Faculty ProfilesJennifer Lai, MD
513 Parnassus Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94117
Dr. Lai is a general and transplant hepatologist who specializes in caring for patients with chronic viral hepatitis, autoimmune disorders, and cirrhosis, particularly those awaiting liver transplantation.
Her academic mission is to improve the lives of patients with end-stage liver disease through the application of core principles of geriatrics into the care of patients with cirrhosis. Examples of these principles include assessing and reversing physical frailty, reducing polypharmacy, and integrating palliative care into liver transplantation. She is principal investigator of the NIH-funded Functional Assessment in Liver Transplantation (FrAILT) Study, which is actively enrolling patients with end-stage liver disease awaiting liver transplantation for assessments of physical frailty both before and after liver transplantation.
After earning her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and combined MD/MBA degrees from Tufts University, she completed residency at the New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia and gastroenterology and advanced/transplant hepatology fellowships at UCSF. She is a member of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, American Society of Transplantation, American Gastroenterological Association, American College of Gastroenterology, and International Liver Transplantation Society. She has been recognized as a Fellow of the American Society of Transplantation (FAST). She serves as Associate Editor for the American Journal of Transplantation and for Transplantation, and is a member for the Editorial Boards for Hepatology and for Liver Transplantation. She served as Chair of the American Society of Transplantation Liver and Intestinal Community of Practice from 2016-2018.
Education and Training
|Location||Degree or Training||Specialty||Date|
|UCSF||Fellowship in Advanced/Transplant Hepatology||2012|
|UCSF||Fellowship in Gastroenterology||2011|
|UCSF||Advanced Training in Clinical Research||2010|
|Columbia University Medical Center||Internship/Residency||Department of Medicine||2008|
|Tufts University School of Medicine||M.D./M.B.A.||School of Medicine||2005|
Awards and Honors
AST/Novartis Faculty Development Award (grant), American Society of Transplantation, 2016-2017
Clinical Science Career Development Award, American Society of Transplantation, 2016
New Investigator Award, American Geriatrics Society, 2015
Young Investigator Award, International Liver Transplantation Society, 2015
Paul B. Beeson Scholar in Aging Research (grant), American Federation for Aging Research, 2014-2019
Associate Scholar Genius Award (grant), UCSF Pepper Center, 2014-2015
T. Franklin Williams Scholar (grant), Association of Specialty Professors, 2013-2015
Pilot/Feasibility Award (grant), UCSF Liver Center, 2013-2014
Pilot Award in Aging Research (grant), UCSF Pepper Center, 2013-2014
Pilot for Junior Investigator Award (grant), UCSF Resource Allocation Program, 2013-2014
Fellow, American College of Physicians, 2012-curr
Junior Faculty Career Development Award (grant), American College of Gastroenterology, 2012-2015
Transplant Hepatology Fellowship (grant), American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, 2011-2012
Clinical Research Award (grant), American College of Gastrenterology, 2011-2012
Vanguard Award, International Liver Transplantation Society, 2011
Sylvia Allison Kaplan Clinical Research Award (grant), Northern California Kaiser Permanente, 2009-2010
Alpha Omega Alpha, Tufts University School of Medicine, 2005
Related Web Sites
In the News
- Dr. Lai Selected as a Top 40 under 40 Bay Area Leader (Mar 20, 2015)
- Frailty Predicts Wait-list Mortality in Liver Transplant Candidates: Most accessed articles of 2014 in the American Journal of Transplantation (Dec 26, 2014)
- Most Liver Transplant Candidates Receive Donation Offers (Oct 22, 2014)
- Most Liver Transplant Candidates Receive Donation Offers (Oct 22, 2012)
- Liver graft quality significantly poorer with female vs male donors (Nov 03, 2010)
Recent Articles (70)
Bajaj JS, Tandon P, O'Leary JG, Biggins SW, Wong F, Kamath PS, Garcia-Tsao G, Maliakkal B, Lai JC, Fallon M, Thuluvath P, Vargas HE, Subramanian RM, Thacker LR, Reddy KR. The Impact of Albumin Use on Resolution of Hyponatremia in Hospitalized Patients With Cirrhosis. Am J Gastroenterol. 2018 Jun 08.
Bajaj JS, Moreau R, Kamath PS, Vargas HE, Arroyo V, Reddy KR, Szabo G, Tandon P, Olson J, Karvellas C, Gustot T, Lai JC, Wong F. Acute-on-Chronic Liver Failure: Getting ready for prime-time. Hepatology. 2018 Apr 24.
Puchades L, Chau S, Dodson JA, Mohamad Y, Mustain R, Lebsack A, Aguilera V, Prieto M, Lai JC. Association of Cardiac Abnormalities to the Frail Phenotype in Cirrhotic Patients on the Waitlist: From the Functional Assessment in Liver Transplantation Study. Transplantation. 2018 Mar; 102(3):e101-e107.
Reuter B, Walter K, Bissonnette J, Leise MD, Lai J, Tandon P, Kamath PS, Biggins SW, Rose CF, Wade JB, Bajaj JS. Assessment of the Spectrum of Hepatic Encephalopathy: A Multi-Center Study. Liver Transpl. 2018 Feb 19.
O'Leary JG, Reddy KR, Garcia-Tsao G, Biggins SW, Wong F, Fallon MB, Subramanian RM, Kamath PS, Thuluvath P, Vargas HE, Maliakkal B, Tandon P, Lai J, Thacker LR, Bajaj JS. NACSELD Acute-on-Chronic Liver Failure (NACSELD-ACLF) Score Predicts 30-Day Survival in Hospitalized Patients with Cirrhosis. Hepatology. 2018 Jan 08.
Bajaj JS, Rajender Reddy K, Tandon P, Wong F, Kamath PS, Biggins SW, Garcia-Tsao G, Fallon M, Maliakkal B, Lai J, Vargas HE, Subramanian RM, Thuluvath P, Thacker LR, O'Leary JG. Prediction of Fungal Infection Development and Their Impact on Survival Using the NACSELD Cohort. Am J Gastroenterol. 2018 Apr; 113(4):556-563.
Lai JC, Covinsky KE, McCulloch CE, Feng S. The Liver Frailty Index Improves Mortality Prediction of the Subjective Clinician Assessment in Patients With Cirrhosis. Am J Gastroenterol. 2018 Feb; 113(2):235-242.
Fleming JN, Lai JC, Te HS, Said A, Spengler EK, Rogal SS. Opioid and opioid substitution therapy in liver transplant candidates: A survey of center policies and practices. Clin Transplant. 2017 Dec; 31(12).
Spengler EK, O'Leary JG, Te HS, Rogal S, Pillai AA, Al-Osaimi A, Desai A, Fleming JN, Ganger D, Seetharam A, Tsoulfas G, Montenovo M, Lai JC. Liver Transplantation in the Obese Cirrhotic Patient. Transplantation. 2017 10; 101(10):2288-2296.
Lai JC, Covinsky KE, Dodge JL, Boscardin WJ, Segev DL, Roberts JP, Feng S. Development of a novel frailty index to predict mortality in patients with end-stage liver disease. Hepatology. 2017 08; 66(2):564-574.
Salazar J, Saxena V, Kahn JG, Roberts JP, Mehta N, Volk M, Lai JC. Cost-Effectiveness of Direct-Acting Antiviral Treatment in Hepatitis C-Infected Liver Transplant Candidates With Compensated Cirrhosis and Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Transplantation. 2017 05; 101(5):1001-1008.
Samoylova ML, Covinsky KE, Haftek M, Kuo S, Roberts JP, Lai JC. Disability in patients with end-stage liver disease: Results from the functional assessment in liver transplantation study. Liver Transpl. 2017 03; 23(3):292-298.
Sinclair M, Poltavskiy E, Dodge JL, Lai JC. Frailty is independently associated with increased hospitalisation days in patients on the liver transplant waitlist. World J Gastroenterol. 2017 Feb 07; 23(5):899-905.
Clinical Liver Disease. A framework to determine when liver transplantation is futile. 2016; 8:137-9.
Pavasini R, Guralnik J, Brown JC, di Bari M, Cesari M, Landi F, Vaes B, Legrand D, Verghese J, Wang C, Stenholm S, Ferrucci L, Lai JC, Bartes AA, Espaulella J, Ferrer M, Lim JY, Ensrud KE, Cawthon P, Turusheva A, Frolova E, Rolland Y, Lauwers V, Corsonello A, Kirk GD, Ferrari R, Volpato S, Campo G. Short Physical Performance Battery and all-cause mortality: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Med. 2016 Dec 22; 14(1):215.
Bajaj JS, O'Leary JG, Tandon P, Wong F, Garcia-Tsao G, Kamath PS, Maliakkal B, Biggins SW, Thuluvath PJ, Fallon MB, Subramanian RM, Vargas HE, Lai J, Thacker LR, Reddy KR. Hepatic Encephalopathy Is Associated With Mortality in Patients With Cirrhosis Independent of Other Extrahepatic Organ Failures. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2017 Apr; 15(4):565-574.e4.
Wang CW, Feng S, Covinsky KE, Hayssen H, Zhou LQ, Yeh BM, Lai JC. A Comparison of Muscle Function, Mass, and Quality in Liver Transplant Candidates: Results From the Functional Assessment in Liver Transplantation Study. Transplantation. 2016 Aug; 100(8):1692-8.
Lai JC, Covinsky KE, Hayssen H, Lizaola B, Dodge J, Roberts JP, Terrault NA, Feng S. Response to clinical assessments of health status as a potential marker to identify patients who are too sick to undergo transplantation. Liver Int. 2016 Apr; 36(4):611.
Lai JC, Dodge JL, Sen S, Covinsky K, Feng S. Functional decline in patients with cirrhosis awaiting liver transplantation: Results from the functional assessment in liver transplantation (FrAILT) study. Hepatology. 2016 Feb; 63(2):574-80.
Wang CW, Covinsky KE, Feng S, Hayssen H, Segev DL, Lai JC. Functional impairment in older liver transplantation candidates: From the functional assessment in liver transplantation study. Liver Transpl. 2015 Dec; 21(12):1465-70.
Campos-Varela I, Lai JC, Verna EC, O'Leary JG, Todd Stravitz R, Forman LM, Trotter JF, Brown RS, Terrault NA. Hepatitis C genotype influences post-liver transplant outcomes. Transplantation. 2015 Apr; 99(4):835-40.
Lai JC, Bikle DD, Lizaola B, Hayssen H, Terrault NA, Schwartz JB. Total 25(OH) vitamin D, free 25(OH) vitamin D and markers of bone turnover in cirrhotics with and without synthetic dysfunction. Liver Int. 2015 Oct; 35(10):2294-300.
Lai JC, Covinsky KE, Hayssen H, Lizaola B, Dodge JL, Roberts JP, Terrault NA, Feng S. Clinician assessments of health status predict mortality in patients with end-stage liver disease awaiting liver transplantation. Liver Int. 2015 Sep; 35(9):2167-73.
Lai JC, Shoback DM, Zipperstein J, Lizaola B, Tseng S, Terrault NA. Bone Mineral Density, Bone Turnover, and Systemic Inflammation in Non-cirrhotics with Chronic Hepatitis C. Dig Dis Sci. 2015 Jun; 60(6):1813-9.
Sharpton SR, Feng S, Hameed B, Yao F, Lai JC. Combined effects of recipient age and model for end-stage liver disease score on liver transplantation outcomes. Transplantation. 2014 Sep 15; 98(5):557-62.
Schwartz JB, Lai J, Lizaola B, Kane L, Markova S, Weyland P, Terrault NA, Stotland N, Bikle D. A comparison of measured and calculated free 25(OH) vitamin D levels in clinical populations. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014 May; 99(5):1631-7.
Schwartz JB, Lai J, Lizaola B, Kane L, Weyland P, Terrault NA, Stotland N, Bikle D. Variability in free 25(OH) vitamin D levels in clinical populations. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2014 Oct; 144 Pt A:156-8.
Lai JC, Kahn JG, Tavakol M, Peters MG, Roberts JP. Reducing infection transmission in solid organ transplantation through donor nucleic acid testing: a cost-effectiveness analysis. Am J Transplant. 2013 Oct; 13(10):2611-8.
Saxena V, Lai JC, O'Leary JG, Verna EC, Brown RS, Stravitz RT, Trotter JF, Krishnan K, Terrault NA. Recipient-donor race mismatch for African American liver transplant patients with chronic hepatitis C. Liver Transpl. 2012 May; 18(5):524-31.
Lai JC, O'Leary JG, Trotter JF, Verna EC, Brown RS, Stravitz RT, Duman JD, Forman LM, Terrault NA. Risk of advanced fibrosis with grafts from hepatitis C antibody-positive donors: a multicenter cohort study. Liver Transpl. 2012 May; 18(5):532-8.
Verna EC, Valadao R, Farrand E, Pichardo EM, Lai JC, Terrault NA, Brown RS. Effects of ethnicity and socioeconomic status on survival and severity of fibrosis in liver transplant recipients with hepatitis C virus. Liver Transpl. 2012 Apr; 18(4):461-7.
Brandman D, Pingitore A, Lai JC, Roberts JP, Ferrell L, Bass NM, Terrault NA. Hepatic steatosis at 1 year is an additional predictor of subsequent fibrosis severity in liver transplant recipients with recurrent hepatitis C virus. Liver Transpl. 2011 Dec; 17(12):1380-6.
Lai JC, Verna EC, Brown RS, O'Leary JG, Trotter JF, Forman LM, Duman JD, Foster RG, Stravitz RT, Terrault NA. Hepatitis C virus-infected women have a higher risk of advanced fibrosis and graft loss after liver transplantation than men. Hepatology. 2011 Aug; 54(2):418-24.
Lai JC, Terrault NA, Vittinghoff E, Biggins SW. Height contributes to the gender difference in wait-list mortality under the MELD-based liver allocation system. Am J Transplant. 2010 Dec; 10(12):2658-64.
Monto A, Schooley RT, Lai JC, Sulkowski MS, Chung RT, Pawlotsky JM, McHutchison JG, Jacobson IM. Lessons from HIV therapy applied to viral hepatitis therapy: summary of a workshop. Am J Gastroenterol. 2010 May; 105(5):989-1004; quiz 988, 1005.
Lai JC, Pichardo EM, Emond JC, Brown RS. Resource utilization of living donor versus deceased donor liver transplantation is similar at an experienced transplant center. Am J Transplant. 2009 Mar; 9(3):586-91.
Holder AA, Wootton JC, Baron AJ, Chambers GK, Fincham JR. The amino acid sequence of Neurospora NADP-specific glutamate dehydrogenase. Peptic and chymotryptic peptides and the complete sequence. Biochem J. 1975 Sep; 149(3):757-73.