Col Stephen A. Harrison, MD, FAASLD

Dr. Stephen A. Harrison

Col Stephen A. Harrison, MD, FAASLD

Pinnacle Clinical Research and Summit Clinical Research in San Antonio

On April 23rd, 2024, we lost not just a giant in the field of Hepatology, but a loyal friend, steadfast leader, trusted collaborator, and dedicated mentor.  Col Stephen A. Harrison, MD meant a lot to many people.  His compassionate nature and genuine concern for others made him a cherished individual in both personal and professional circles. As an excellent doctor, Stephen demonstrated exceptional expertise and vision in Hepatology, providing extraordinary care to countless patients throughout his career. This included not only in his practice at home but also abroad during his deployment to Iraq where he cared for our service men and women and the people of the communities where he worked. 

Stephen had an enormous impact on the field of Hepatology, particularly in the areas of diagnosis and treatment of NASH/MASH. He has left an indelible mark on our professional community. The impact of his work is in part illustrated by over 55,000 citations to his published work and an h-index of 106, a level of achievement that very few reach at the end of a full career, let alone for someone who should have had so much more time to contribute.  He was a pioneer in the development of therapeutics to treat patients with MASH. He took part in the design of almost all therapeutic trials in advanced stages of development and was integral to the recent approval of the first drug to treat MASH, resmetirom (Rezdiffra). 

One of Stephen's most distinctive qualities was his tireless work ethic. He approached each day with an unmatched determination and a genuine passion for his work. His collaborative mindset fostered a culture of shared knowledge and expertise within the medical community.  His integrity was unwavering, and he upheld the highest ethical standards throughout his professional journey. For those of us who knew Stephen and worked with him, we always knew that his primary motivation was simply to do the right thing. 

Stephen A. Harrison was not only an incredible leader, researcher, mentor, and collaborator, but also a loyal friend to many. He will be remembered for his kindness and compassion. He had a genuine ability to connect with people on a personal level, offering support and comfort to those in need. Stephen's warmth and empathy created an environment of trust and understanding, making him a beloved figure among his patients, friends, and family. He was an immensely proud father.  We extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife Renee, daughter Anna-Lauren, and son Taylor, as well as to his many friends, colleagues, and patients during this difficult time. A testament to his dedication to his family is that he would go missing from our annual AASLD meeting for a day whenever the meeting overlapped with his daughter’s birthday, which it often did. 

May our many memories of him be a source of comfort and strength as we mourn his loss. May his legacy of selfless and unflagging commitment to excellence in patient care and research serve as aspirational goals for us all.   


Written by:

Mary E. Rinella, MD, FAASLD

Brent Tetri, MD, FAASLD

Elizabeth Brunt, MD, FAASLD