Abdominal Transplant Fellowship »  Faculty »  Hepatology »  Jennifer C. Lai, M.D., M.B.A.

Jennifer C. Lai, M.D., M.B.A.

Assistant Professor of Medicine
General Hepatology and Liver Transplantation
Department of Medicine

Contact Information

Academic Office
Division of Gastroenterology
513 Parnassus Avenue, Room S-357
San Francisco, CA 94143-0358
(415) 476-6422 - Phone
(415) 476-0659 - Fax
Jennifer.Lai@ucsf.edu
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  • Stanford University, BS, Biology, 1996-2000
  • Tufts University School of Medicine, MD, MBA, 2001-2005
  • New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia, Intern, Internal Medicine, 2005-2006
  • New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia, Resident, Internal Medicine, 2006-2008
  • University of California, San Francisco, Fellow, Gastroenterology, 2008-2011
  • University of California, San Francisco, Fellow, Transplant Hepatology, 2011-2012
  • University of California, San Francisco, Advanced Training in Clinical Research, 2009-2010
  • American Board of Internal Medicine
  • American Board of Internal Medicine - Gastroenterology
  • UCSF Liver Center
  • Alcoholic Liver Disease
  • Autoimmune Hepatitis
  • Cirrhosis
  • Drug-Induced Hepatitis
  • Fulminant Hepatic Failure
  • Hemochromatosis
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Hepatocellular Carcinoma (Liver Cancer)
  • Liver Transplantation
  • Living Donor Liver Transplantation
  • Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
  • Polycystic Liver Disease
  • Primary Biliary Cirrhosis
  • Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis
  • Hepatitis C virus (HCV)
  • Impact of function status in patients on the liver-transplant waiting list
  • Patterns of donor liver allocation and liver transplant outcomes

Dr. Jennifer C. Lai is a general and transplant hepatologist, specializing in treating patients with chronic viral hepatitis (both B and C), autoimmune disorders, and those with end-stage liver disease needing liver transplantation. 

After earning her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and combined MD/MBA degrees from Tufts University, she completed residency at the New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia and gastroenterology and advanced/transplant hepatology fellowships at UCSF. She is a member of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, American Society of Transplantation, American Gastroenterological Association, and American College of Gastroenterology. She has been recognized as a Fellow of the American College of Physicians (FACP). Dr. Lai is board certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology. 

  • Clinical Science Career Development Award, American Society of Transplantation, 2016
  • AST/Novartis Faculty Development Award (grant), American Society of Transplantation, 2016-2017
  • New Investigator Award, American Geriatrics Society, 2015
  • Young Investigator Award, International Liver Transplantation Society, 2015
  • Associate Scholar Genius Award (grant), UCSF Pepper Center, 2014-2015
  • Paul B. Beeson Scholar in Aging Research (grant), American Federation for Aging Research, 2014-2019
  • Pilot for Junior Investigator Award (grant), UCSF Resource Allocation Program, 2013-2014
  • T. Franklin Williams Scholar (grant), Association of Specialty Professors, 2013-2015
  • Pilot/Feasibility Award (grant), UCSF Liver Center, 2013-2014
  • Pilot Award in Aging Research (grant), UCSF Pepper Center, 2013-2014
  • Fellow, American College of Physicians, 2012-curr
  • Junior Faculty Career Development Award (grant), American College of Gastroenterology, 2012-2015
  • Vanguard Award, International Liver Transplantation Society, 2011
  • Clinical Research Award (grant), American College of Gastrenterology, 2011-2012
  • Transplant Hepatology Fellowship (grant), American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, 2011-2012
  • Sylvia Allison Kaplan Clinical Research Award (grant), Northern California Kaiser Permanente, 2009-2010
  • Alpha Omega Alpha, Tufts University School of Medicine, 2005
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Dr. Lai has engaged in research investigating clinical outcomes in patients with chronic liver disease. Her research focuses on three main areas:

1) Understanding the impact of functional status and physiologic reserve (i.e., frailty) in patients with cirrhosis awaiting liver transplantation (actively enrolling)

2) Evaluating the association between chronic hepatitis C and systemic inflammation with Vitamin D status and bone mineral density (actively enrolling)

3) Characterizing patterns of liver allocation and distribution and their association with liver transplant outcomes (both pre- and post-transplant) on a national level

Most recent publications from a total of 48
  1. Clinical Liver Disease. A framework to determine when liver transplantation is futile. 2016; 8:137-9. View in PubMed
  2. Pavasini R, Guralnik J, Brown JC, di Bari M, Cesari M, Landi F, Vaes B, Legrand D, Verghese J, Wang C, Stenholm S, Ferrucci L, Lai JC, Bartes AA, Espaulella J, Ferrer M, Lim JY, Ensrud KE, Cawthon P, Turusheva A, Frolova E, Rolland Y, Lauwers V, Corsonello A, Kirk GD, Ferrari R, Volpato S, Campo G. Short Physical Performance Battery and all-cause mortality: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Med. 2016 Dec 22; 14(1):215. View in PubMed
  3. Kuo SZ, Haftek M, Lai JC. Factors Associated with Medication Non-adherence in Patients with End-Stage Liver Disease. Dig Dis Sci. 2016 Dec 08. View in PubMed
  4. Salazar J, Saxena V, Kahn JG, Roberts JP, Mehta N, Volk M, Lai JC. Cost-Effectiveness of Direct-Acting Anti-viral Treatment in Hepatitis C-infected Liver Transplant Candidates with Compensated Cirrhosis and Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Transplantation. 2016 Dec 06. View in PubMed
  5. Lai JC. Editorial: Advancing Adoption of Frailty to Improve the Care of Patients with Cirrhosis: Time for a Consensus on a Frailty Index. Am J Gastroenterol. 2016 Dec; 111(12):1776-1777. View in PubMed
  6. Samoylova ML, Covinsky KE, Haftek M, Kuo S, Roberts JP, Lai JC. Disability in Patients with End-Stage Liver Disease: Results from the Functional Assessment in Liver Transplantation (FrAILT) Study. Liver Transpl. 2016 Nov 24. View in PubMed
  7. Giard JM, Decker KA, Lai JC, Gill RM, Logan AC, Fix OK. Acute Liver Failure Secondary to Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis during Pregnancy. ACG Case Rep J. 2016 Aug; 3(4):e162. View in PubMed
  8. Bajaj JS, O'Leary JG, Tandon P, Wong F, Garcia-Tsao G, Kamath PS, Maliakkal B, Biggins SW, Thuluvath P, Fallon MB, Subramanian RM, Vargas HE, Lai J, Thacker LR, Reddy KR. Hepatic Encephalopathy Remains an Important Independent Determinant of Mortality in Cirrhosis: A Multi-Center NACSELD Experience. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2016 Oct 5. View in PubMed
  9. Kathpalia P, Smith A, Lai JC. Underutilization of palliative care services in the liver transplant population. World J Transplant. 2016 Sep 24; 6(3):594-8. View in PubMed
  10. Lai JC, Volk ML, Strasburg D, Alexander N. Performance-based measures associate with frailty in patients with end-stage liver disease. Transplantation. 2016 Aug 5. View in PubMed
  11. View All Publications
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