Program Details

General Details

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

6:00PM PST 




Virtual Event

A link will be sent to all registered attendees prior to the program. 



TIPS vs BRTO for treatment of bleeding gastric varices.

Loma Linda University Medicine: BRTO


Transplantation of patients with HCC who are outside the MILAN criteria.

Keck School of Medicine of USC: PRO
Kaiser Permanente: CON



Event Moderators

Jeffrey A. Kahn, MD

Dr.  Jeffrey Kahn completed his undergraduate training at the University at Albany, State University of New York, medical school training at the State University of New York, Upstate Medical University and internal medicine residency at Emory University. He then went on to fellowship training in gastroenterology at the University of Southern California and transplant hepatology training at Cedars Sinai-Sinai Medical Center. He has been the medical director of the Keck School of Medicine of USC Liver Transplant Program since 2011, with a special interest in living donor liver transplantation and transfusion-free liver transplantation.

His research interests include liver transplant waitlist disparities, liver transplant outcomes and has ongoing translational research related to occult hepatitis C infection.

Vinay Sundaram, MD

Dr. Vinay Sundaram is currently the Director of Hepatology Outcomes Research and Assistant Medical Director of Liver Transplantation at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he also serves as an Associate Professor of Medicine. He graduated from New York University School of Medicine, followed by residency at the University of Virginia, gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh, and a transplant hepatology fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. His clinical interests include all aspects of hepatology, while his research interests are focused on outcomes related to end-stage liver disease and liver transplantation.


Neil Bhayani, MD, MHS, FACS

Neil Bhayani, MD is the Director of Liver, Pancreatic and Complex Cancer Surgery as well as Director of Reflux and Esophageal Surgery at the Association of South Bay Surgeons. He was elected the Chair of the Liver, Pancreas and Gastrointestinal Cancer Program at Torrance Memorial Medical Center. His busy practice includes major abdominal cancer operations and gastric / esophageal surgery weekly. He is passionate about caring for patients with complex cancers, reflux, and abdominal problems using the newest minimally invasive techniques. Having had 2 years of extra training beyond General Surgery, Dr Bhayani uses laparoscopic surgery to reduce pain and speed up recovery after major pancreatic, liver, stomach, and esophageal surgery. He regularly collaborates in clinical research projects with researchers nationwide to improve patient care. Dr. Neil Bhayani has been voted a “Top Doctor” by LA Magazine.

Dr. Neil Bhayani grew up in Buffalo, NY and attended The Johns Hopkins University and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He was given the Program Director’s award in surgical residency at Howard University Hospital and subsequently earned a Masters of Health Sciences from The Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health in 2011. Dr. Bhayani completed 2 advanced fellowships in Complex Gastrointestinal & Minimally Invasive Surgery at the Providence Cancer Center in Portland, OR and in Hepato-Pancreatico-Biliary Surgery & Surgical Oncology at Penn State Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, PA.

During his academic career, he was invited to write more than  five book chapters on gastroparesis, anti-reflux surgery, liver surgery, hepatocellular cancer, and pancreatic cancers. In addition, he has contributed nearly 50 peer-reviewed research articles to advance the field of complex cancer surgery, pancreatic and liver surgery, and gastro-esophageal surgery.

Aparna Goel, MD

Aparna Goel, MD is an Assistance Professor of Medicine in Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Stanford University Medical Center. Dr. Goel began her medical education in a competitive program at the Pennsylvania State University that combined undergraduate and medical school studies with Jefferson Medical College (now Sidney Kimmel Medical College). After obtain her MD degree, she completed internal medicine residency at UCSF in San Francisco, CA and an additional year as a chief resident. She subsequently moved to New York City to pursue gastroenterology and transplant hepatology fellowships at the Mount Sinai Medical Center. She joined faculty at Stanford in 2016 where currently serves as the Associated Program Director for the GI fellowship. She has a particular clinical interest in the management of patients with autoimmune liver disease including autoimmune hepatitis, primary biliary cholangitis, primary sclerosing cholangitis and sarcoidosis. She is the leading institutional principal investigator for several clinical trials for these rare autoimmune liver conditions. Dr. Goel is also involved in several national and international collaborations to further our research and treatment of autoimmune hepatitis, PBC and PSC.

Bilal Hameed, MD

Bilal Hameed, MD is the Associate Professor of Medicine and the Hepatology Clinic Chief at the University of California San Francisco, and the section editor for the journal Gastroenterology. Dr. Hameed is a board member of the Northern California Society for Clinical Gastroenterology and has authored more than 30 original articles, reviews and book chapters on NASH and Acute Liver Failure in various prestigious journals. He is the PI for Acute liver failure study group (ALFSG) and co-investigator on an NIH-funded study on NASH. He is an investigator on several ongoing clinical trials for patients with NASH, PSC and chronic liver diseases. Dr. Hameed is recognized nationally and internationally for his work related to Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) and Acute Liver Failure (ALF).

Laleh Melstrom, MD, MS

Laleh Melstrom, MD, MS, Assistant Professor of Surgery and Immuno-Oncology, City of Hope National Medical Center grew up in Gaithersburg, Maryland just outside of Washington DC and received her bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University with Honors in 1999. Thereafter, she obtained her MD degree from Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. She went on to complete her general surgery residency at Northwestern University in Chicago in 2010. During this time, she earned a master’s degree in the Science of Clinical Investigation (2005-2007) at Northwestern University where she also spent 2 years studying pancreatic cancer biology. Upon completion of residency she completed a Surgical Oncology Fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. She then was an Assistant Professor in Surgery at Rutgers University from 2012-2015. She was recruited to City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, CA in 2015 as a liver and pancreas surgeon and scientist studying new therapies in colorectal and pancreatic cancers. She has coauthored over 70 peer-reviewed publications, chapters, and reviews/editorials in liver and pancreatic cancers.

Ju Dong Yang, MD

Dr. Yang is an assistant professor of Medicine in the Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases and Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. He has contributed to clinical and translational research of liver cancer with over 50 scientific peer-reviewed original research articles. He has research interest in liquid biopsy and his scientific goal is to investigate an exciting area of individualized, precision medicine in the field of liver cancer. He serves as a member of Hepatobiliary Neoplasia Special Interest Group of the AASLD and an editorial board of Hepatology.

Kaiser Permanente



Rasham Mittal, MD

Dr. Rasahm Mittal is a transplant Hepatologist in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center.  After earning his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery in India, Dr. Mittal continued his residency and his fellowship in New York prior to joining Kaiser Permanente.

Dr. Mittal’s ACTIVE/ ONGOING RESEARCH PROJECTS includes studies in the Impact of screening on survival in Hepatocellular Carcinoma patients with Chronic Hepatitis B – A regional U.S. population study and whether Cesarean Section and Formula Feeding Reduce Vertical Transmission in Chronic Hepatitis B Pregnant Mothers?


Elizabeth Dong, MD

Elizabeth Dong, MD is a gastroenterology fellow at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center. She graduated medical school from Keck School of Medicine of USC and completed internal medicine residency training at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center. Her interests include quality improvement, as well as identifying populations at high-risk for gastric cancer.

Andy Tien, MD

Andy Tien, MD is a Gastroenterology fellow at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center. He graduated medical school from Eastern Virginia Medical School and completed his Internal Medicine residency at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center. He was an AASLD Emerging Liver Scholar in 2019 and his clinical research interests include quality improvement, health disparities, viral hepatitis, and transplant hepatology.

Keck School of Medicine of USC


Lily Dara, MD

Lily Dara, MD is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and an NIH funded physician-scientist at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California and a member of the USC Research Center for Liver Disease. She serves on the AASLD Basic Research Committee and is on the Editorial Board of Hepatology. Her research focuses on liver cell death pathways and the role of the Receptor Interacting Protein Kinase (RIPK) family in liver injury and Hepatotoxicity. Her clinical research focus is understating the biologic, genetic, and socio-economic disparities in Latinx patients with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH), primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), and AIH-PBC overlap syndromes.


Divya Ayyala-Somayajula, MD

Divya Ayyala-Somayajula, MD is a current Gastroenterology fellow of the University of Southern California. She earned her medical degree from the Keck School of Medicine of USC and recently graduated from the USC Internal Medicine Residency Program. Her clinical interests include alcohol associated liver disease and alcohol use disorder. Her research interests include the effect of alcohol use on liver disease and therapeutic options to address alcohol use disorder in patients with alcohol associated liver disease.

Niharika Mallepally, MD, MPH

Niharika Mallepally, MD MPH is a Gastroenterology fellow at the University of Southern California. She completed her internal medicine residency at Baylor College of Medicine, medical degree at Emory University School of Medicine, and Master of Public Health degree at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Niharika served as an AASLD Emerging Liver Scholar in 2019, and actively pursues research in health systems operations, disparities, hepatology, cancer, and general GI. She is also passionate about medical education; she was appointed to Emory’s executive curriculum committee and was selected to serve on Baylor’s residency recruitment committee. After fellowship, Niharika looks forward to continuing a career in academic gastroenterology.

Loma Linda University Medical Center


Michael Volk, MD, MSc, AGAF

Michael L. Volk, MD, MSc, AGAF is a transplant hepatologist who serves as the Medical Director of Liver Transplantation and Division Chief of Gastroenterology at Loma Linda University.  He attended medical school at the University of Rochester, residency at the University of Virginia, and then fellowship at the University of Michigan where he stayed for 11 years and served as the Medical Director of the Liver Tumor Program before joining Loma Linda in 2015.  A former Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar, Dr. Volk is an expert in health care delivery who has published over 80 papers and received grant funding from the NIH, AASLD, AGA and Greenwall Foundation.  He remains a busy clinician and is rated among the Best Doctors in hepatology nationwide.


Diana Curras, MD

Diana Curras-Martin, MD is a graduate from Complutense University of Madrid, and completed her Internal Medicine Residency at Hackensack Meridian JSUMC. 

She is currently a first year Gastroenterologist fellow at Loma Linda University Medical Center and is planning to pursue a career in Academics, with special interest in liver disease. Dr. Curras-Martin enjoys cooking Caribbean-style food, running, and riding horses in Redlands.

UCLA Health


Edward Wolfgang Lee, MD, PhD, MSc, FSIR

Dr. Lee is an Associate Professor in the Division of Interventional Radiology, Department of Radiology and Division of Liver and Pancreas Transplant Surgery, Department of Surgery at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

His current clinical and translational research interests include portal hypertension, lymphatic intervention, Y90/chemoembolization, tumor ablation and personalized interventional oncology (PIO). He is considered as one of the leading world experts in TIPS/BRTO/CARTO/PARTO procedures, lymphatic intervention and tumor ablation translational research.

He received his MD/PhD with honors from Georgetown University in 2005. After completing his residency in Diagnostic Radiology at UCLA, he then completed fellowships in Interventional Radiology and Oncologic Imaging at UCLA. He subsequently joined the Division of Interventional Radiology at UCLA.

He currently also serves as a Director of Lymphatic Intervention, Director of Research, Director of IR Residence and Director of Medical Student Education at UCLA. He is currently an active member of the AASLD, AGA, ATS, ALTA, SIR, AACR, CIRSE, SGI, CTSI and JCCC. He is currently a principal investigator on numerous national and international trials and has published extensively on liver intervention, portal hypertension, interventional oncology and translational research.



Arpan Patel, MD, PhD

Arpan Patel, MD PhD is a hepatologist and health services researcher at UCLA and the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System.  He has a strong interest in improving the quality of care delivered to patients with chronic liver disease, with specific interests in palliative care, public health, and alcohol-associated liver disease.


Zachary Haber, MD

Dr. Zachary Haber completed his undergraduate training at the University of California, Santa Barbara and medical school training at New York University School of Medicine. He is a current member of both the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society and the Gold Humanism Honor Society and is currently in residency for vascular and interventional radiology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has a special interest in liver interventional oncology and in interventions alleviating sequalae of liver disease. His research interests include treatments involving hepatocellular carcinoma and cancer metastatic to the liver.  

Adam Winters, MD

Adam Winters, MD is currently a third-year gastroenterology and hepatology fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles. He hails from New York, where he completed his internal medicine residency at Mount Sinai Hospital. Dr. Winters will be returning to Mount Sinai to complete his transplant hepatology fellowship in 2021. He was an AASLD Emerging Liver Scholar in 2017 and an AASLD Ambassador. His interests lie in medical education and alcohol-associated liver disease.

Event Schedule

10/14/2020- 12/08/2020

Online Registration Ends at 12PM PST


6:00 PM

Event Start