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Boyer Wins International Recognition for Liver Work

September 01, 2020
by Julie Parry

James Boyer, MD, FACEP, Ensign Professor of Medicine (Digestive Diseases) and Emeritus Director, Yale Liver Center, received the International Recognition Award from the European Association for the Study of the Liver during the 2020 Digital International Liver Congress.

“This award is particularly meaningful to me since, in no small part, it is not just recognition for a lifetime of work,” said Boyer. “But also honors our Liver Center and its faculty and the many postdoctoral fellows, whom as I said in my thank you remarks have not only done the work but many have been or are current leaders in our field in their own right and of whom I am very proud.”

Boyer first came to Yale to finish his residency in Medicine at Yale New Haven Hospital and to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship in hepatology under Gerald Klatskin, MD. He later went on to serve as Section Chief of the Section of Digestive Diseases for nearly 15 years, and create the Yale Liver Research Center, which he directed for 25 years.

“Jim is perhaps the world’s leading expert in how bile is formed and the various ways in which liver diseases cause this to go awry. Over the course of his distinguished career, he furthermore has trained many individuals from around the world who themselves have gone on to become leaders in liver research. And a number of these people have told me that the best years of their lives were the time they spent in New Haven under Jim’s tutelage,” said Yale Liver Center Director, Michael H. Nathanson, MD, PhD. “Nearly 40 years ago, Jim also established the Yale Liver Center, which has and continues to foster liver research here. The Center currently has over 80 members, collectively engaged in virtually every type of liver research, and continues to ensure that Yale is one of the leading institutions for liver research worldwide. Succinctly, Jim is the kind of person that makes Yale the great place that it is.”

Longtime colleague Mario Strazzabosco, MD, PhD, calls Boyer’s impact “tremendous.”

“In the field of hepatology, Jim has helped us understand how the liver makes bile and the pathogenetic mechanisms of the diseases that leads to impaired bile production or derive from impaired bile production (cholestatic diseases). It was, and is, a very difficult question to address, but Jim’s ability to understand new technologies and apply them to the liver has made the difference. Jim is also an astute physician and a master hepatologist, and therefore he is a role model for physician scientists. He is an awesome mentor and thanks to his leadership Yale Liver has risen to international preeminence. Jim is also an extraordinary example of scientific longevity, being still very active and still generating original observations. The secret? A deep love for science in general and for experimental hepatology in particular,” said Strazzabosco.

The Journal of Hepatology printed an editorial in recognition of Boyer.

Since forming one of the nation’s first sections of hepatology and then gastroenterology over 50 years ago, Yale’s Section of Digestive Diseases has had an enduring impact on research and clinical care in gastrointestinal and liver disorders. To learn more about their work, visit Digestive Diseases.

Submitted by Julie Parry on September 01, 2020