Rotonya M. Carr, MD
University of Pennsylvania Medical Center
Philadelphia, PA

What inspired you to choose hepatology?
I chose to practice hepatology because it is a wonderful combination of all of the things I love: liver disease, care of patients with chronic disease, complex physiology, and metabolism. I also saw opportunities to engage in prevention of advanced liver disease with novel approaches to care.

What is your professional area of focus?
I am a physician-scientist who primarily cares for hepatology patients with fatty liver diseases. My lab focuses on investigating how the lipid droplet organelle and lipid metabolites promote non-alcoholic and alcoholic fatty liver diseases.

What moment(s) in your career have you been most proud of?
I am most proud of being recognized by Cell as one of the top 1000 inspiring Black scientists in the US.

Did you have a mentor(s)? How was mentorship impactful for your career ? Are you a mentor?
I have had several mentors throughout my medical career. My mentors have helped me navigate clinical hepatology, research, and my own professional advancement. I have been fortunate to mentor a number of mentees who span from high school students to junior faculty.

What are some of the challenges facing hepatologists today? How do you think some of these issues can be addressed?
One of the biggest challenges facing hepatologists today is figuring out how to apply newer state of the art technological advancements to the care of our patients. While hepatology research has kept pace with other fields, the development of personalized strategies to care for our patients has lagged. I anticipate, however, that in the next few years, we will see a shift wherein we understand how to use the clinical, physiologic, genetic, biomarker, and biometric data to inform how to best care for the patient sitting in front of us. Applying these tools to early disease diagnosis and prevention will be important components of hepatology care. Addressing this challenge will require real-time, point-of-care collaboration among patients, clinicians, and scientists.

What’s a piece of advice (career or personal) you’ve received that has been helpful for you?
One of the best pieces of advice I have received is to create the future I want and work backwards to ensure it becomes reality.

Why is your AASLD membership important to you?
The AASLD is where I stay up-to-date on hepatology breakthroughs, establish life-long professional relationships, and contribute creatively to preventing and curing liver disease.

What motivated you to donate to the AASLD Foundation? Why is the AASLD Foundation important to you?
I donate to the AASLD Foundation each year because I believe that we all must contribute what we can to support researchers, trainee education, and APP professional development. As a member of the Research Awards Committee, I would love to see the day when we have enough to fund all of our competitive applicants.

When you’re not working, what do you like to do?
Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my husband and two children, volunteering with community-based organizations, going on long walks, and going to musical and theatrical performances.

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Photo of Rotonya M. Carr, MD

Dr. Carr works at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center.