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Test and Policy Committee on Transplant Hepatology

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Hugo E. Vargas, MD, MS, Chair

Dr. Vargas, is Professor of Medicine for the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Director of the Office of Clinical Research, and Vice Chair of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona. He specializes in the management of viral hepatitis, complications of portal hypertension, and liver transplantation.

Dr. Vargas has authored or coauthored more than 125 peer-reviewed articles in journals such as Hepatology, Gastroenterology, American Journal of Transplantation, and New England Journal of Medicine. He is Chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine Test and Policy Committee on Transplant Hepatology. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), American College of Gastroenterology, American College of Physicians, and American Gastroenterological Association. Dr. Vargas also co-chairs the AASLD/Infectitious Disease Society of America Hepatitis C Virus treatment guidelines panel. In 2010, he received the Outstanding Program Director of the Year Award from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine's Department of Education Administration.

Dr. Vargas is Professor of Medicine for the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Director of the Office of Clinical Research, and Vice Chair of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona. He specializes in the management of viral hepatitis, complications of portal hypertension, and liver transplantation.

Dr. Vargas has authored or coauthored more than 125 peer-reviewed articles in journals such as Hepatology, Gastroenterology, American Journal of Transplantation, and New England Journal of Medicine. He is Chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine Test and Policy Committee on Transplant Hepatology. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), American College of Gastroenterology, American College of Physicians, and American Gastroenterological Association. Dr. Vargas also co-chairs the AASLD/Infectitious Disease Society of America Hepatitis C Virus treatment guidelines panel. In 2010, he received the Outstanding Program Director of the Year Award from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine's Department of Education Administration.

He is a graduate of Hahnemann Medical School of Drexel University, and completed his internal medicine residency with University of Utah Affiliated Hospitals and fellowship in gastroenterology and hepatology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

As of January 2017, Dr. Vargas reported the following external relationships:

Funding for clinical trial expenses, staff and salary support, paid to the Mayo Clinic, from the following company:

  • Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, for a trial for treatment of hepatorenal syndrome.

Service on data and safety monitoring boards for the following company, with compensation for travel expenses and honoraria:

  • TransMedics, for a graft preservation device in liver transplantation.

Dr. Vargas serves as faculty for continuing medical education on hepatitis C receiving honoraria from the Chronic Liver Disease Foundation, which receives support from educational grants from pharmaceutical companies.

Work as an author or editor for following companies, with compensation as listed:

  • American College of Gastroenterology, receiving compensation as Associate Editor for American Journal of Gastroenterology.
  • Mayo Clinic, receiving royalties for a textbook, paid to the Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Vargas serves in significant roles with the following organization, receiving reimbursement or compensation as listed:

  • American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, Chair of Ethics Committee, receiving reimbursement for travel expenses.

Funding for clinical trial expenses, staff and salary support, paid to the Mayo Clinic, from the following organizations:

  • National Institutes of Health, for a trial for treatment of hepatorenal syndrome.
  • National Institutes of Health & National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, for a trial of treatment of alcoholic hepatitis.

Estella Alonso, MD

Dr. Estella Alonso is Medical Director of the Siragusa Transplant Center and provide leadership and support for the missions of the solid organ transplant programs, Associate Chair for Clinical Services for the Department of Pediatrics and Pediatric Executive Leader of the Ambulatory Leadership Committee at Ann and Robert H Lurie Children's Hospital. Her clinical practice includes treatment of all forms of chronic liver disease in childhood and management of children following liver transplantation. Her special areas of clinical focus include acute liver failure, complications of cirrhosis and withdrawal of immunosuppression following liver transplantation.

Dr. Alonso is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics, which jointly develops the Transplant Hepatology certification exam with ABIM.

She completed her medical degree at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and her residency in pediatrics at Northwestern University, McGaw Medical Center. She completed her fellowship in pediatric gastroenterology at the University of Chicago Hospital.

View my board certification status via ABMS Website

As of January 2017, Dr. Alonso reported no external relationships.

Maureen M. Jonas, MD

Dr. Jonas is Director of the Center for Childhood Liver Diseases at Boston Children's Hospital and Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. She is board certified in both Pediatric Gastroenterology and Pediatric Transplant Hepatology by the American Board of Pediatrics. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD).

Dr. Jonas has been a staff physician in the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Boston Children's Hospital since 1991. She was Medical Director of the Liver Transplant Program from 1991 to 2014, and Program Director for the Pediatric Transplant Hepatology Fellowship since 2010. She has been the Physician Quality Leader for the Pediatric Transplant Center since 2014. Prior to 1991, Dr. Jonas was in the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology at the University of Miami Jackson Memorial Hospital, where she served as Medical Director of the Pediatric Liver Transplant Program.

She is a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine Test and Policy Committee on Transplant Hepatology. Dr. Jonas has served on several committees of national organizations, including the Clinical Committee, the Practice Guidelines Committee and the Ethics Committee of the AASLD; the Training and Education Committee and the Executive Council of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition; and the Executive Committee of the Section on Pediatrics of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Dr. Jonas received a bachelor's degree in biology from Tufts University, and her medical degree from the University of Miami. She completed both her pediatrics residency and pediatric gastroenterology fellowship at Boston Children's Hospital.

View my board certification status via ABMS Website

As of January 2017, Dr. Jonas reported the following external relationships:

Funding for clinical trial expenses and staff, paid to Boston Children's Hospital, from the following companies:

  • AbbVie, providing funding for a clinical trial for treatment of hepatitis C in children.
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb, providing funding for randomized trials of entecavir for chronic hepatitis B in children.
  • Gilead Sciences, Inc., providing funding for two clinical trials of hepatitis C treatments in children.
  • Roche, providing funding for a trial of peginterferon for chronic hepatitis B in children.

Service on data and safety monitoring boards for the following company, with honoraria:

  • Gilead Sciences, Inc., serving as the chair of a data and safety monitoring board for a clinical trial of tenofovir for chronic hepatitis B in children.

Consulting on design of new drugs or devices, clinical trials, the use of specific agents or other research-related activities for the following company, with honoraria:

  • AbbVie, consulting on design of new clinical trial for hepatitis C in children.

Dr. Jonas reported receiving a donation of transient elastography from Echosens for several research studies.

Work as an author or editor for following companies, with compensation as listed:

  • Springer, receiving royalties from sales of a monograph.
  • UpToDate, receiving annual royalties.

Andrew P. Keaveny, MD

Dr. Keaveny is a Consultant Hepatologist in the Departments of Transplant and Internal Medicine and Medical Director of the Liver Transplant program at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. He is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science. He is board certified in Gastroenterology and Transplant Hepatology.

Previously, Dr. Keaveny was a member of the Section of Gastroenterology in the Department of Medicine at Boston University Medical Center.

Dr. Keaveny is a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine Test & Policy Committee on Transplant Hepatology. He has served on several committees in the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and was Chair of the Education Committee from 2015 to 2017. He was a member of the Liver and Intestine Advisory Council of the American Society of Transplantation from 2008 to 2012. He was the Program Director for the Transplant Hepatology Fellowship at Mayo Clinic Florida (MCF) from 2008 to 2013. He has received awards for teaching from the MCF Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology as well as the Internal Medicine Residency program. He was recognized for his contributions to the Transplant Hepatology Fellowship by receiving the Outstanding Course Director award in 2008 from the Mayo School of Continuous Professional Development. He is on the editorial boards of Hepatology, Liver Transplantation, and Annals of Hepatology. He was an Associate Editor of Clinical Liver Disease from 2011 to 2017. He is the author or co-author of over 60 peer-reviewed publications and edited the book, “Complications of Cirrhosis: Evaluation and Management”, published in 2015.

Dr. Keaveny received his medical degree from University College Dublin, Ireland. He completed internal medicine residencies in Dublin and Boston, and fellowships in gastroenterology and transplant hepatology at Boston University Medical Center and Lahey Clinic, respectively.

As of February 2018, Dr. Keaveny reported the following external relationships:

Funding for clinical trial expenses and staff, paid to the Mayo Clinic, from the following company:

  • Mallinckrodt, for a study to confirm the efficacy and safety of terlipressin in subjects with hepatorenal syndrome type 1, receiving funding for clinical trial expenses, staff and salary support.
  • Conatus Pharmaceuticals, for a study to assess the safety and efficacy of emricasan in subjects with decompensated non-alcoholic steatohepatits cirrhosis, receiving funding for clinical trial expenses, staff and salary support.

Work as an author or editor for following companies, with compensation as listed:

  • UpToDate, receiving compensation for authorship.
  • The American Association for the Study of Liver Disease, receiving compensation for work as an editor.
  • Springer, receiving compensation for work as an editor.

Hyung L. Kim-Schluger, MD

Dr. Kim-Schluger is board certified in Transplant Hepatology and Gastroenterology. She is the Associate Director of the Recanati/Miller Transplantation Institute and was named the Sydney J. Zweig Professor of Medicine.

Dr. Kim-Schluger's expertise is the management of liver transplant recipients, as well as on the natural course and treatment of hepatitis C. Among her research efforts have been studies that named to identify different treatment options for patients with hepatitis C virus infection, to better understand the course of hepatitis C after liver transplantation and to determine the best immunosuppressive drug regimens for liver transplant recipients. Dr. Kim-Schluger also has a special interest in the controversial issues and ethical dilemmas of organ allocation. She is a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine Test and Policy Committee on Transplant Hepatology.

She received her medical degree from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She completed an internship in internal medicine at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center-Harvard Medical School and her residency in internal medicine at the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. She completed her fellowship in gastroenterology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and fellowship in hepatology at the Mount Sinai Hospital.

As of January 2017, Dr. Kim-Schluger reported no external relationships.

Paul Y. Kwo, MD

Dr. Kwo is currently Professor of Medicine and Director of Hepatology at Stanford University. He is board certified in Gastroenterology and Transplant Hepatology.

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.

Dr. Kwo is a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine Test and Policy Committee on Transplant Hepatology. He is also a Trustee for the American College of Gastroenterology and serves on the Clinical Research Committee for the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease. He has won multiple awards, both at the university, local and national level.

He completed his undergraduate education at Oberlin College and his medical education at Wayne State University. His internal medicine training was at University of Maryland Medical System and his gastroenterology/hepatology training was at Mayo Clinic.

As of November 2017, Dr. Kwo reported the following external relationships:

Funding for clinical trial expenses and staff, paid to Stanford University, from the following companies:

  • Gilead, for a study to evaluate the safety, tolerability and efficacy of regimens in subjects with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, receiving funding for clinical trial expenses, staff and salary support
  • Allergan, for a study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of cenicriviroc for the treatment of liver fibrosis in adults with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, receiving funding for clinical trial expenses, staff and salary support.

Service on a research-related expert panel or advisory board for the following companies, with compensation for travel expenses and honoraria:

  • AbbVie, for an advisory board for hepatitis therapies.
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb, for an advisory board for hepatocellular cancer and liver fibrosis therapeutics.
  • Gilead, for an advisory board for hepatitis B and hepatitis C therapies.
  • Merck, for development of therapies for hepatitis C.
  • Conatus, for advisory board on a caspase inhibitor for liver disease.

Consulting on design of new drugs or devices, clinical trials, the use of specific agents or other research-related activities for the following company, with stock options:

  • Durect, for consulting work on novel therapy for chronic liver diseases.

Work funded by educational grants from industry, paid to Medscape, from the following company:

  • AbbVie, for management of hepatitis C in renal disease, receiving funding for expenses, staff and salary support.

Industry-supported continuing medical education supported by the following, with compensation for travel expenses and honoraria:

  • AbbVie, for hepatitis C resistance, funded by Chronic Liver Disease Foundation, receiving honoraria and reimbursement for travel expenses.
  • Gilead, for hepatitis B/nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, receiving honoraria and reimbursement for travel expenses.
  • Merck, for American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases/European Association for the Study of Liver meeting, hepatitis C education for primary care providers, receiving honoraria and reimbursement for travel expenses.

Dr. Kwo serves in significant roles with the following organization, receiving reimbursement or compensation as listed:

  • American College of Gastroenterology, Member of Board of Trustees, receiving reimbursement for travel expenses.

Cynthia Levy, MD

Dr. Levy is Program Director for the Transplant Hepatology Fellowship program at the University of Miami and Assistant Director of the Schiff Center for Liver Diseases. She is an Associate Professor of Medicine and is board certified in Gastroenterology and Transplant Hepatology.

Previously, Dr. Levy served as an Assistant Professor of Medicine with the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at the University of Florida and the Malcolm Randall VA Medical Center in Gainesville, Florida.

Dr. Levy is a member of the Steering Committee for the International Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis Study group and serves as the Chair for the TARGET-Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC) national registry. Dr. Levy currently serves as the Chair of the Clinical Research Committee for the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), is a member of the Scientific Program Committee and an elected member of the Nominating Committee for the AASLD. She participates in the writing group for the new AASLD Practice Guidance document for PBC. Additionally, Dr. Levy is a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine Test & Policy Committee on Transplant Hepatology.

Dr. Levy received her medical degree from Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. She completed house staff training both at her home university and subsequently at University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital, in Miami, Florida. Dr. Levy completed her gastroenterology fellowship at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and transplant hepatology fellowship at University of Florida, in Gainesville, Florida.

As of November 2017, Dr. Levy reported the following external relationships:

Funding for clinical trial expenses and staff, paid to the University of Miami, from the following companies:

  • Alynlam, for a randomized controlled trial evaluating a siRNA targeting ALAS1 mRNA for the treatment of acute hepatic porphyrias, receiving funding for clinical trial expenses, staff and salary support.
  • GlaxoSmithKline, for a study for patients with primary biliary cholangitis and pruritus, receiving funding for clinical trial expenses, staff and salary support.
  • CymaBay Therapeutics, for a study with a PPAR delta agonist for primary biliary cholangitis, receiving funding for clinical trial expenses, staff and salary support.
  • Gilead, for two clinical trials with FXR agonist, receiving funding for clinical trial expenses, staff and salary support.
  • Novartis, for a study with FXR agonist for primary biliary cholangitis, receiving funding for clinical trial expenses, staff and salary support.
  • Intercept, for two studies with FXR agonist for primary biliary cirrhosis and primary sclerosing cholangitis, receiving funding for clinical trial expenses, staff and salary support.
  • Allergan, for a study with cenicriviroc for primary sclerosing cholangitis, receiving funding for clinical trial expenses, staff and salary support.

Service on a research-related expert panel or advisory board for the following company, with compensation for travel expenses and honoraria:

  • Intercept, for obeticholic acid for the treatment of primary biliary cholangitis.

Consulting on design of new drugs or devices, clinical trials, the use of specific agents or other research-related activities for the following companies, with honoraria:

  • Cara Therapeutics, providing consultation regarding clinical trial development for the treatment of itching in patients with liver disease.
  • Novartis, providing consultation on clinical trial development for the treatment of primary biliary cholangitis.

Industry-supported continuing medical education supported by the following company, with compensation for travel expenses and honoraria:

  • Intercept, for programs through Medscape, continuing medical education conferences at meetings and universities, and disease education programs on primary biliary cholangitis diagnosis and management.

Work as an author or editor for following companies, with compensation as listed:

  • UpToDate, receiving compensation for work as an editor.

Dr. Levy serves in significant roles with the following organization, receiving reimbursement or compensation as listed:

  • American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, Chair of Clinical Research Committee, Member of the Nomination Committee, Member of Scientific Program Committee, without compensation.

Kymberly D. Watt, MD

Dr. Watt is board certified in Gastroenterology and Transplant Hepatology. She is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Watt is the Medical Director of the liver transplant program for the William J. von Leibig Center for Transplantation and Clinical Regeneration at Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Watt previously practiced hepatology and liver transplantation at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and assisted in restarting a liver transplant program in Atlantic Canada.

Dr. Watt is currently a committee member on the United Network for Organ Sharing Liver and Intestine Committee as well as the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD) research committee, the International Liver Transplant Society education committee and the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) nomination committee as well as serving as a women's representative on both AASLD and AGA committees. She is also a member of the American Board of Internal MedicineTest and Policy Committee on Transplant Hepatology.

Dr. Watt completed her bachelor's degree, medical degree, internal medicine residency and gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Manitoba and a transplant fellowship at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

As of January 2017. Dr. Watt reported the following external relationships:

Funding for clinical trial expenses and staff, paid to the Mayo Clinic, from the following companies:

  • Gilead Sciences, for four hepatitis C antiviral studies using sofosbuvir and ledipasvir.
  • Intercept Pharmaceuticals, for a trial of treatment of cirrhosis with obeticholic acid.