Scientific Advisory Board

Verlyx is working with internationally recognized key opinion leaders in the field of liver diseases to guide its preclinical and clinical development strategy.

Ramon Bataller, MD

Dr. Bataller graduated in Medicine at the University of Valencia (Spain) in 1990. He completed his residency in Gastroenterology in Barcelona in 1994. He did the PhD from 1995-2000 on the pathogenesis of liver fibrosis. Between 2000 and 2003, Dr. Bataller completed a research fellowship in hepatology at UNC-Chapel Hill with Prof. David A. Brenner. During this period, he investigated the role of angiotensin II and NADPH oxidase in liver fibrosis. Since 2003, he has worked as a senior physician in the Liver Unit of the Hospital Clinic in Barcelona where he coordinated the management of patients with alcoholic liver disease. Since 2004, he has led the “Laboratory of Liver Fibrosis” at IDIBAPS, a research center associated with the Hospital Clinic. During the last 5 years, he has been working to develop new therapies for alcoholic liver disease and has performed translational investigations on human samples to identify molecular determinants of alcoholic hepatitis. In November 2011, he joined UNC as an associate professor of Medicine and Nutrition and also joined the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies. Dr. Bataller’s research will focus on the molecular mechanisms of steatohepatitis in order to identify new targets for therapy.

Marc Bilodeau, MD

Dr. Bilodeau is a Professor of Medicine at Université de Montréal in Québec. Dr. Bilodeau graduated from Université Laval and completed his Internal Medicine training at McGill University and his Gastroenterology training at Hôpital Saint-Luc in Université de Montréal. He was awarded on a Medical Research Council Fellowship to study Liver Cell Biology at INSERM U-49 in Rennes, France.

Dr. Bilodeau is currently head of the Service d’hépatologie du CHUM and a researcher at the Centre de recherche du CHUM where he chairs the Laboratoire d’hépatologie cellulaire. He is an Associate Editor for the Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology. He is co-chair of the Examination Board in Gastroenterology of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and is a reviewer for many medical journals. He is a member of the Canadian and American Associations for the Study of Liver Disease.

Dr. Bilodeau’s research activities are mainly focused on the mechanisms of resistance of hepatocytes to apoptosis and on models of hepatitis C replication in vitro. He is also interested in the complications of medical procedures in Hepatology and in the management of hepatitis C in difficult-to-treat populations.

Dr. Bilodeau was Director of the NCRTP-HepC from April 2009 to July 2014.

Mark J. Czaja, MD

Mark Czaja, MD, FAASLD is a professor of medicine in the Division of Digestive Diseases at the Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Czaja completed his undergraduate education at Yale University and received an MD from Columbia University. He completed internal medicine clinical training at Case Western Reserve University and gastroenterology/hepatology clinical training at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. After doing postdoctoral research on hepatic fibrosis at Einstein, Dr. Czaja joined their faculty, where he remained for a number of years before assuming his present position at Emory.

Dr. Czaja’s National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded research attempts to understand the mechanisms of liver injury and hepatocyte death in order to develop new therapeutic approaches to prevent human liver failure. These investigations have defined signal transduction pathways that mediate liver injury from inflammatory factors such as the cytokine tumor necrosis factor and oxidants during toxin-induced liver injury, and regulate the development of steatosis and the progression to steatohepatitis in fatty liver disease. His laboratory first described the metabolism of endogenous cellular lipids through the lysosomal pathway of autophagy, and additional work in his laboratory has delineated functions for autophagy in both hepatocytes and macrophages that limit liver injury.

Dr. Czaja has held numerous positions, including associate editor and editorial board member of major scientific journals as well as chair or member on NIH study sections and national committees. He has served on the Governing Board of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. He is an elected member of the Association of American Physicians as well as a Fellow of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Gregory J. Gores, MD

Gregory J. Gores, M.D., Reuben R. Eisenberg Endowed Professor of Medicine and Physiology, is Executive Dean for Research at Mayo Clinic, is a Distinguished Investigator of the Mayo Foundation, and a past chair of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

A native of North Dakota, he received his undergraduate (Phi Beta Kappa) and M.D. (Alpha Omega Alpha) degrees from the University of North Dakota. He received his training in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology at Mayo, Rochester, Minnesota. A member of the American Association for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians, he is a past President of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) and the International Liver Cancer Association (ILCA). He has chaired the Hepatobiliary Pathobiology NIH Study Section and is currently a member of the NIDDK Advisory Council. Due to his breadth and depth of interests, he has served as an Associate Editor for Hepatology on two separate terms and once for Gastroenterology. He is the past recipient of a highly prestigious and competitive NIH MERIT Award, currently a Principal Investigator of three NIH R01 grants. He has co-authored more than 500 total publications which have been cited over 25,000 times. His current h-index (number of papers with an identical number of citations) is 92. Well respected as a mentor, he has mentored over 70 post-doctoral research and clinical fellows, and has received the 2014 American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Distinguished Mentor Award. His clinical and research contributions include advances in our understanding of hepatobiliary malignancies, liver transplantation and mechanisms of liver cell injury.

Kris V. Kowdley, MD

Kris V. Kowdley, MD, FACP, FACG, AGAF, FAASLD is Director of the Liver Care Network, and Organ Care Research at Swedish Medical Center, a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington, and an Affiliate Investigator at Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, all located in Seattle, Washington.

Dr. Kowdley received his BS in Biology and Anthropology as a member of the Dean’s List at Columbia University, and his medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency at Oregon Health Science University and a Fellowship in Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Tufts University School of Medicine.

Dr. Kowdley is recognized as a world-renowned leader in the field of hepatology, and has presented his research on liver diseases at more than 135 national and international meetings and scientific symposia. He is the author of over 375 articles, book chapters, reviews and commentaries in this area and has been published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, Archives of Surgery, Gastroenterology, Hepatology, American Journal of Physiology, and New England Journal of Medicine, among other professional publications.

Philippe Mathurin, MD

Philippe Mathurin is Professor of Hepatology and Head of the research program on liver disease in the Department of Hepatology and Gastroenterology of the University Hospital of Lille, in France since 2001. He completed his medical training and achieved his PhD in Pitié-Salpêtrière and Antoine Béclère Hospitals in Paris from 1990 to 1997. He undertook a research fellowship in Professor Tsukamoto’s laboratory at the USC School of Medicine in Los Angeles, USA, between 1997 and 1999. He is associate editor of Journal of Hepatology since 2009. Philippe Mathurin has published more than 170 articles in prominent journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Gut and Journal of Hepatology. His main research interests are alcoholic hepatitis, Hepatitis C virus, non alcoholic fatty liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma. His team developed the Lille score for early identification of response to medical therapy in patients with severe alcoholic hepatitis.

Morris Sherman, MD

Dr. Sherman graduated in Medicine from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesurg South Africa in 1972, and completed his initial training in Internal Medicine at Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto. Dr. Sherman obtained his Internal Medicine qualifications in 1976 and completed his Internal Medicine training at Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town South Africa. He undertook training in Gastroenterology and liver disease at Groote Schuur Hospital and then completed a PhD in 1982 in the Liver Research laboratory of the University of Cape Town. In 1982, Dr. Sherman undertook a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. Dr. Sherman joined the Toronto General Hospital as a staff gastroenterologist in 1984.

Dr. Sherman is currently Chairman of the Canadian Viral Hepatitis Network and President of the Canadian Association for Study of the Liver. His major interests are chronic viral hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma.

Gyongyi Szabo, MD

Gyongyi Szabo, MD, PhD,  FAASLD, AGAF, FACP, is the Worcester Foundation for Biomedical Research Endowed Chair, Professor and Vice Chair of Medicine and Associate Provost at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Szabo is an internationally recognized leader in the field of liver immunology and inflammation. Her clinical investigations focus on alcoholic hepatitis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and viral hepatitis. She is the lead investigator on an NIH-supported multicenter clinical trial in alcoholic hepatitis. Her laboratory studies the molecular mechanisms of inflammation and innate immunity in liver injury to identify therapeutic targets in liver diseases. She is an expert in Toll-like receptor and Nod-like receptor signaling pathways in alcoholic and non-alcoholic liver diseases. Her investigations recently revealed the importance of micro-RNAs and extracellular vesicles in liver diseases. She is member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, serves on the Editorial Board of Hepatology and on the Advisory Boards for NIH and   several leading academic institutions. She serves on the Governing Board of AASLD and was President in 2015.