AASLD Awards the Inaugural Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program Hepatology Award to Dr. Ashley L. Spann

Alexandria, VA – As part of AASLD’s commitment to championing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within the field of hepatology, AASLD is pleased to announce the inaugural recipient of the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program Hepatology Award, Ashley L. Spann, MD, MSACI of Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Dr. Spann is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition with a secondary appointment in the Department of Biomedical Informatics. She is a practicing transplant hepatologist who focuses on management of complications related to end stage liver disease.  

AASLD President Ray Kim, MD, MBA, FAASLD states, “AASLD is devoted to doing our part to address disparities in the hepatology field and this Amos award reflects our strong commitment to prioritizing diverse leadership and research achievement. Dr. Spann will undoubtedly inspire other underrepresented groups in hepatology, and we are excited to see the impact she will have over the next four years.” 

“This award goes beyond me. It’s up to us to think about how we can improve those disparities and one of the biggest things that we know is that we need to be able to have a representative workforce of our patient population. AASLD supporting these types of efforts is incredibly important and impactful for the community,” Dr. Spann said. 

As a clinical informaticist and physician scientist, Dr. Spann is the Director of Clinical Research Informatics for the Gastroenterology Division and has published and presented at both national and international meetings on methodologies and best practices for leveraging informatics techniques and artificial intelligence for the management of patients with chronic liver diseases. Dr. Spann hopes to utilize informatics and artificial intelligence to detect disparities that we may not be aware of. 

“I think this award will provide me with the kind of infrastructure to show that we can develop and design informatics space solutions for chronic liver disease care that can launch what we do at a broader scale in a faster and more efficient manner. I hope we can leverage this technology for not only for steatotic liver disease, but many other chronic disease conditions that we take care of.” 

In 2023, AASLD announced its partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program, a program that provides research funding for postdoctoral scholars from historically marginalized backgrounds. With AASLD’s contribution, the program aims to increase the number of scholars from underrepresented groups in the field of hepatology with academic and research appointments. 

“As part of our strategic initiative, AASLD is incredibly proud to establish this unprecedented award opportunity that provides funding that will directly support an underrepresented minority faculty hepatologist,” said Dr. Kim. 

Learn more about the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program Hepatology Award