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Klatskin/Boyer Lecture Honors Yale’s Influential Hepatologists

September 15, 2022
by Jane E. Dee

For 32 years, the Section of Digestive Diseases in the Department of Internal Medicine, and the Yale Liver Center, have honored Gerald Klatskin, MD, the founder of the Liver Study Unit at Yale School of Medicine, with a lectureship in his name.

In 2022, the lectureship was also named after James L. Boyer, MD, who trained with Klatskin. Boyer is the founder of the Yale Liver Center and oversaw the national and international expansion of Yale Hepatology.

The Gerald Klatskin, MD, and James L. Boyer, MD, Lectureship in Hepatology takes place on Sept. 21 from 5-6 pm at Yale School of Medicine. It is the most important Yale lecture on hepatology, and consistent with its tradition of excellence, the speaker will be Professor Michael Trauner, MD, from the Medical University of Vienna.

Gerald Klatskin, MD

The Klatskin Lectureship was established in 1982 in memory of Klatskin, who founded Yale’s Liver Study Unit in 1947. Klatskin pioneered the technique of liver biopsy (the Klatskin needle) and developed detailed clinical-pathologic correlations of liver disorders. He was particularly known for his work on viral and drug hepatitis, alcoholic liver disease, cholangiocarcinoma (“Klatskin Tumor”), sarcoidosis, and hepatic adenomas. An astute diagnostician, he was a legendary figure to generations of students, house staff, and fellows. He was the recipient of the Julius Friedenwald Medal from the American Gastroenterological Association, the organizations highest honor.

James L. Boyer, MD

Boyer arrived at Yale in 1966 to pursue a fellowship in hepatology with Klatskin. He is the Ensign Professor of Medicine and Emeritus Director of the NIDDK-funded Yale Liver Center, which he founded in 1984. Boyer was the first director of a combined Digestive Diseases Section (1982-1996). He has a broad interest in all aspects of basic and clinical hepatology. His laboratory, a pioneer in the understanding of the cellular and molecular basis of bile formation and cholestasis, has trained many leaders in the field.

Boyer was supported by National Institutes of Health for more than 40 years including two MERIT awards from NIDDK. He is a member of the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD), the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and other national organizations, and was president of both the American and International Association for the Study of Liver Disease. He is the recipient of distinguished achievement awards from the American Gastroenterological Association, AASLD, and the American Liver Foundation. He received the EASL International Recognition Award in 2020.

About the Speaker

Michael Trauner, MD, received his medical education at the Karl-Franzens-University in Graz, Austria. From 1994 to 1997 he was trained as an Erwin Schrödinger postdoctoral research fellow of the Austrian Science Foundation at Yale University’s Department of Internal Medicine and Liver Center, where he worked on the molecular alterations of hepatobiliary transport systems in cholestasis in the Boyer Lab. After returning to Graz, he completed his training in internal medicine and a fellowship in gastroenterology and hepatology. He then established an internationally recognized research group in cholestatic and fatty liver diseases and founded the Liver Center at the Medical University of Graz, serving as professor of experimental and clinical hepatology.

Since 2010 he has been professor of gastroenterology and hepatology and chair of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Medical University of Vienna, where he is also division head of one of the largest clinical gastroenterology, endoscopy, and liver services in Europe.

Submitted by Jane E. Dee on September 15, 2022