Mount Sinai Liver Research Projects

This page is intended to provide a brief, up-to-date list of active research endeavors. Please refer to the investigator’s individual profile for more detail and contact information.

Jawad Ahmad, MD
Current research projects include:

  • Malnutrition in patients with cirrhosis
  • Risk factors for biliary complications after liver transplantation
  • Portal hypertension after liver transplantation.
  • Dr. Ahmad is the co-primary investigator of Drug-Induced Liver Injury Network (DILIN) Mount Sinai regional site, a NIH/NIDDK research initiative to study cases of severe liver injury caused by caused by prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and alternative medicines, such as herbal products and supplements.

Ritu Agarwal, MD
Current research projects include:

  • Liver disease in the elderly
  • Viral hepatitis
  • Co-PI of clinical trials in viral hepatitis

Nancy Bach, MD
Current research projects include:

  • Epidemiologic and new treatment studies for patients with primary biliary cirrhosis and autoimmune hepatitis.  

Meena B. Bansal, MD
Current research projects include:

  • Role of HIV in hepatic inflammation and fibrosis
  • Novel treatments for NAFLD in HIV mono-infected patients
  • Anti-fibrotic clinical trials

Andrea D. Branch, PhD, MS
Current research projects include:

  • Triple therapy for HCV
    • Clinical- and cost-effectiveness of new treatments
    • Natural history of post-SVR HCV
  • HCV molecular virology
    • Viral mutations and HCC risk
    • Strategies for persistence
  • Treatment and pathogenesis in HIV/HCV co-infection
  • Risks and benefits of vitamin D supplements
  • Mining the MSSM data warehouse
    • Advanced liver disease, HIV, sickle cell, alcoholic hepatitis

Norbert Brau, MD
Current research projects include evaluation of the epidemiology, natural history, and therapy of HCV infection, HIV co-infection and hepatocellular carcinoma using the national VA clinical database.

Charissa Chang, MD
Current research projects:

  • Incidence and natural history of portal vein thrombosis in patients with cirrhosis
  • Risk factors for HCC in patients with NASH.  
  • Dr. Chang is an investigator in several clinical treatment trials for hepatocellular carcinoma (STORM, BRISK, REACH), nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, and thrombocytopenia..  She is a member of the data safety and monitoring board of the vitamin D trial directed by Dr. Branch, and an important contributor to the activities of the Hepatitis Outreach Network (HONE).

Douglas Dieterich, MD
Current research projects include:

  • Liver division and TRIO clinical databases for HCV treatment
  • Compassionate use of next-generation DAAs for HCV
  • Curing HBV
  • Liver disease in HIV monoinfection
  • PI on several clinical trials of novel HCV therapies in HCV and HIV/HCV infected patients

Kirsten Edepli, PhD, MMSc
Current research projects include:

  • The role of uhrf1 in liver development, regeneration and carcinogenesis
  • The impact of the unfolded protein responses on steatosis
  • The role of p53 in hexose metabolism in congenital disorders of glycosylation

Scott L. Friedman, MD
Current research projects include:

  • Autophagy and stem cells in hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Contribution of fibrosis to hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Molecular regulation of stellate cell activation and fibrogenesis
  • Testing novel antifibrotic therapies in preclinical models and human trials

Priya Grewal, MD
Current research projects include:

  • Complications of portal hypertension
  • Chronic hepatitis E
  • Complications after liver transplantation

Yujin Hoshida, MD, PhD
Current research projects include:

  • Molecular prognostic indicators in liver diseases
  • Molecular signature-guided liver disease treatment/prevention
  • Bioinformatics resources for translational genomic research
  • Model-based clinical utility/cost-effectiveness analysis of biomarkers

Gene Im, MD
Current research projects include:

  • Genomic biomarkers in alcoholic liver disease and HCC
  • Early liver transplantation for severe alcoholic hepatitis
  • Malnutrition and sarcopenia in alcoholic liver disease and cirrhosis
  • Fluid and tissue characteristics in liver diseases; Co-director of nontumoral tissue utilization committee
  • Using SBP database to study complications of portal hypertension
  • Safety and efficacy of IFN-free HCV treatment after kidney transplantation
  • Immunization rates for HAV and HBV in patients with cirrhosis and vaccine efficacy cross-over study
  • Cost analysis of inpatient hospital transfers to a liver transplant center
  • Site coordinator, North American Consortium for the Study of End-Stage Liver Disease (NACSELD)

Leona Kim-Schluger, MD
Current research projects include:

  • Organ allocation policy
  • Quality improvement in the care of liver transplant recipients
  • Living-related liver transplantation

Franklin M. Klion, MD
Current research projects include:

  • Unexplained elevations of transaminases in patients with no apparent cause of liver injury
  • Optimal use of new treatments for viral hepatitis

Young-Min Lee, MD
Current research projects include:

  • Hepatic stellate cells in liver injury and regeneration
  • Autophagy in liver fibrosis

Jennifer Leong, MD
Current research projects include:

  • Establishment of hepatitis B database at Mt Sinai to study the natural history of hepatitis B, evaluate efficacy of treatments and evaluate outcomes including decompensation, development of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Sepsis outcomes in patients with liver disease
  • Investigator in clinical trial for hepatitis B treatment cure

Lawrence Liu, MD
Current research projects include:

  • Genetic studies of porphyria
  • Rare disease clinical research consortium (RDCRC)
  • The porphyrias repository
  • Longitudinal study of the porphyrias
  • Hydroxychloroquine vs phlebotomy for porphyria cutanea tarda

Josep Llovet, MD, PhD
Current research projects include:

  • Clinical development of novel treatments for HCC
  • Establishing new molecular classifications of HCC based on integrative genomics approaches that incorporate genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic and epigenetic information to define oncogenic drivers and predictors of outcome in patients with HCC.
  • Director of the International HCC Consortium, a consortium of basic and translational researchers, including Dana-Farber- MIT (Boston), Hospital Clinic (Barcelona) and National Cancer Institute (Milan).
  • International PI on 3 major pivotal trials assessing adjuvant and primary treatments of HCC, and oversees highly active translational research programs.

Joseph A. Odin, MD, PhD
Current research projects include:

  • Identification of air pollution elements associated with increased prevalence of end-stage liver disease by geographic cluster analysis
  • Comparison of the intestinal microbiome in subjects with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) with and without PSC in collaboration with the Mount Sinai IBD center
  • Analysis of drug-induce liver injury in patients undergoing chemotherapy
  • Evaluation of pre-natal toxin exposure on the future development of liver disease in offspring in collaboration with NYU environmental medicine department
  • Analysis of PBC and PSC genetics and environmental associations in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic, Rochester
  • Drug-Induced Liver Injury Network (DILIN) regional site at Mount Sinai, an NIH/NIDDK research initiative to investigate cases of liver injury caused by prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and alternative medicines, such as herbal products and supplements. Contact Dr. Odin to refer a possible case of DILI.

Ponni Perumalswami, MD, MS
Current research projects include:

  • Co-primary investigator for the Hepatitis Outreach Network (HONE) program which is a community-based viral hepatitis outreach program targeting at-risk foreign-born communities to provide education, screening and linkage to care in New York City.
  • HONE-ASC CDC sponsored HBV screening and linkage to care grant: HBV in African born persons.
  • TCI grant: identifying barriers and facilitators to accessing HBV screening in African born persons.
  • NYS Health Foundation project on HepCure: to design and develop a web based application for providers and their patients infected with HCV.
  • Identifying factors associated with HIV patients referred for liver transplant who do not make it to listing.
  • Defining the natural history of HCV and the pharmacoeconomics of HCV triple therapy.
  • PI and co-investigator for many ongoing clinical trials evaluating the safety and efficacy of new antiviral treatments for chronic hepatitis B and C.

Thomas Schiano, MD, MS
Current research projects include:

  • Evaluation of on plasma cell hepatitis and non-cirrhotic portal hypertension
  • Characterization and management of obliterative portal venopathy
  • Liver transplantation in patients infected with HIV
  • Living-related liver transplantation in patients with HCV
  • Vitamin D deficiency in patients with end stage liver disease
  • Fibrosing cholestatic hepatitis after liver transplantation
  • Prevention of HCV recurrence after liver transplantation for HCV
  • Identifying the safety and efficacy of  HCV treatment in advanced liver disease before and after liver transplantation
  • The local impact of fibrosis on intrahepatic HCV RNA levels
  • Intestinal transplantation and TPN liver disease

Augusto Villaneuva, MD, PhD
Current research projects include:

  • Liquid biopsy in liver cancer: identification and validation of novel prognostic and predictive biomarkers in liver cancer through analysis of circulating tumor by-products.
  • Tumor heterogeneity and dynamics: Evaluation of intratumoral molecular diversity and how it evolves over time. Determine the role of heterogeneity in treatment response.
  • Patient-derived xenografts: Develop novel tools to validate oncogeneic drivers of liver cancer and identify mechanisms of resistance to systemic therapies.
  • Villanueva Laboratory