Meet the Scientific Advisory Council


Ira Jacobson, M.D.

Ira Jacobson, M.D. (Chair)

Dr. Jacobson, Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Vincent Astor Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, and Attending Physician, New York Presbyterian Hospital, is a world-renowned expert in Hepatology and Liver Disease. Dr. Jacobson graduated summa cum laude from Yale University and received his medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Jacobson completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the University of California in San Francisco, where he received his Internal Medicine Board Certification. He then completed a fellowship in Gastroenterology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School and received his Gastroenterology Board Certification the following year.

In addition to serving as Chief of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Dr. Jacobson has an active practice and serves as a site, national, or global principal investigator on many important trials involving antiviral therapy for both hepatitis B and C. Dr. Jacobson has published two of the leading textbooks in his field: ERCP and Its Applications, Lippencott and Raven, 1998, and ERCP Diagnostic and Therapeutic Applications, Elsevier, 1989. He has given numerous lectures and presentations, seminars and study groups nationally and internationally.

Nezam Afdhal, M.D.

Nezam Afdhal, M.D.

Nezam H. Afdhal, MD, is Chief of Hepatology and director of the Liver Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. He is also Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Afdhal received his medical degree from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and did fellowship training at University College Dublin and at Boston University School of Medicine.

Dr. Afdhal’s clinical expertise focuses on the management of the complications of liver disease, including cirrhosis and portal hypertension. He is the director of a clinical trials group focusing on novel treatments of hepatitis B and C, liver fibrosis, and NASH. Additional research interests include basic and translational research in gallstone disease, liver cancer, and liver fibrosis. His research is funded by multiple NIH, industry, and foundation grants.

Dr. Afdhal has served on multiple state and national advisory boards for liver disease. He has also served on the Editorial Boards of and as a reviewer for multiple journals. Dr. Afdhal has published more than 180 papers in journals such as New England Journal of Medicine, Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Gut, and Journal of Hepatology, as well as 30 book chapters and 2 books. He is the editor for Journal of Viral Hepatitis, and has spoken nationally and internationally on chronic liver disease. His many awards include the American Liver Foundation Award for Excellence, a Fullbright Scholarship, and the Mitchell Lectureship of the Royal College of Physicians.

Christine Kerr, M.D.

Christine Kerr, M.D.

Christine Kerr, M.D., is the Director of Specialty Care and Medical Director, HIV and Hepatitis Program, at Hudson River HealthCare in Hudson Valley, NY. Dr. Kerr oversees clinical care, quality assessment and improvement, and educational activities for a practice that advances the care of highly underserved patients. She leads program innovation to provide high quality, coordinated specialty care in the primary care setting for those who are outside the reach of traditional specialty care.

Dr. Kerr is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease with the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Kerr completed her Residency and chief residency in Internal Medicine at Brown University, Rhode Island Hospital, and completed a fellowship in Infectious Disease at Harvard University, Beth Israel Deaconess.

Fred Poordad, M.D.

Fred Poordad, M.D.

Fred Poordad, M.D., is Vice President of Academic and Clinical Affairs at The Texas Liver Institute and a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the San Antonio University of Texas Health Science Center. Dr. Poordad received his bachelor and medical doctorate at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. He completed his residency in internal medicine at St. Thomas Medical Center and Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine. Dr. Poordad then completed fellowships in gastroenterology at the University of South Carolina and in hepatology/liver transplantation at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Dr. Poordad serves on educational committees for the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease, the American Society of Transplantation, and the American College of Gastroenterology. He is involved in developing practice guidelines for liver disease through these societies. He is on the editorial board of several journals, and is a regular peer reviewer for multiple journals, as well as for the AGA and AASLD annual meetings.

Dr. Poordad is a clinical researcher and is considered a leading authority in viral hepatitis, fatty liver disease and liver transplantation. He is one of the medical directors of clinical research trials at the Texas Liver Institute, one of the largest research units in the United States. Dr. Poordad has authored over 250 publications, including journal articles, numerous book chapters and abstracts at scientific meetings. Dr. Poordad lectures both nationally and internationally on the topic of liver disease and transplantation.

Mark Sulkowski

Mark Sulkowski, M.D.

Mark S. Sulkowski, MD is an Associate Professor of Medicine and serves as the Medical Director of the Viral Hepatitis Center in the Divisions of Infectious Diseases and Gastroenterology/Hepatology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. He received his medical doctorate from Temple University School of Medicine, and completed his Fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Dr. Sulkowski has been the principal investigator for numerous clinical trials related to the management of viral hepatitis including novel agents. He is the co-investigator for adult patients at the Johns Hopkins site of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) Hepatitis B Clinical Research Network as well as the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Adult AIDS Clinical Trials Group.

Dr. Sulkowski is widely published with works in Annals of Internal Medicine, Nature, New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, Journal of Infectious Diseases, and Hepatology. As an invited lecturer, he has presented discussions of the management of viral hepatitis at numerous, major national and international medical meetings.