flemming, MD, FRCP(C), MAS

Dr. Flemming is a clinical hepatologist and clinician scientist in the Departments of Medicine and Public Health Sciences at Queen’s University. She completed her medical degree (MD) at Dalhousie University and went on to complete Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology specialty training at Queen’s University. This was followed by a two-year Master’s degree in Advanced Clinical Research and clinical Advanced Hepatology Fellowship at the University of California San Francisco under the mentorship of Dr. Norah Terrault. Dr. Flemming’s research program at Queen’s focuses on Epidemiology and Health Services Research related to cirrhosis and primary liver cancers using the databases holdings of the Institute for Clinical Evaluate Sciences (ICES).

Anand Ghanekar, MD, PhD, FRCSC

Anand Ghanekar MD PhD is an Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Toronto. He practices hepatobiliary surgery and abdominal organ transplantation at the University Health Network and Hospital for Sick Children. His research interests include studying biliary development and disease using pluripotent stem cell models, and investigating the molecular and cellular pathobiology of hepatocellular carcinoma.

Juan Gonzalez-Abraldes, MD

Dr Abraldes graduated from the Unversity of Santiago de Compostela Medical School (Spain) in 1995. He did his GI and hepatology training at the University of Barcelona. He did post-doc research focused in portal hypertension at Yale University. He moved to the University of Alberta in 2013, where his current focus is to study the pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of Portal Hypertension.

Gregory Gores, MD

Dr. Gores is a Professor of Medicine and Physiology and a Consultant in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.Dr. Gores received his medical degree at the University of North Dakota. He completed his Internal Medicine Residency and Gastroenterology fellowship training at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, and was a Mayo Foundation Scholar at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He has been a staff physician at Mayo Clinic, Rochester since 1988. Dr. Gores is considered a leader on management of chronic cholestatic liver diseases. He is also an expert on the development, diagnosis, and management of hepatobiliary cancers. He has a long (> 25 years) track record of funding from the National Institutes of Health. He was elected into the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) in 1997, and was inducted into the American Association Physicians in 2003. He is a past president of the AASLD, the International Liver Cancer Association, and a past councilor of the AGA. In addition, he is also past Chair of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Mayo Clinic, Rochester. He is the current Executive Dean for Research for the Mayo Enterprise.

Jason Grebely, BSc, PhD

Jason Grebely is an Associate Professor in the Viral Hepatitis Clinical Program at the Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney in Australia. Jason’s research focuses on the epidemiology and treatment of HCV, with a focus on people who inject drugs. He has published over 180 peer-reviewed publications and has current research funding from the Australian NHMRC and the US NIH.

Raed Hawa, MSc, MD, DABSM, FRCPC

Dr. Hawa is clinician educator, a Consultation-Liaison Psychiatrist and an Associate Professor at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto. He has been highly regarded for his teaching and innovation in medical student education. His teaching excellence has been recognized at the departmental level, university level, nationally and internationally. Administratively he has been the Director of Undergraduate Medical Education in the Department of Psychiatry since 2010 and Deputy Psychiatrist in Chief at UHN- TWH since 2013. He has co-authored over 50 peer reviewed publications and book chapters in the area of sleep, bariatric psychiatry and medical education.

Naveed Zafar Janjua, MBBS, MSc, DrPH

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, his work involves surveillance, research and policy advice and programing related to hepatitis B and C in British Columbia. His research interest includes 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, HCV care access and strategies to enhance access to care. He is also involved in work on hepatitis epidemiology, transmission through medical practices and treatment in South Asia. Most of his work is based on the BC Hepatitis Testers Cohort, a longitudinal cohort of about 1.7 million individuals tested for HCV or HIV or diagnosed with HBV or TB in British Columbia linked with their medical visits, hospitalization, cancer, prescription drugs and mortality. (

Paul Kwo, MD

Dr. Kwo is currently Professor of Medicine and Director of Hepatology at the Stanford University where he joined the faculty in November 2016. Prior to joining the faculty at Stanford, he was at Indiana University for 21 years where he served as the Medical Director of Liver Transplantation. He has distinguished himself in the field of chronic Hepatitis C and has a large practice devoted to current and novel therapies for the treatment of Hepatitis C. He has won multiple awards, both at the university, local, and national level.

Georg Lauer, PhD, MD

Georg Lauer studied medicine at the universities of Tübingen, Hamburg and Bochum in Germany. He trained in internal medicine at the university hospital in Bochum, clinically focusing on viral hepatitis, before joining what was then the Partners AIDS Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School (now the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard) for a post doctoral fellowship in HCV immunology with Dr. Bruce Walker. Subsequently he became a faculty member at MGH and HMS, where he is now Associate Professor of Medicine in the Gastrointestinal Unit. His research focuses on adaptive immunity in acute and chronic HCV and HBV infection, with a special focus on CD4 and CD8 T cells and intrahepatic immunity. Beyond the direct relevance of his for HBV and HCV disease, he is mostly interested in what constitutes protective immunity in humans and in the mechanisms employed by viruses to circumvent the host immune response and establish chronic infection.

Jeffrey Lazarus, PhD, MA, MIH

Jeffrey V. Lazarus is on the faculty of the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), Hospital Clínic, University of Barcelona, and CHIP, the WHO Collaborating Centre on HIV and Viral Hepatitis at Rigshospitalet, the University of Copenhagen. His decade-long career as a health systems and communicable diseases expert at WHO’s Regional Office for Europe was followed by three years at the Global Fund. He now serves as the Board Chair of AFEW International, a Board member of the EASL International Liver Foundation, a steering committee member of the ACHIEVE European Hepatitis Elimination coalition and of the European Commission’s two joint actions on HIV, hepatitis and TB. He is a member of the INHSU International Education Committee and the BMC Editorial Advisory Group.

Samuel S. Lee, MD, FRCPC, FAASLD

Dr. Lee graduated MD from Memorial University, Canada, and did residency training at University of Toronto (Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology) from 1978-83. This was followed by a research fellowship in hepatic hemodynamics at INSERM Unit 481 in Paris, France (Beaujon Hospital), 1984-87. He was a Visiting Scholar at Technion University, Haifa, Israel, for 4 months in 1987, and then joined the faculty of University of Calgary in 1988. He is currently Professor of Medicine (Hepatology), with research interests in cardiovascular complications of cirrhosis, and viral hepatitis. He has published >220 peer-reviewed scientific papers, >25 book chapters and edited a textbook on management of cirrhosis complications. He has won several awards for teaching and research including the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002, the Canadian Association of the Study of Liver (CASL) Distinguished Service Award, 2015, and has lectured in >35 countries. He is a past-president of CASL and the International Ascites Club, and was editor-in-chief of Liver International from 2008-2013. He is currently President of the International Association for Study of Liver (IASL).

Michael Lucey, MD, M.B., B.Ch

Dr Michael Ronan Lucey was born in Dublin, Ireland, and was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, graduating with the degrees of M.B., B.Ch in 1976. He was awarded an M.D. by thesis in 1985. He completed his internship at the Meath Hospital, Dublin and residency in Internal Medicine at the Federated Dublin Voluntary Hospitals. He was a fellow in Gastroenterology at Saint Bartholomew's Hospital, and a fellow in Liver Diseases in Kings College Hospital, both in London, England. In 1985 he came to the University of Michigan, first as a fellow and then as faculty in the Division of Gastroenterology. While at the University of Michigan, he became Medical Director of the Liver Transplant program. From 1995 to 2001, he was Director of Hepatology at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2001 he became Professor of Medicine, Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Dr Lucey's research interests include selection for and outcome of liver transplantation, alcoholic liver disease, and management of end-stage liver disease. Dr Lucey was president of the American Society of Transplantation in 2003. He was treasurer of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases from 2007 to 2010. He is Editor in Chief of Clinical Liver Disease, the on-line educational journal of the AASLD.

Alison Marshall, PhD Student

Alison is currently a PhD student in the CanHepC Network. Alison’s research is primarily focused on hepatitis C virus (HCV) and drug use with particular attention to reducing barriers to HCV assessment and care for people who inject drugs. Prior to joining the Kirby Institute, UNSW, Sydney, Australia, Alison’s work in Canada involved collaborations with international and national public health agencies to facilitate the uptake of evidence-based research in the development of HCV policy, programs, and practices in global health settings.

Steven Martin, MD

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. 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 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.

Andrew Mason

Dr. Mason is a Professor of Medicine and an Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research Senior Scholar. He trained at the Liver Unit, Kings College Hospital, in London, England and then moved to Washington University, St. Louis as a Gastroenterology Fellow to train in molecular virology. At Ochsner Clinic Foundation, New Orleans he became the Medical Director of Liver Transplantation and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, Tulane University Medical Center. He relocated to the University of Alberta in 2002; he is currently the Director Research for the Division of Gastroenterology and Director of The Applied Genomics Centre. In the laboratory, he has identified a human betaretrovirus in patients with the autoimmune liver disease, Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBC). His laboratory studies are now focused on investigating the prevalence of the human betaretrovirus in patients with PBC. A causal association of virus and disease is being investigated using an in vitro model of PBC and a mouse model of disease, which is also being used to find novel combination antiviral therapies for patients with PBC. Dr. Mason is also principal investigator for an international, multi-center, double blind, randomized controlled trial using highly active anti-retroviral therapy to treat patients with PBC. Other viral cloning studies are underway with identification of a novel retrovirus associated with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis. Dr. Mason also co-directs a viral discovery program in collaboration with Dr. Gane KS Wong, University of Alberta using a metagenomic, deep sequencing approach. The targeted diseases include autoimmune and chronic inflammatory disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease, SLE, sarcoidosis, multiple sclerosis as well as neoplastic disorders, such as breast cancer, lymphoma and colon cancer.

Gina McGowan

Gina McGowan is the Director of Research Translation and Knowledge Mobilization with the BC Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions. In her previous role as the Director of Blood Borne Pathogens with the BC Ministry of Health, she supported the Ministry’s stewardship role related to viral hepatitis and other communicable diseases without a vaccine, including strategic policy formulation, implementation oversight and progress reporting/evaluation. She holds a Masters of Science in Forensic Anthropology from the University of Central Lancashire, and a Bachelors degree in Anthropology from the University of Victoria.

Howard Njoo, MD, MHSc

Dr. Howard Njoo is the Deputy Chief Public Health Officer for the Public Health Agency of Canada and directly supports the Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) in providing public health advice, speaking to Canadians and representing the Agency in a variety of domestic and international fora. In addition, Dr. Njoo is the Chief Medical Advisor for the Infectious Disease Prevention and Control Branch Dr. Njoo’s extensive domestic and international public health experience include being deployed to Guinea in 2015 as Technical Deputy for Program Coordination on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guinea Ebola Response Team, being deployed to Haiti in 2010 post earthquake to assist the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in conducting public health needs assessments, being the technical lead on the Canadian delegation for the revision of the International Health Regulations, being part of Government of Canada’s senior level management of the SARS and H1N1 outbreaks in Canada and being the Vice-Chair of NATO’s Joint Medical Committee. Dr. Njoo is a consultant physician at the Ottawa Hospital Tuberculosis Clinic and has an adjunct appointment at the University of Ottawa in the School of Epidemiology and Public Health.

Keyur Patel, MD, PhD

Dr. Patel received his Bachelor of Medicine degree from the University of Southampton, United Kingdom and completed his clinical fellowships in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology/Hepatology in Western Australia. He completed a 3-year post-doctoral research fellowship in Clinical and Translational Research in viral hepatitis at Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, San Diego, CA and Duke Clinical Research Institute, Durham NC. He was on faculty at Duke University 2004-2015 before moving to UHN Toronto in October 2015. His research interests include early phase clinical therapeutic trials for viral hepatitis and NASH fibrosis, and the incorporation of functional genomic tools to develop non-invasive biomarkers of fibrosis progression.

Homie Razavi, PhD, MBA

Homie Razavi is the managing director at the Center for Disease Analysis (CDA) and the CDA Foundation. His team has analyzed and published the hepatitis epidemiology in over 100 countries and has worked with individual countries to develop national hepatitis strategies. He also leads the Polaris Observatory, which provides up to date estimates for HCV, HBV and HDV disease burden and the impact of strategies that meet national targets. Finally, he is the founder of the Global Procurement Fund (GPRO), which provides affordable quality treatment and diagnostics to low and middle-income countries. He has a broad background, which includes basic research, business development, commercial development, portfolio management, and decision analysis. He is a fellow in the Society of Decision Professionals and an overseas fellow in the Royal Society of Medicine.

Christopher Rose, PhD

Dr. Christopher Rose is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the Université de Montréal. He is director of the Neuro-Hepato laboratory which is located at University Hospital Research Center (CRCHUM). Dr. Rose received his PhD (Neuroscience/Biomedical Sciences) from the Université de Montréal in 2000. He continued his research interests in Europe by pursuing post-doctoral studies in Germany (Prof. Kettenmann, Berlin), Spain (Prof. Felipo, Valencia and Prof. Cordoba, Barcelona) and Norway (Dr. Ytrebo, Tromso). In doing so, he was the recipient of 3 prestigious post-doctoral fellowship awards from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Germany), Canadian Institute of Health Research (Canada) and the European Association for the Study of the Liver (Europe). Dr. Rose’s research interests lie within the area of hepatic encephalopathy (HE), a field in which he has been researching for over 25 years. HE, a major neuropsychiatric complication of liver disease, touches close to 80% of patients with cirrhosis affecting their quality of life and resulting in significant socioeconomic burden, morbidity and mortality both pre and post-liver transplant. Translational research is the primary objective of Dr. Rose’s laboratory and, therefore, his research program is based on a bench-to-bedside concept. Dr. Rose has a vested interest in identifying the pathogenic factors and the pathophysiological pathways involved in the development of cerebral complications associated with liver disease which ultimately will lead to novel therapeutic approaches, improving the management of patients with liver disease as well as increasing neurological outcome post-liver transplantation. Dr. Rose’s laboratory is currently funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research, the Canadian Liver Foundation, and the Québec Health Research Foundation (FQRS). Dr. Rose has published over 75 scientific articles and over 60 students at all levels from throughout the world have trained in his laboratory. Dr. Rose is currently on the editorial board of Journal of Hepatology and Neurochemistry International. In addition, Dr. Rose is currently co-chair of the Research Committee of the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver and an executive committee member of the International Society for Hepatic Encephalopathy and Nitrogen Metabolism.


Naglaa H. Shoukry, B. Pharm., Ph.D.

Dr. Shoukry obtained her Pharmacy degree from Cairo University (1991) and Ph.D. in Immunology from McGill University (2000). Her postdoctoral research has established the essential and complementary roles of CD8 and CD4 T lymphocytes in resolution and protection from HCV infection. Since joining the Université de Montréal and CRCHUM in 2005, she has established a translational research program focused on studying immunity to HCV in a unique cohort of people who inject drugs in collaboration with Dr. Julie Bruneau. Recently, her research has expanded to studying immunological mechanisms of liver fibrosis progression and development of liver cancer. She has published over 65 articles in high impact journals related to liver immunology and has received multiple awards from the American Liver Foundation, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS). Since 2015 she has been the Director of the Canadian Network on Hepatitis C (CanHepC), federally funded network with over 100 investigators, trainees and knowledge users working towards establishing a pipeline from research to implementation and to improve the lives of Canadians living with hepatitis C.

Michael Trauner, MD

Michael Trauner received his medical education at the Karl-Franzens-University in Graz, Austria, and at Yale University’s Liver Center in New Haven, USA. From 2005 till 2010 he served as Professor of Experimental and Clinical Hepatology at the Medical University of Graz. Since 2010 he is Professor of Gastroenterology and Hepatology and Chair of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Medical University of Vienna. Dr. Trauner’s main research interests are the molecular mechanisms of bile acid signaling by nuclear receptors, mechanisms of cell injury, and development of novel pharmacologic treatments for cholestatic and fatty liver diseases. He has published more than 420 peer-reviewed scientific papers listed in Pubmed (H-index 66), 45 book chapters and has edited 3 books. He has delivered more than 250 invited lectures at international scientific meetings, mainly on molecular and clinical aspects of cholestatic and metabolic liver diseases, and holds three patents on the treatment of cholestatic and metabolic liver diseases. Dr. Trauner is past president of the Austrian Society of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, a corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, member of the Academia Europaea, a fellow of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGAF) and American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (FAASLD), as well as a member of several other national and international professional and scientific societies. He has served on editorial boards and scientific committees, such as the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) Governing Board and the United European Gastroenterology Council. He has also served as associate editor of Journal of Hepatology and Hepatology.

Cynthia Tsien, MD

Dr. Tsien obtained her MD at McGill University, where she completed training in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology. She did fellowships in hepatology and liver transplantation at the Toronto General Hospital. She also did a research fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic examining the mechanisms of sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass) in cirrhosis. She completed a Master of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. Her research interests are on complications of end-stage liver disease, particularly the impact of sarcopenia on pre- and post-liver transplant outcomes.

Mark Tyndall, MD, FRCPC

Infectious Disease specialist, epidemiologist and public health expert Mark Tyndall has dedicated his career to studying HIV, poverty and drug use, starting in Nairobi, Kenya, and now in Vancouver, Canada. An early advocate for harm reduction programs, Mark was at the forefront of North America’s first legally sanctioned supervised injection facility, INSITE, established in Vancouver in 2003. Since than, studies have shown that safe injection sites save lives, reduce transmission of disease and help people access addiction treatment and other medical services. An advocate for evidence-based public health policy and interventions, Mark has been an author on over 250 academic papers, and has received several honors for his work. He is currently the Executive Director of the British Columbia Center for Disease Control, deputy Provincial Health Officer and a Professor at the UBC School of Population and Public Health.

Amol Verma, MD 

Amol Verma is a physician in General Internal Medicine and research fellow in the Li Ka Shing Centre for Healthcare Analytics Research and Training at St. Michael’s Hospital and Phillipson Scholar in the Clinician-Scientist Training Program at the University of Toronto Department of Medicine. He is a health services researcher focusing on studying hospital care for complex, aging, and frail patients using data from electronic health records. After medical school at the University of Toronto, he completed a Masters in Economic and Social History at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, where he studied health service delivery in conflict zones. He is also active in medical education, having co-founded The Rounds Table, a podcast about new research in adult medicine, which has been downloaded more than 200,000 times in over 130 countries.

Jennifer Walker, PhD, BSc

Jennifer Walker is a health services researcher and epidemiologist. She has Indigenous (Haudenosaunee) family roots and is a member of the Six Nations of the Grand River. She has a PhD in Community Health Sciences (Epidemiology specialization) from the University of Calgary. Her work focuses on Indigenous use of Indigenous health and health services data across the life course, with a focus on older adults. She collaborates closely with Indigenous organizations and communities to address health information needs. Jennifer holds a Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Health at Laurentian University in the School of Rural and Northern Health. She is a Core Scientist and Indigenous Health Lead at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences. She also holds appointments at the Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.

Kymberly Watt, MD

Dr Kymberly Watt trained in Winnipeg, Manitoba 1997-2002 and previously worked in Dalhousie University in Hepatology and helped re-establish a Liver Transplant Program in Atlantic Canada 2004-6. She was recruited to Mayo Clinic in late 2006. She is the current Medical Director of Liver Transplantation at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, Associate Professor of Medicine and clinician in a very busy hepatology practice and liver transplant program. Her clinical research interests center around longterm outcomes after liver transplantation as well as NASH both in the transplant and non-transplant patients.

Heiner Wedemeyer, MD

Heiner Wedemeyer is Professor and Chairmen of the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the University Clinic Essen since February 2018.He received his medical degree from the University of Göttingen in 1996 and subsequently started his training in Internal Medicine at Hannover Medical School in Germany. From 1998 to 2000, he was a research fellow in immunology at the Liver Diseases Branch, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, USA. Since 2001, he completed his training in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology at Hannover Medical School, where he became Professor of Medicine in 2011. Professor Wedemeyer has been involved in the scientific coordination of the German Network of Competence on Viral Hepatitis (Hep-Net) and the German Liver Foundation for more than 15 years. Currently, he serves as the Managing Director of the German Hepatitis C-Registry. Heiner Wedemeyer is member of several scientific organizations and was Secretary General of the European Association for the Study of the Liver from 2009 to 2011. Professor Wedemeyer has a long-term research interest in liver diseases with a main focus on viral hepatitis, liver transplantation and hepatocellular carcinoma. He has been principal investigator in numerous clinical trials, focusing on antiviral therapy and immunotherapy of viral hepatitis B, C, D and E. He has authored over 325 original articles; his current Hirsch-Index is 80 (google scholar; January 2018) and his work has been quoted more than 28.000 times. Heiner Wedemeyer has received numerous awards including the Hans Popper Award of the International Association of the Study of the Liver in 2002, the Innovation Award of the German Medical Faculties (2011) and the Rudolph-Schoen-Awards (2011). His research has been funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, the German Ministry of Research and Education, the European Union, the European Association for the Study of the Liver and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

David Wong, MD

Dr. David Wong is the Education Director for Hepatology Education at the University of Toronto. Dr. Wong was trained at the University of Toronto. After completing his Gastroenterology training at McMaster University, Dr. Wong worked as post-doctoral research fellow at Harvard University 1994-1999, under the supervision of Dr. Bruce Walker, studying the cellular immune responses to hepatitis C infection. Dr. Wong’s other interests include liver disease in HIV, the development of electronic clinical notes. He is the recipient of many teaching awards including the Lou Cole teaching award for Gastroenterology, the Wightman-Berris Academy award for teaching excellence, and the University Health Network Award for excellence in clinical teaching.


Yoshida-Photo.jpg Dr. Eric Yoshida OBC, MD, MHSc, FRCP(C), FACP, FACG, FCAHS, FAASLD is a Professor of Medicine at the University of British Columbia. He is the Past Head of Gastroenterology at UBC and the Vancouver General Hospital. He is the former Medical Director of BC’s Liver Transplant Program and remains a part of the program. He has been a member of the CASL Governing Board since 2002 and was the President from 2008-10. He is the Chair of Medical Advisory Committee of the Canadian Liver Foundation and the Chair of the Royal College of Physician and Surgeons of Canada’s Diploma in Hepatology Committee. He has recently been appointed the Editor-in-Chief of CASL’s new journal, the Canadian Liver Journal. He has been the recipient of the CASL Distinguished Service Award and is a member of the Order of British Columbia. His academic interests include hepatology and liver transplantation. He remains a strong supporter of the Vancouver Canucks and Canadian football.