Alexandria, VA – The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) Foundation, the largest private supporter of liver disease research and training in the United States, today announced its combined investment of over $2.2 million in Research and Career Development Awards, Abstract Awards, and its Emerging Liver Scholars (ELS) Program. The 2020 award recipients — selected from a highly competitive applicant pool — demonstrate both exceptional aptitude and deep interest in liver disease research and treatment. Their work will further advance the mission of the Foundation and hepatology as a medical specialty.

This year’s funding enables:

  • 24 researchers and clinicians to conduct innovative liver disease research and seek advanced hepatology training through Research and Career Development Awards.
  • 61 young investigators to receive Abstract Awards, which recognize their scientific excellence and promote professional development through an opportunity to present their research to a large, global audience at AASLD’s annual meeting, The Liver Meeting®.
  • 20 residents who have the potential for a career in academic medicine and who have not yet determined their long-term career goals an opportunity for learning, mentorship, and networking opportunities through the ELS Program, which encourages and welcomes future medical changemakers into the field of hepatology.

"Despite this year’s significantly challenging socioeconomic climate and its far-reaching impact on global communities, AASLD Foundation remains resolute in its mission of investing in innovative hepatology research and in the people who study and treat liver disease," said AASLD Foundation Chair, Bruce A. Luxon, MD, PhD, FAASLD. "This investment translates into vital research that informs favorable patient outcomes, bringing us closer to our vision of preventing and curing liver disease. AASLD Foundation continues to provide more funding of hepatology research and training than any other private organization in the United States, and we have the generosity of our donors to thank for that."

In 2020, AASLD Foundation’s donors continued to demonstrate the depths of their commitment as they rallied to provide unplanned funding. One of many examples of this collective generosity was reflected in funding received in support of innovative research in Autoimmune Hepatitis (AIH) and Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC). An anonymous donor, who established an AASLD Foundation AIH Fund in 2017, funded two additional AASLD Foundation Pilot Research Awards in AIH. Pilot Research Awards recognize highly innovative research ideas that have clear potential to produce high-impact results. Our donors’ commitment to our research community was also showcased when Dr. Lalit Gupta, a PSC research donor, opened the door to a collaborative funding source with PSC Partners Seeking a Cure. This made it possible for AASLD Foundation to fund a second PSC Pilot Award.

"Liver disease continues to be a critical healthcare issue in the United States and globally," explained Dr. Luxon. "Despite recent strides and successes in treatment, there is still much work to be done to get to a world without liver disease. Integral to the success of this vision will be a consistent, stable source of funding for those committed to finding cures and saving lives through novel and impactful research."

AASLD Foundation’s enduring financial investment in its awards program demonstrates its commitment to providing critical funding for liver research, securing education and training for those caring for people with liver disease, encouraging young investigators who are new to the field, and increasing access to trained providers.

To learn more about AASLD Foundation, and its 2020 award recipients, visit aasldfoundation.org

About AASLD Foundation
AASLD Foundation is the largest private supporter of liver disease research in the United States with more than $50 million awarded since 2000, together with AASLD. Its mission is to invest in innovative hepatology research and in the people who study and treat liver disease. Building upon the philanthropic legacy of AASLD, the Foundation does this by funding hepatology research and advanced hepatology training as well as by providing liver disease education for hepatologists, hepatology healthcare professionals and frontline healthcare professionals.