Beginner’s Guide to The Liver Meeting® 2019

By Oren Fix, MD, MSc, FAASLD

It’s natural to feel overwhelmed the first time you attend The Liver Meeting®. The meeting program is packed with overlapping sessions and the convention center is packed with thousands of people. If you don’t know where to begin, you’re feeling anxious or lost, or you just want some great advice, you’ve come to the right place. After you read this, you’ll understand why The Liver Meeting® is not only the premier place to learn about the latest advances in liver disease, but also the place to learn some of the basics, network with your peers and meet new people.

Plan Your Schedule in Advance

There is no single Liver Meeting® for everyone. The meeting is designed to have a lot happening at once because attendees have varying interests. There will inevitably be simultaneous sessions that you want to attend and you’ll have to make choices. But if you can’t decide or don’t want to, look at the suggested schedule in Table 1. Consider this your starting point. If you don’t want to make any more choices, go with this schedule and you won’t go wrong. For more tips, see Table 2.

Don’t Miss Trainee Day

This is a day of events programmed just for you (see Table 1). You’re going to want to go to these sessions.

Special Interest Groups and Other Unique Interests

If you have specific interests, take a look at the Special Interest Group (SIG) Programming in Table 3 as well as poster sessions and parallel sessions that match your interests. If you identify with or have interests in a unique group such as basic scientists, clinical researchers, pediatricians, hepatology associates or transplant surgeons, take a look at the sessions in Table 4 designed with you in mind.

Build time in your schedule to network and have fun

For many people, The Liver Meeting® is as much about creating connections and developing your network as it is about getting updates on hepatology research and clinical advances. As you make your way through the convention center crowd it may be hard to believe that the world of hepatology is relatively small. Networking at this meeting is critical to your career. Make an effort to meet new people, including your peers and AASLD leaders. These are people you will see again and again at future meetings, on the interview trail and throughout your career. The connections you make at this meeting can open doors to important opportunities, and can also lead to strong, lasting friendships. Take time to nurture these new relationships. You’re also going to want to take a break once in a while, meet up with friends or just relax and take it all in.

The following events are great opportunities for networking at The Liver Meeting®:

  • Trainee Reception: Friday, November 8, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm, Sheraton Boston Hotel Back Bay A/B Room
  • Opening Reception: Saturday, November 9, 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm, Hynes Exhibit Hall
  • AASLD Members’ Reception: Sunday, November 10, 7:30 pm - 11:00 pm, Boston Public Library


  • Table 1. The Ultimate Beginner’s Schedule for The Liver Meeting® 2019
  • Table 2. Tips for Your First Time at The Liver Meeting®
  • Table 3. Special Interest Group (SIG) Programming
  • Table 4. Programming for unique groups (basic scientists, clinical researchers, pediatricians, hepatology associates and transplant surgeons)

Make sure you review the Online Planner so you know where each session is located.

Friday, November 8: Trainee Day

  • Clinical Research Workshop: Microbiome as a Model of Clinical Research: From Stool to Study to Treatment
    9:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Career Development Workshop
    Learn about options for hepatology training and career tracks (clinical research, basic science, community-based, academics), finding a mentor, contract negotiations and work-life balance
    2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
  • Academic Debates
    Don’t miss this audience favorite! Watch hepatology fellows debate controversial topics in a fun and stimulating session. Expert panelists will keep the debate teams on their toes and the audience will decide the winners!
    4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
  • Trainee Reception
    Meet members of the AASLD Governing Board and other leaders and trainees at a reception just for you.
    7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Saturday, November 9

Sunday, November 10

  • Transplant Plenary I
    8:00 am – 9:30 am
  • Thomas E. Starzl Transplant Surgery State-of-the-Art Lecture: Clinical vs Science in Personalizing Immunosuppression
    Speaker: Abraham Shaked, MD, PhD
    9:30 am – 10:00 am
  • General Hepatology Update
    10:30 am – 12:00 pm
  • #LiverTwitter: An Emerging Tool for Liver Education and Research
    2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
  • Presidential Address
    3:45 pm – 4:00 pm
  • President’s Choice Lecture: TBD
    Speaker: Tadataka Yamada, MD
    4:00 pm – 4:30 pm
  • AASLD Members' Reception
    Boston Public Library
    7:30 pm – 11:00 pm

Monday, November 11

  • Presidential Plenary (Clinical)
    8:00 am – 9:30 am
  • Distinguished Award Presentations: (Distinguished Service, Achievement, and Clinician Educator/Mentor Awards)
    9:30 am – 10:00 am
  • Hyman J. Zimmerman Hepatotoxicity State-of-the-Art Lecture: Genetic Susceptibility to Drug-Induced Liver Injury
    Speaker: Ann Daly
    10:00 am – 10:30 am
  • Advances for Practitioners: New AASLD Guidelines: A Summary of New Recommendations for HCC, PBC and Alcohol-Related Liver Disease
    10:30 am – 12:30 pm
  • Emerging Trends Symposium: Microelimination of Viral Hepatitis: Positive Use in Organ Transplantation (Transplantation from HCV-positive donors to HCV-negative recipients)
    2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
  • Women's Health Program: Pregnancy in Liver Disease
    4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Tuesday, November 12

  • Late-breaking Oral Abstract Session II
    8:00 am – 9:00 am
  • Presidential Plenary (Translational)
    9:00 am – 10:30 am
  • Leon Schiff State-of-the-Art Lecture: Molecular Pathogenesis and Management of Hepatocellular Carcinoma
    Speaker: Josep Llovet, MD, FAASLD
    10:30 am – 11:00 am
  • Hepatitis Debrief
    Speaker: Marc Ghany, MD, FAASLD
    11:30 am – 12:00 pm
  • NAFLD Debrief
    Speaker: Kathleen E. Corey, MD, MPH, MMSc
    12:00 pm – 12:30 pm
  • Clinical Hepatology Debrief
    Speaker: Michael R. Charlton, MD, FRCP
    12:30 pm – 1:00 pm