Program Details

General Details

Wednesday, September 22, 2021



Virtual Program. 

Registered attendees will receive link prior to program start.



Biopsy should be the standard of care to assess nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

California Pacific Medical Center– PRO

UC Davis Medical Center– CON


Which of the following patients is the more suitable candidate for liver transplantation:

Stanford University Medical Center – Patient A: 32 yo otherwise healthy woman presenting with severe acute alcoholic hepatitis, MELD-Na score 32.

UCSF Medical Center – Patient B: 69 yo man with obesity (BMI 38), diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia presenting with decompensated NASH cirrhosis, MELD-Na score 32.


  1. Stanford University Medical Center
  2. California Pacific Medical Center
  3. UC Davis Medical Center
  4. UCSF Medical Center


Moderators & Planning Committee

Moderator & Planning Committee

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.

Planning Committee

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).

Moderator & Planning Committee

Nizar Mukhtar, MD



Marina Roytman, MD, FACP

Marina Roytman, MD, FACP received her medical degree at the Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, Oregon followed by Internal Medicine residency at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York and Medical Education fellowship at John A. Burns School of Medicine in Hawaii. She is ABIM board certified and holds membership with the American Association of Study of Liver Disease. Dr. Roytman’s involvement in research encompasses areas in viral hepatitis, drug induced liver injury, metabolic liver disease, cirrhosis, and liver fibrosis. She has presented her research at international, national, and regional conferences, and has numerous peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Roytman is a Clinical Professor of Medicine for the Department of Medicine and Director of the Liver Program in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at University of California San Francisco, Fresno. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, hiking, travelling, and reading sci-fi. 

Vinay Sundaram, MD

Vinay Sundaram, MD 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.

Robert Wong, MD, MS

Robert Wong, MD, MS is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine (Affiliated) in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Stanford University School of Medicine, and staff physician in the Gastroenterology and Hepatology Section at VA Palo Alto Healthcare System.  He graduated from University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, completed internal medicine residency at California Pacific Medical Center and gastroenterology and hepatology fellowship at Stanford University School of Medicine, where he also completed a Master’s in Epidemiology and Clinical Research.  His clinical interests include management of patients with complex liver diseases, including viral hepatitis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.  His research interests include epidemiology, outcomes, and health services research in liver disease, and specifically focuses on understanding and addressing healthcare disparities among ethnic minorities and under-served minority populations with chronic liver disease.  His most recent work has sought to understand the drivers of disparities in HBV and HCV treatment among safety-net populations as well as to understand the patient, provider, and system level factors that contribute to disparities in HCC screening and surveillance among ethnic minority and underserved safety-net populations with cirrhosis.

Stanford University Medical Center


Renu Dhanasekaran, MD


Renumathy Dhanasekaran MD is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the School of Medicine, Stanford University. Her primary research goal is to explore the molecular biology of liver cancer in order to identify novel biomarkers and molecular-targeted therapies. She conducts basic and translational research to understand the molecular mechanisms of liver cancer metastasis and dormancy using mouse models of liver cancer. Also, she plays an active role in the cancer genome atlas (TCGA) consortium effort to translate the knowledge gained from the study of genomics of liver cancer. She maintains a bio-repository of tissue and blood samples from patients with liver cancer and has also developed several patient derived xenograft (PDX) models for preclinical testing. Dr. Dhanasekaran is a recipient of the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) Junior Faculty Career Development award and the NIH/NCI K08 career development award. Dr. Dhanasekaran completed her medical school training in India, and pursued her Internal Medicine residency at the University of Florida, Gainesville followed by Gastroenterology fellowship at Mayo Clinic, Rochester and Transplant Hepatology fellowship at Stanford University. Dr. Dhanasekaran is board certified in Internal Medicine and Gastoenterology. Her clinical practice is mainly focused on liver cancer and she runs a clinic specifically for patients with liver masses.

Chiazotam Ekekezie, MD


Dr Chiazotam “Zo” Ekekezie obtained her undergraduate degree from Harvard College with high honors, followed by postbaccalaureate premedical studies at Johns Hopkins, then medical school at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and residency along with a chief residency year in internal medicine at Brown University. Presently, she is in her final year of fellowship training in gastroenterology and hepatology at Stanford University where she also serves as a chief fellow. She is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honors Medical Society and has received awards for her work in research, medical education, leadership, public service, and the medical humanities. Throughout her career she has led various organizations and spearheaded efforts to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, antiracism, and justice in healthcare. Her guiding mission is to build a career in academic medicine that balances the provision of excellent and equitable patient care with clinical education and leadership through advocacy. Dr Ekekezie is recently married and enjoys spending time with her partner, two cats, friends, and family. Her hobbies include culinary arts and food science, spending time outdoors, and listening to and singing jazz/vocalize.

Branden Tarlow, MD


Brandon Tarlow is a PGY-6 Gastroenterology fellow at Stanford. He completed his MD-PhD degree at Oregon Health Sciences and his internal medicine training at UT Southwestern.  Dr. Tarlow enjoys the diversity of gastroenterology & hepatology practice, including hepatology and management of chronic liver disease.  He is supported by the Stanford T32 academic gastroenterology grant where he has studied the role of bioengineered cytokines in intestinal mucosal repair and is involved in several clinical trials. Brandon lives in Palo Alto with his wife and 3 children.  He coaches youth sports and enjoy spending time with his family.


California Pacific Medical Center


Edward “Will” Holt, MD


One of the earliest and most impactful lessons I can remember learning was that teaching and mentorship are at the highest level of achievement.  I first tested this theory between the ages of 15 and 19 when I worked as a summer camp counselor at Camp Sea Gull, where I’d previously been a camper.  Finding this to be nothing short of a defining experience, I was later inspired to join AmeriCorps after graduating from Princeton.  AmeriCorps led me to New Orleans, where I taught high school science at John McDonogh Senior High School from 1999-2001 as a Teach For America corps member.  Following medical school at MUSC in my home state of South Carolina I was given the opportunity to train in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital, where I was proud that my short white coat – the same style worn by interns and Firm Chiefs alike – showed a commitment to ‘lifelong learning’ and the importance of remaining a student of medicine.  Prior to starting my gastroenterology and transplant hepatology fellowships at CPMC in San Francisco, I worked at the John A. Burns School of Medicine in Honolulu as an attending hospitalist and strengthened my resolve that teaching and mentorship would remain pillars of my career.  At CPMC I have been closely involved in the gastroenterology and transplant hepatology training programs from day one (July 1, 2009) and have since served as associate director for both programs.  Even my subspecialty expertise, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has been a vehicle for mentorship: our internal cohort has yielded half a dozen abstracts with CPMC residents who themselves aspire to a career in GI and hepatology.  Most recently I have served as a mentor for the hepatitis B clinic at Asian Health Services in Oakland and for the SF Hep B Free ECHO program, I have overseen research and education at Sutter West Bay Medical Group on the R&E Committee and I have stepped into the role of President of the Northern California Society for Clinical Gastroenterology (

At home I am even more engaged, and far more fulfilled, by the task of mentoring our three sons who are currently 7, 9 and 12 years old.  Over the last 10 years I have alternated between coach and carpool driver for baseball, soccer and basketball teams.  I take on a supporting role for my wife, who coaches their First Lego League robotics teams and organizes maker events in our community.  I share my love of the outdoors with our boys, whether it be riding bikes and playing basketball at home or camping and hiking in the parks and forests of Northern California.  Recently I completed my first half marathon in 13 years and I am constantly thinking about how to convince young boys of the joys and benefits of running.

Andy Liu, MD


Ann Robinson, MD


I am originally from the Midwest but have been living in the San Francisco Bay Area for the past 5 years. I completed my medical school training at St. George’s University, followed by residency at Highland Hospital in Oakland, CA and I am currently a second year gastroenterology fellow at California Pacific Medical Center.  My current research interests include hepatitis B and the effects of the pandemic on those with chronic liver disease, specifically alcohol-related liver disease. When I am not at work, I enjoy travelling, hiking, and going to the beach.
UC Davis Medical Center

Chris Bowlus, MD


Dr. Christopher Bowlus is the Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the University of California Davis School of Medicine. He is the Lena Valente Professor. Dr. Bowlus received his undergraduate education at the University of California San Diego and his medical degree from St. Louis University. He completed his Internal Medicine training at UC Davis and his fellowship training in Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Yale University. After completing his education, Chris returned to UC Davis as an Assistant Professor in 1998. He has an active research program that bridges the basic and clinical aspects of PBC and PSC. Dr. Bowlus has worked to improve testing and treatment of hepatitis B among Asian-Americans in the Sacramento region through implementation of electronic health record tools and community engagement. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and industry sponsors. He is a founding member and Steering Committee member of the International PSC Study Group (IPSCSG) and leads the US-based Consortium for Autoimmune Liver Disease (CALiD).Dr. Bowlus is the recipient of the Walter Trudeau Excellence in Teaching Award and the American Liver Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship Award. He is also a Co-Chair of PSC Partners Seeking a Cure, a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American Gastroenterology Association, and the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease.

Shivani Shah, MD


Dr. Shivani Shah completed her BA in Psychology and MD from The George Washington University. She completed her internal medicine residency at Yale New Haven Hospital. Dr. Shah’s clinical interests include assessing and improving quality of life in patients with chronic liver diseases, particularly in patients with autoimmune and cholestatic liver disease. She hopes to pursue a career in academic hepatology. Shivani enjoys hiking, cooking, and reading. She also holds a second degree in black belt in Tang Soo Do.

Jeffrey Zheng-Hsien Ko, MD


Jeffrey Ko, M.D., was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. After completing his undergraduate studies at Northwestern University, he spent two years conducting basic science research in the mucosal immunobiology lab of Terrence Barrett, M.D., at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois. He obtained his medical doctorate at Saint Louis University School of Medicine in Saint Louis, Missouri, and subsequently completed his internal medicine residency and chief residency at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. Dr. Ko is currently a third-year gastroenterology and hepatology fellow at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, California, where he continues to explore his clinical and academic interests in inflammatory bowel diseases, colorectal cancer screening, quality improvement, and medical education.
UCSF Medical Center


Danielle Brandman, MD


Dr. Brandman earned a medical degree at the New Jersey Medical School of Rutgers University, and completed an internal medicine internship and residency at UCSF. She also completed fellowships in gastroenterology and transplant hepatology and earned a master’s of advanced studies in clinical research at UCSF. Dr. Brandman is the director of the UCSF Fatty Liver Clinic, serves as the hepatologist for the UCSF Polycystic Kidney Disease Center of Excellence, and is the inpatient chief of hepatology.  Dr. Brandman has a strong commitment to the education of trainees.  She is the program director of the transplant hepatology fellowship at UCSF and leads clinical hepatology education for trainees from the level of medical student to advanced fellow.  She was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award by the UCSF Haile T. Debas Academy of Medical Educators.  Her research involves collaboration with primary care providers to identify patients with fatty liver at high risk of advanced fibrosis, as well as novel models for delivery of care to fatty liver patients. In her spare time, she loves staying active. She has fought fatty liver on the front lines in her role as a Zumba instructor, but more recently has focused her efforts on getting stronger through CrossFit. She loves her two elderly dogs, Atticus and Roxie (and most rescue dogs in general).

Jin Ge, MD


Dr. Jin Ge is a Transplant Hepatology fellow at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).  He completed his MD and MBA at the Perelman School of Medicine and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and Internal Medicine residency and Gastroenterology fellowship at UCSF.  During his Gastroenterology fellowship, he served as a T32 research fellow in hepatology under the mentorship of Dr. Jennifer Lai.  His clinical interests are in general and transplant hepatology.  His research focuses on the applications of big data and clinical informatics in clinical hepatology research.  He is currently serving as the lead for the GI/Liver Domain Team for the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C).

Rebecca Kim, MD