Liver Diseases Branch Clinical Fellows
Clinical Fellow Description
Clinical fellows join the Branch for a period of 2-3 years and in special circumstances, additional years may be available. For a total of 2-4 months each year, clinical fellows are responsible for the primary care of patients admitted to the Liver Service and performing hepatology consults within the NIH Clinical Center. The hepatology consult service receives more than 300 consult requests each year. During this period, which constitutes an active learning process in clinical hepatology and liver biopsy interpretation, clinical duties occupy approximately 20 - 50% of the fellow’s time, depending on the year of fellowship, the remainder being available for research activities. Fellows work closely with attending physicians drawn from the staff of the Liver Diseases Branch itself, from other NIH clinical units, and from other hospitals in the greater Washington area. Hence, fellows are exposed to a variety of approaches to the evaluation, diagnosis and management of a wide spectrum of clinical liver diseases. Fellows also participate in various events; in the weekly liver biopsy review conferences, radiology conference once a month, and monthly visiting professor rounds. Typically fellows also attend the annual AASLD meeting. There is also an active Washington inter-hospital Liver Journal Club, which meets every 2 weeks in the homes of senior hepatologists in the Washington area. In view of the active clinical training, when required, and under certain circumstances, the program can constitute partial fulfillment of requirements for Gastroenterology Boards. When not involved in the patient care responsibilities, each fellow is available for essentially full-time research on projects mutually agreeable to the Fellow and preceptor(s). Such projects may involve either full-time laboratory work or clinical investigation of patients. Except when the research project itself involves working with patients, the only clinical activities required during this period are attendance at the outpatient clinic and participation in weekly patient rounds. The fellows are encouraged to take courses offered by NIH on clinical research, biostatistics, epidemiology, clinical pharmacology, medical ethics, and bioinformatics, and have the opportunity to enroll in the NIH-Duke’s Master Program in Clinical Research, which provides a rigorous curriculum in clinical research and is fully funded by NIH.
Hepatology fellows are eligible for appointment in either the Civil Service or the Public Health Service. The salary of clinical fellows is based on post-graduate years and mechanism of appointment.
||Michele M. Tana, M.D.|
My research interests include: quality of life in patients with chronic liver disease, early detection of and prediction of HCC, PBC, and viral hepatitis.
||Niharika Samala, M.D.|
I was born and brought up in India. My pursuit for training in clinical research and liver diseases brought me to liver diseases branch at NIH.
My research interests include hepatitis E, role of immunity in liver disease and Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Hepatitis E has been known to be a disease of the non-developed world until a recent surge in reports of cases in developed countries. Appearance of chronic hepatitis E in immunocompromised hosts raises the need for treatment. My research aims at understanding the clinical impact of hepatitis E infection in the US. It is believed that it is not always the environmental trigger that results in disease, it is the host’s response to them that manifests as disease. I am interested in understanding the role of immunity in liver disease. I am particularly interested in liver disease in stem cell transplant patients. I am excited by the complexity of my question in this patient population. NASH interests me for several reasons. It affects a significant demographic of the developed countries. Its etiopathogenesis is not completely understood. We do not have a potent pharmacologic therapy yet.
||Hawwa Alao, M.D.|
The liver is unique not only for its regenerative ability. It supports almost every organ and is vital to human survival. It plays significant roles in host defense and immunity, detoxification, metabolism and protein synthesis. As it receives dual blood supply from the gut and systemic circulation, it is always exposed and prone to many diseases. These characteristics, amongst others not only fascinate me but also continue to be of great intellectual interest.
My research interest lies in how different disease states affect the physiological and immunological function of the liver leading to chronic liver disease. I am currently studying Sickle Cell liver disease as a model to identify biological and clinical factors that predict progression and regression of liver disease. I am also looking at how chemotherapeutic agents used in treating lymphoma affect the liver. My goal is to be able to apply my research findings to liver diseases around the world.
||Yun Ju Kim, M.D.|
My research interests focuses on two areas: Firstly, long-term hepatic complications from valvular heart disease and secondly chronic hepatitis C. Patients with congenital heart disease offer a window into unique and diverse hepatic complications. Hepatic complications of congenital heart disease are increasing as patients have increasing survival time. The recognition, evaluation and treatment of liver disease are important in preventing increased mortality associated with hepatic complications. Secondly, I am also interested in the treatment of hepatitis C. Specifically, I am intrigued by the genetic variations in patients with hepatitis C possibly influencing pathogenesis and response to treatment.
Page last updated: March 13, 2013