Lab Members

Our Staff

Photo of Jake Liang
M.D. – Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
Internal Medicine Residency – New York University/Bellevue Hospital Center, New York, NY
Gastroenterology Fellowship – Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
Photo of Edward Doo
Adjunct Investigator
M.D. – Cornell University Medical College, New York, NY
Internal Medicine Residency – The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, New York, NY
Marc Ghany.
M.D. – Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
Internal Medicine Residency – Hospital of St. Raphael, New Haven, CT
Gastroenterology Fellowship – Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA
Liver Diseases Fellowship – NIDDK, Bethesda, MD
M.H.Sc. – Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC
Photo of Theo Heller.
M.D. – University of Witwatersrand Medical school
Internal Medicine Residency – Georgetown University Hospital
Viral Hepatitis Fellowship – NIAID, Bethesda, MD
Gastroenterology Fellowship – University of Maryland School of Medicine
Liver Diseases Fellowship – NIDDK, Bethesda, MD
Photo of Jay Hoofnagle
M.D. – Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
Internal Medicine Residency – University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA
Internal Medicine Residency – VA Medical Center, Washington, DC
Gastroenterology Fellowship – VA Medical Center, Washington, DC
Dr. Christine Hsu, M.D.
M.D. – Sidney Kimmel Medical College (Jefferson Medical College)
Internal Medicine Residency – Boston University Medical Center
Gastroenterology and Hepatology Fellowship – Columbia University-New York Presbyterian Hospital
Transplant Hepatology Fellowship – Columbia University-New York Presbyterian Hospital
Transplant Hepatology Attending, Assistant Professor – University of Pennsylvania, Department of Gastroenterology
Transplant Hepatology Attending, Assistant Professor – Georgetown University, MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute
Photo of Christopher Koh.
M.D. – Saba University School of Medicine, Netherlands-Antilles
M.H.Sc. - Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC
Internal Medicine Residency – Harbor Hospital, Baltimore, MD 
Liver Diseases Fellowship – NIDDK, Bethesda, MD
Gastroenterology Fellowship – University of Maryland/NIH Scholars Program, Baltimore, MD & Bethesda, MD
Photo of Yaron Rotman
M.D. – Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel
M.Sc. – Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel
Internal Medicine Residency – Rabin Medical Center, Petach-Tiqwa, Israel
Gastroenterology Fellowship – Rabin Medical Center, Petach-Tiqwa, Israel
Liver Diseases Fellowship – NIDDK, Bethesda, MD
Photo of Averell Sherker
M.D. – Queens University Faculty of Health Sciences, Kingston, Canada
Internal Medicine Residency – Mt. Sinai Hosptial University, Toronto, Canada
Gastroenterology Fellowship – University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Liver Diseases Fellowship – Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Hepatology Clinical Fellows

Photo of Asif Hitawala.
Asif Hitawala, M.D.
Clinical Fellow

Education:

M.D. - Ravindra Nath Tagore Medical College, Udaipur, India
Residency - Fairview Hospital/Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH

I have always found liver to be one of the most fascinating organs of the body. While there are mechanical alternatives to heart and kidney failure such as left ventricular assist device or dialysis respectively, the only substitute for liver is another liver. Hence, I came to NIH to learn more about the mechanisms of liver fibrosis and find ways to prevent and reverse it.

My current research interests include Fontan associated liver disease, Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and non-cirrhotic portal hypertension.

Gian Rodriguez Franco, M.D.
Gian Rodriguez Franco, M.D.
Clinical Fellow

Education:

MD: Universidad Central del Caribe, Puerto Rico
Residency: VA Medical Center, San Juan, Puerto Rico

I have always been passionate about hepatology for several compelling reasons. The intricate nature of the liver and its vital role in the human body has always interested me. The liver serves as a metabolic powerhouse, detoxifying the body, producing essential proteins, and aiding in digestion. Its complexity offers me a constant challenge, and I find great satisfaction in studying the details of hepatic function. Hepatology also presents a unique opportunity to make a significant impact on patients' lives. Liver diseases can be life-threatening, and by specializing in this field at the NIH, I can contribute to the early diagnosis, effective management, and prevention of these conditions. Finally, it’s a rapidly evolving field which keeps me engaged and continually learning. New research and treatment options emerge regularly, making it a stimulating and dynamic specialty of medicine.

Dr. Harish Kumar Gopalakrishna Pillai.
Harish Kumar Gopalakrishna Pillai, M.D.
Clinical Fellow

Education: M.D – Government medical college Thiruvananthapuram, India
Internal Medicine Residency - Saint Agnes Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland

Managing patients with decompensated liver diseases and seeing the difficulties chronic liver disease patients go through, profoundly expanded my interest in hepatology. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to do a hepatology fellowship at the NIDDK. My current research interests include nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, hepatitis D and liver disease in bone marrow transplant recipients, their complications, diagnostics, and treatment options.

Dr. Maria Mironova.
Maria Mironova, M.D.
Clinical Fellow

Education:

M.D. – Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia
Internal Medicine Residency – Capital Health Regional Medical Center, Trenton, NJ

My interest in hepatology started in 2019 when I worked with an MIT research group on a data science project to curb the hepatitis A outbreak in the US. I was excited to see how the power of data could help patients whose liver disease conditions were accelerated by hepatitis A. In the residency, I continued to learn about novel medications and treatments that can prevent liver disease progression and decompensation. This growing curiosity brought me to the NIDDK, where I’m focusing on solving emerging problems in non-cirrhotic portal hypertension and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Clinical Specialists

Jaha Norman-Wheeler
Jaha Norman-Wheeler, BA, RN, CCRC
Supervisory Nurse Manager
T: 301-435-6122
F: 301-435-9160
F: 301-480-5329
Patricia Alcivar
Patricia Alcivar
Patient Care Coordinator
T: 301-435-6121
F: 301-435-9160
F: 301-480-5329
Jose Linan
Jose Linan
Patient Care Coordinator

T: 301-435-6121
F: 301-435-9160
F: 301-480-5329

Elenita Rivera
Elenita M. Rivera, BSN, RN
Research Nurse Specialist
T: 301-435-6125
F: 301-451-9160
F: 301-480-5329
Anna Liza Rivero
Anna Rivero, BSN, RN
Research Nurse Specialist

T: 301-451-7007
F: 301-435-9160
F: 301-480-5329

Shani C. Scott.
Shani C. Scott, BSN, RN
Research Nurse Specialist

T: 301-451-6983
F: 301-435-9160
F: 301-480-5329

Alaina Magnani, RN, Research Nurse Specialist
Alaina Magnani, RN
Research Nurse Specialist

T: 301-451-6984
F: 301-435-9160
F: 301-480-5329

Zahra Sarrafan-Chaharsoughi
Zahra Sarrafan-Chaharsoughi, MD
Research Assistant, M.D. – Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, School of Medicine, Yazd, Iran
T: 301-480-7057
F: 301-451-9160
F: 301-480-5329
Last Reviewed October 2023