Lab Members

Our Staff

Photo of Jake Liang
Section Chief
M.D. – Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
Internal Medicine Residency – New York University/Bellevue Hospital Center, New York, NY
Gastroenterology Fellowship – Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
Photo of Edward Doo
Adjunct Investigator
M.D. – Cornell University Medical College, New York, NY
Internal Medicine Residency – The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, New York, NY
Photo of Marc Ghany
Clinical Tenure Track Investigator
M.D. – Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
Internal Medicine Residency – Hospital of St. Raphael, New Haven, CT
Gastroenterology Fellowship – Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA
Liver Diseases Fellowship – NIDDK, Bethesda, MD
M.H.Sc. – Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC
Photo of Theo Heller
Senior Investigator
M.D. – University of Witwatersrand Medical school
Internal Medicine Residency – Georgetown University Hospital
Viral Hepatitis Fellowship – NIAID, Bethesda, MD
Gastroenterology Fellowship – University of Maryland School of Medicine
Liver Diseases Fellowship – NIDDK, Bethesda, MD
Photo of Jay Hoofnagle
Adjunct Investigator
M.D. – Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
Internal Medicine Residency – University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA
Internal Medicine Residency – VA Medical Center, Washington, DC
Gastroenterology Fellowship – VA Medical Center, Washington, DC
Photo of Dr. Christopher Koh
Associate Research Physician
M.D. – Saba University School of Medicine, Netherlands-Antilles
M.H.Sc. - Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC
Internal Medicine Residency – Harbor Hospital, Baltimore, MD 
Liver Diseases Fellowship – NIDDK, Bethesda, MD
Gastroenterology Fellowship – University of Maryland/NIH Scholars Program, Baltimore, MD & Bethesda, MD
Photo of Yaron Rotman
Investigator
M.D. – Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel
M.Sc. – Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel
Internal Medicine Residency – Rabin Medical Center, Petach-Tiqwa, Israel
Gastroenterology Fellowship – Rabin Medical Center, Petach-Tiqwa, Israel
Liver Diseases Fellowship – NIDDK, Bethesda, MD
Photo of Averell Sherker
Adjunct Investigator
M.D. – Queens University Faculty of Health Sciences, Kingston, Canada
Internal Medicine Residency – Mt. Sinai Hosptial University, Toronto, Canada
Gastroenterology Fellowship – University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Liver Diseases Fellowship – Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Hepatology Clinical Fellows

Chunwei Lai, M.D., Ph.D.
Clinical Fellow

Education:

M.D., Ph.D. - Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University, Bronx, NY
Internal Medicine Residency - Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

I was drawn to NIH because of their unique approaches to answer basic biological questions through clinical research trials. One of my research interests is to understand the role of liver immune system in pathogenesis of liver diseases, especially liver cancer and autoimmune liver diseases. The unique immune tolerogenicity of liver is evident from the low-level immunosuppression required in a HLA-mismatched, orthotopic liver recipient, contrary to other solid organ transplantations. Additionally, the liver confers the same immunotolerance to the kidney in recipients of dual liver-kidney transplant. This phenomenon shows that the liver can modulate systemic immune response but may be predisposed to chronic infection and malignancy. Researchers have explored different methods to modulate the hepatic immune system, and our lab recently showed that gut microbiota-dependent changes in bile acid composition can modulate immune surveillance of liver tumors in a murine model. My goal is to dissect the molecular mechanism using tissue culture and mouse model, and to correlate these findings in human. This research may lead to novel therapies for primary and metastatic liver cancers.

Photo of Christy Ann Gilman.
Christy Ann Gilman, M.D.
Clinical Fellow

Education:

M.D. University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine.
Residency SUNY Upstate Medical University

Current interests include long term follow up of patients treated for Hepatitis C, Fontan associated liver disease and fatty liver disease in unique patient populations. I am also matriculating to the NIH-Duke Master's Program in Clinical Research.

Anusha Vittal, M.D.
Clinical Fellow

Education:

M.D.- Kakatiya Medical College, India
Research Interest: Noncirrhotic Portal Hypertension

My research interests include non-cirrhotic portal hypertension, viral hepatitis, alcohol related liver disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and association of liver disease with severe combined immunodeficiency. Working at the NIH also provides me the unique opportunity to study the pathogenesis of hepatopathy in patients who had a Fontan procedure for correction of a congenital heart defect.

Non-cirrhotic portal hypertension, characterized by portal hypertension in the absence of cirrhosis or synthetic liver dysfunction, is an incompletely understood disease process without any definitive treatment regimen. Our team at the NIH aims to is working to provide a better understanding of the natural history and pathogenesis of non-cirrhotic portal hypertension with the hope of developing a reliable method of treatment.

Hepatitis B does not have a cure today due to the persistence of covalently closed circular DNA. Our goal is to conduct a proof of concept pilot study to explore the effect of removal of HBsAg by administration of HBIg and peginterferon alfa-2a on HBV-specific adaptive immunity and immune control.

Photo of Julian Hercun.
Julian Hercun, M.D.
Clinical Fellow

Education:

M.D - Université de Montréal, Montreal, Canada
Internal Medicine Residency - Université de Montréal, Canada
Gastroenterology Fellowship - Université de Montréal, Canada

Recently, I was part of the liver unit at the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM) before beginning my hepatology fellowship at the NIDDK.

During my stay at the LDB, I plan on taking part in clinical research trials focusing on novel pharmaceutical approaches for viral hepatitis and to pursue my interest in auto-immune liver disease as well as hepatic involvement in systemic diseases.

Clinical Specialists

Patricia Alcivar
Patient Care Coordinator
 10 Center Drive, Bldg: 10 CRC, Rm: 4-5722, MSC 16142
T: 301-435-6121
F: 301-435-9160 
Elenita M. Rivera, BSN, RN
Research Nurse, Specialist
 10 Center Drive, Bldg: 10 CRC, Rm: 4-5722, MSC 1614
Bethesda, MD 20892
T: 301-435-6125
F: 301-451-9160
Amy Huang, BSN, BA, RN
Acting Clinical Nurse Manager, Research Nurse
10 Center Drive, Bldg: 10 CRC, Rm: 4-5722, MSC 1614
Bethesda, MD 20892
T: 301-451-6983
F: 301-435-9160
Cathy Nadal, RN MS
Research Nurse, Specialist
10 Center Drive, Bldg: 10 CRC, Rm: 4-5722, MSC 1614
Bethesda, MD 20892
T: 301-451-6983
F: 301-435-9160 
Jaha Norman-Wheeler, RN, BA
Research Nurse, Specialist
10 Center Drive, Bldg: 10 CRC, Rm: 4-5722, MSC 1614
Bethesda, MD 20892
T: 301-451-6983
F: 301-435-9160 

Group Photos

Clinical Fellows
Clinical Fellows
Clinical Fellows present their work
Clinical Fellows present their work
Liver Disease Branch Awards
Liver Disease Branch Awards