A long history of superb clinical care and outstanding scientific investigation has made Mount Sinai synonymous throughout the world with excellence in the study and treatment of liver diseases.
In 1957, the recruitment of Hans Popper, MD propelled Mount Sinai to international prominence in the field. Universally regarded as “The Father of Modern Hepatology” for his tireless research into liver function and pathology, Dr. Popper’s leadership, in partnership with Dr. Fenton Schaffner, transformed Mount Sinai into an international center for liver disease research and care.
The Division of Liver Diseases has been at the forefront of hepatology beginning with Fenton Schaffner’s appointment as the inaugural Division Chief in 1965. There have been three Division Chiefs to the present: Dr. Schaffner was succeeded by Dr. Paul Berk who led the Division from 1988-2001, who in turn was followed by Dr. Scott Friedman, the current Division Chief, in 2001. The Division of Liver Diseases has pioneered many new advances in understanding the biology of liver diseases and advancing its treatment, including partnering with the Department of Surgery (later the Recanati-Miller Transplantation Institute) to perform the first liver transplantation in NY State in 1988, testing of new therapies for autoimmune, fibrotic and viral liver diseases, and the first effective new oral therapy for liver cancer. Six members of the Mount Sinai’s faculty have served as Presidents of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. Today, the Division of Liver Diseases is distinguished by its leadership in defining and offering treatments for Hepatitis B and C virus infections, autoimmune and drug-induced liver disease, hepatic fibrosis, fatty liver disease, cirrhosis and liver cancer. The Division, in partnership with faculty in transplantation, pathology, radiology and oncology, remains a magnet not only for outstanding clinical care but also for outstanding training programs that have produced generations of thought leaders in the specialty.