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Professor of Medecine Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN Manal F. Abdelmalek, MD, MPH, FAASLD is a Professor of Medicine, Director of the Hepatobiliary Interest Group and Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) Clinical Research Program at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. Since first reporting on nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) as a cause of cryptogenic cirrhosis nearly 25 years ago, her clinical and research area of interest has focused on NAFLD / NASH, associated risk factors for disease acquisition and progression and the discovery of novel approaches to treatment. She has expertise in clinical-translational research, the design and conduct of clinical trials, including investigator-initiated, industry sponsored and NIH-funded clinical studies evaluating new therapies and biomarkers for NAFLD and NASH. She collaborates extensively to transition new compounds to first-in-man clinical studies and translate clinic-to-bench and bench-to-clinic research to define pathogenic mechanisms underlying NAFLD acquisition and progression. She is a key opinion leader in the field of NASH therapeutics, a member of the Liver Forum, and advisor/ consultant to many industries, FDA, and biomarker development companies in the area of diagnostics and therapeutics for NASH. She is the lead Principal Investigator on several multicenter global studies, a member of the AASLD Global Outreach and Engagement Committee and past member of the AASLD Clinical Research Committee. As a teacher and educator, she has mentored clinical residents, fellows, and faculty at rank of Assistant / Associate Professor in the study and research of liver disease. Dr. Abdelmalek is a Fellow of American College of Physicians, American College of Gastroenterology and American Association for the Study of Liver Disease. She is a steering committee member of the NIH Liver Cirrhosis Network and a former 16-year member NASH Clinical Research Network (NASH CRN. Dr. Abdelmalek has published more than 200 manuscripts and currently serves as an Associate Editor of HEPATOLOGY, the official journal of the AASLD.



Graduate Student University of Saskatchewan I have a master's degree from Alexandria University, Egypt. 2 years ago, I joined the Widenmaier lab as a Ph.D. student at the College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan. Our lab mainly studies non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and its consequences on liver health.



Research Scientist University of Calgary Dr. Wagdi Almishri is a research scientist in the Snyder Institute for Chronic Disease at the University of Calgary. Wagdi received his bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Medicine in Libya, an MSc in Pathology from McGill University, and a PhD in Gastrointestinal Sciences from the University of Calgary. As a postdoctoral Research Fellow, he studied immune-mediated liver injury and its relevance to human autoimmune liver disease. Currently, he is working with Dr. Swain to investigate the pathophysiology of sickness behaviors associated with Cholestatic Liver Diseases.

Juan Pablo


Transplant Hepatologist Western University Dr. Arab is Associate Professor of Medicine at the Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, and the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Schulich School of Medicine, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada. Trained at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica, Chile and Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA. Dr. Arab is a Gastroenterology and Hepatology specialist, Transplant Hepatologist and Clinical Researcher with interest in clinical/translational research and epidemiology in alcohol-related liver disease and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. He has published more than 130 peer-reviewed papers, co-authored several book chapters and delivered lectures on liver-related topics at national and international meetings. He is an Associate Editor for Hepatology (flagship AASLD journal). Dr. Arab is member of the AASLD Global Outreach and Engagement Committee. He is currently the Vice-Chair of the Special Interest Group on alcohol-associated liver disease of the AASLD. Additionally, he is the President of the Chilean Hepatology Association and Vice-Chair of the Education & Scholarship Committee of the International Liver Transplantation Society (ILTS).



Associate Western University Dr. Asfaha completed his undergraduate training in molecular biology, followed by his Ph.D in mucosal inflammation at the University of Calgary. His clinical training includes his MD degree from the University of Calgary, residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Alberta and his fellowship in Gastroenterology at University of Calgary. Following his clinical training, Dr. Asfaha completed postdoctoral research training at Columbia University in New York City, where he subsequently was promoted to junior faculty as an Instructor in the Division of Digestive &Liver Diseases. While at Columbia University he conducted ground breaking research into the cellular origin of colorectal and gastric cancer. Dr. Asfaha was recruited to the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Western Ontario. His research is focused on targeting the cellular origin of colorectal cancer and improving tissue repair in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). His expertise and accomplishments are illustrated by numerous national and international awards he has received and his publications.



Endocrinologist and Medical Director, Endocrine & Metabolic Research LMC Healthcare Harpreet Singh Bajaj is an Endocrinologist and Medical Director of Endocrine & Metabolic Research at LMC Healthcare/Centricity Research in Canada. Dr Bajaj completed his endocrinology fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic (Ohio, USA). Dr Bajaj’s medical education was at University of Delhi, India, followed by a Masters of Public Health (Epidemiology) at State University of New York in Albany (New York, USA). He has co-authored publications in key medical journals in the fields of diabetes prevention and management, NAFLD, obesity and cardiorenal risk reduction. He is the Principal Investigator of the Canadian Diabetes Prevention Program. Dr. Bajaj currently serves Diabetes Canada as the Chair of the Clinical Practice Guidelines Steering Committee.



Hepatitis C Treatment Coordinator, Registered Nurse Cool Aid Community Health Center Tamara Barnett is the hepatitis C treatment coordinator at the Cool Aid Community Health Centre in Victoria, BC. Tamara graduated from University of Victoria's nursing program in 2009. She has worked in dialysis, women's sexual health, forensic sexual assault nursing, and street nursing. She has been with Cool Aid as a primary health care nurse for 8 years. The Cool Aid Clinic provides low threshold primary care to vulnerable populations including people with polysubstance dependence and complex mental health challnges. Tamara coordinates and implements the highly successful, internationally award winning, nurse-led Hepatitis C program which utilizes numerous innovative models of care including 'seek and treat', PEER led and pharmacy led programs. Tamara has presented Cool Aid's nurse-led Hepatitis C program at numerous international conferences and webinars. She has also been co-author on multiple peer-reviewed journals.



Senior Scientist BC Centre for Disease Control Sofia is a Senior Scientist at the BC Centre for Disease Control and Adjunct Professor at University of British Columbia. She does research on hepatitis C in partnership with community as much as possible, and she is a vocal supporter of efforts to advance the role of people with lived and living experience in research.



Associate professor Queens University Dr. Robert Bechara completed his internal medicine and gastroenterology residency training at Queens University. Dr. Bechara completed his fellowship training in advanced therapeutic endoscopy at St. Michael's Hospital at the University of Toronto. Subsequently, he completed a 1-year third  space endoscopy fellowship under Dr. Haruhiro Inoue at the Showa University Digestive Disease Center Koto-Toyosu Hospital in Tokyo, Japan. Dr. Robert Bechara is currently an Associate Professor at Queens University, and his clinical and research interests include POEM, ESD, magnifying endoscopy, diagnosis & resection of early gastrointestinal neoplasia.



Gastroenterology Fellow University of British Columbia Harjot Bedi is a first year GI fellow at UBC. She completed her undergrad at Queen's, and then she moved to UBC where she completed an immunology research based masters, med school, another masters in epidemiology and public health, and then her internal medicine before starting GI. She has an interest in therapeutic gastroenterology, research, community engagement for health promotion, and medical education.



Northbridge Chair in Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Professor of Paediatrics and Clinical Epidemiology The Hospital for Sick Children Eric Benchimol is the new Editor-in-Chief of JCAG, and a Professor of Pediatrics and Clinical Epidemiology at University of Toronto. He is a pediatric gastroenterologist and Program Director of the GI Fellowship program at SickKids Hospital in Toronto. He holds the Northbridge Chair of Inflammatory Bowel Disease at the SickKids Inflammatory Bowel Disease Centre. Dr. Benchimol is also an epidemiologist, and chairs the Canadian Gastro-Intestinal Epidemiology Consortium (CanGIEC), which conducts epidemiology, pharmaco-epidemiology, outcomes, and health services research using the health administrative data from multiple provinces. He also has an interested in improving the research methodology and transparency of research using routinely collected health data. In that capacity, he co-Chairs the RECORD (REporting of studies Conducted using Observational Routinely collected data) Steering Committee which has produced multiple reporting guidelines.



Assistant Professor University of British Columbia After obtaining his BSc in Biology at the University of Northern British Columbia, Dr. Bergstrom began his Ph.D. studies with innate immunologist Dr. Bruce Vallance at UBC-Vancouver in 2004. Here he discovered novel roles of mucus-producing goblet cells in host defense against Enteropathogenic E. coli-related pathogens in vivo. In 2011, Dr. Bergstrom began his postdoc at Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (Oklahoma City, USA) with glycobiology expert Dr. Lijun Xia, and discovered new roles into how mucin O-glycans regulate the microbiota to protect against spontaneous inflammation and cancer throughout the gastrointestinal tract. In 2019, Dr. Bergstrom started the Mucin Glycobiology Laboratory at UBC’s Okanagan campus to further unravel the complex interplay between gut microbiota, mucin glycans, and host immune system, and how to use this knowledge to develop novel therapeutics for chronic diseases such as IBD and colorectal cancer.



Chief of Hepatology, Department of Visceral Surgery and Medicine Bern University Hospital, University of Bern Annalisa Berzigotti started her career in Bologna (Italy), and expanded her knowledge in hepatology at the hepatic hemodynamic laboratory of the Liver Unit in Barcelona (Spain). In 2014 she joined the hepatology group of the Department of Visceral Surgery and Medicine, Bern University Hospital, University of Bern, Switzerland. Since 2016 she is Associate Professor of Hepatology at the University of Bern, and since March 2021 she is Chief of the liver group and ad interim clinic director at the Department of Visceral Surgery and Medicine, Bern University Hospital.



UNIVERSITY HEALTH NETWORK UNIVERSITY HEALTH NETWORK Dr Mamatha Bhat is Staff Hepatologist and Clinician-Scientist, Ajmera Transplant Program, University Health Network. She is also an Assistant Professor in the Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology and Director of the Clinician-Scientist Training Program at the Department of Medicine, University of Toronto. The goal of Dr. Bhat’s research program is to enable a precision medicine approach to long-term complications after liver transplantation through a better understanding of their mechanistic basis. She employs a bench-to-bedside paradigm that connects clinical outcomes with basic research using machine learning tools and bioinformatic analysis of ‘omic datasets.



Assistant Professor University of Ottawa Dr. Barbara Bielawska is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, at the University of Ottawa. She is the Medical Lead for Inpatient Nutrition and the Director of the Home TPN program at The Ottawa Hospital. Dr. Bielawska obtained her M.D. from Queen’s University, where she subsequently trained in Internal Medicine. She then completed residency in Gastroenterology, followed by a fellowship in Clinical Nutrition, at the University of Toronto. She subsequently obtained an M.Sc. in Clinical Epidemiology at Queen’s.



Hepatologist CHUM Dr. Bilodeau is a Professor of Medicine at Universite de Montreal in Quebec. Dr. Bilodeau graduated from Universite Laval and completed his Internal Medicine training at McGill University and his Gastroenterology training at Hopital Saint-Luc in Universite de Montreal. 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 Department of medicine du CHUM and a researcher at the Centre de recherche du CHUM where he chairs the Laboratoire d'hepatologie cellulaire. He is an Associate Editor for the Canadian Liver Journal, the Journal of Liver Transplantation and Clinics and Research in Hepatology and Gastroenterology. He is the past president of the Canadian Association for the Study of Liver Disease. Dr. Bilodeau's research activities are mainly focused on the mechanisms of adaptation of the normal liver to injury and of the role of nutrients in hepatocellular carcinoma.



Assistant Professor School of Nursing, York University Mia Biondi received her PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from McGill University, with postdoctoral fellowships at Toronto General Research Institute and the National Microbiology Laboratory, and clinical training at Western University. Mia is an Assistant Professor at York University, and oversees the Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner program. Clinically, she is a practicing Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner; and oversees focused practices in urban street outreach and rural and remote communities, in HIV prevention, hepatitis B & C across Ontario. Mia is an NP-Researcher with the Viral Hepatitis Care Network, Toronto Centre for Liver Disease.



Professor Université de Sherbrooke François-Michel Boisvert initially received a BSc in Biochemistry in 1998 at the Université de Montréal. He then pursued a research career with a MSc in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2000 at the University of Calgary under the supervision of Professor David P. Bazett-Jones and a PhD in Experimental Medicine in 2005 at McGill University with Professor Stéphane Richard. He conducted postdoctoral training with Professor Angus Lamond at the University of Dundee and is a professor in the Immunology and Cell Biology department at the Université de Sherbrooke since 2011. His current interests is studying the molecular mechanisms that control the cellular response to DNA damaging agents used to treat colorectal cancer using a combination of cell biology combined with mass spectrometry based quantitative proteomic approaches. He is also the scientific director of the Proteomics Facility at the Université de Sherbrooke, and the director of the Cancer Research Institute of the Université de Sherbrooke.



Staff Gastroenterologist Women's College Hospital, University of Toronto Dr. Natasha Bollegala is a staff gastroenterologist at Women’s College Hospital, and assistant professor in the department of medicine, University of Toronto (UofT). She is a clinician in quality and innovation and completed an Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) fellowship at Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, an MSc in clinical epidemiology and healthcare research at UofT in 2016, the Eliot Phillipson Clinician Scientist Training Program and the Clinician Investigator Program at the University of Toronto.



Program Manager Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs Matthew is the program manager with the Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs. He’s also an International Board member with International Network of Health and Hepatitis in Substance Users, and a knowledge translator for the Dr. Peters Centre. His freelance writing has appeared in publications including The Conversation, CATIE, Doctors Nova Scotia, Policy Options and The Coast. Matthew was also on the 64th Canadian Delegation to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. He is a current drug user and a formerly incarcerated person.



Professor of Medicine Memorial University Dr. Mark Borgaonkar completed his GI training at McMaster and then obtained an MSc in Health Research Methodology at McMaster. He is a Professor of Medicine at Memorial University where he has held numerous positions including Internal Medicine Residency Program Director and Divisional Chief. He has been an active CAG member, serving as faculty on the Scholars Program, GRIT Chair and is a certified SEE Program instructor. He is currently the Endoscopy Chair. His research interests include IBD, Hereditary Hemochromatosis and Endoscopy.



Associate Professor and Scientific Director, Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute Dalhousie University Jeanette Boudreau is an expert in human natural killer (NK) cells and their roles in cancer. Her group studies NK cells' immunogenetic and functional diversity within and between people, moving toward leveraging this diversity for more precise immunotherapy. In addition, Dr. Boudreau's reserach group is interested in understanding the relationships between cellular and tissue damage and subsequent immunity, and they have recently described a link between damage-associated signatures and NK cell function. Dr. Boudreau completed her PhD at McMaster university and post-doctoral training at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in the laboratory of Dr. Katherine Hsu. Dr. Boudreau's laboratory is located at Dalhousie University, in Halifax.



Physician University of Calgary Dr. Brahmania is a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Calgary practicing in Hepatology and Transplant Hepatology. He focuses his research interests around quality improvement initiatives to advance and standardize quality of care in patients living with liver disease many of these leading to publications in peer reviewed journals and presentations.



University of Calgary University of Calgary Current positions:  Associate Vice-President (Research), University of Calgary  Professor (with tenure), Biological sciences (Science)  Adjunct Professor, Physiology and Pharmacology (Medicine)  Co-founder, Scientific advisory board, Antibe Therapeutics  President; World and Canadian Chito-Ryu Karate Associations  Education / Training:  • Teaching Diploma, 1977 Neuchatel (Switzerland)  • Physical Education Certificate, 1983 Neuchatel Switzerland  • Licence es Science (Biology), 1983 Neuchatel Switzerland  • M.Sc., Parasitology, 1988 Calgary Canada  • Ph.D, Pathophysiology, 1991 Calgary Canada  • Post-doctoral fellowship, Mucosal Immunology, 1991-1994 Newcastle Australia  • Post-doctoral fellowship, Gastroenterology 1994-95 Calgary  Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and the lungs represent the most common causes of death in humans and other animal species worldwide. Using viral, bacterial and parasitic models (with an emphasis on Giardia sp.), the overall aim of Dr. Buret’s research is to characterize microbial-host interactions in these systems, and how such interactions may affect gastrointestinal and pulmonary physiology, health, inflammation, and chronic disease, in an attempt to develop novel therapeutic strategies.



Head Multivisceral Transplant Unit Padua University Hospital Italy Patrizia Burra is full Professor of Gastroenterology at Padua University in Italy. She undertook an international research fellowship at the Liver Unit and Liver Research Laboratories at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, UK, before completing a PhD in Hepatology at the Padua University in 1993. In 2009 she was appointed Head of the Multivisceral Transplantation Unit at the Padua University Hospital. From 2015 to 2021 she was ViceRector on Research Training at Padua University and from 2021 she is Delegate for the Schools of Specialization and for the Observatory for Postgraduate Specialized Training at Padua University. Patrizia Burra is interested in clinical and translational studies in the setting of liver transplantation, mainly regarding HBV prophylaxis after transplantation, acute alcoholic hepatitis as early indication for liver transplantation, liver transplantation for NASH and NAFLD, hepatocellular carcinoma, adherence to medical treatments and quality of life of transplant recipients. She has previously served as President of ELITA, Vice President of ESOT, Chair of ILTS Education Committee, Treasurer of ILTS and ILTS President. She served EASL for 5 years, as EU Policy Councilor until 2016. She is also President of the NGO Marina Minnaja Foundation for the research and study of liver transplantation. Currently she is Co-chair of The Lancet – EASL Commission on liver diseases in Europe from 2018, Deputy Editor of Journal of Hepatology from 2019, Chair of the UEG Public Affairs Group from 2022. She received the AASLD Fellowship and the EASL Recognition Award in 2021. She has authored nearly 500 articles in international peer-reviewed journals, with an H-index of 60 and she contributed with several presentations at international congresses.



Clinical Associate Professor College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan Dr. Peter Butt is a Certificant and Fellow with the College of Family Physicians of Canada, with Special Competency in Addiction Medicine. He is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan and served as a consultant in Addiction Medicine in the Saskatchewan Health Authority. His research has included guideline development and knowledge translation. He chaired the original development of Canada’s Low Risk Drinking Guidelines (2011), co-chaired the Canadian Guidelines on Alcohol Use Disorder Among Older Adults (2019) and co-chaired the 2023 Canadian Guidance on Alcohol and Health with the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction.



Assistant Professor, Therapeutic Endoscopist The Ottawa Hospital, uOttawa Natalia C. Calo is an Assistant Professor at The Ottawa Hospital, University of Ottawa. She has completed her training in Therapeutic Endoscopy at St. Michael's Hospital and currently works as a Therapeutic Endoscopist at The Ottawa Hospital with particular expertise in the care of patients with complex pancreaticobiliary disease. She is also a clinician investigator and her research focuses on outcomes in endoscopy and in patients with pancreaticobiliary disease who undergo advanced therapeutic procedures, including EUS and ERCP



Assistant Professor McGill University Health Centre Dr. Yen-I Chen is a clinician scientist specialized in therapeutic endoscopy. He completed his core gastroenterology training at McGill followed by an advanced endoscopy fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital. His research focuses on the validation and assessment of novel and current endoscopic technologies. His work is funded by the FRQS and the CIHR. Dr. Chen is the director of therapeutic endoscopy at the Glen and the training director for the ERCP and EUS fellowship program.



Professor University of Calgary Dr. Clement is the Department Head of Community Health Sciences and the Director of the Health Technology Assessment Unit at the University of Calgary. She is an accomplished academic leader, health services researcher and expert in health policy. She has received numerous awards for her work with the most recent being named one of 2020’s Most Powerful Women in Canada and selected for induction into the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.



Professor of Medicine University of Calgary Professor of Medicine  University of Calgary  Medical Director of the Viral Hepatitis Clinic  President-Elect Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver



Associate Professor of Pediatrics/Associate Chair of DEI The Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago Dr. Valeria Cohran is an associate Professor of Pediatrics at The Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago., Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University. She is the medical director of Intestinal rehabilitation and transplant. In 2019, she was appointed the Associate Chair of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at her institution.



Professor and (Interim) Division Director Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center Conrad R. Cole MD, MPH, MSc  Division Co-Director (Interim)  Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition  Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center  Professor of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio. Dr. Cole also serves as the Medical Director of the Intestinal Rehabilitation Center of CCHMC. He was the inaugural fellowship director for the advanced pediatric nutrition fellowship program. His research focus is on the epidemiology of Micronutrient malnutrition in children from low-income populations and identifying risk and predictive factors for improving outcomes of children with intestinal failure. He is actively involved in NASPGHAN and was the founding co-chair for the Intestinal rehabilitation special interest group (SIG) and now the chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion SIG. He is a diversity liaison for the Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati and actively involved in a mentoring program; ‘Black Men in Medicine, Cincinnati’. He is also an active member of the Scientific Committee of the International rehabilitation and transplant association and an executive member of the Section on gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition of the AAP.



Professor of Medicine U Ottawa Dr. Curtis Cooper trained at the University of Saskatchewan (MD 1994). He received certification in Internal Medicine in 1997 and in Infectious Diseases in 1999 while at the University of Manitoba. He completed an HIV Research Fellowship and Masters of Epidemiology in 2002 at the University of Ottawa. He is currently a Professor with the University of Ottawa, Scientist with the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Infectious Diseases Consultant with the Ottawa Hospital Division of Infectious Diseases and Director of The Ottawa Hospital Viral Hepatitis Program. As a clinical researcher, his research activities encompass viral hepatitis, HIV, and vaccine development. His work is focused on the development of new therapeutic agents and the delivery of treatment that maximizes safety, adherence and effectiveness. He is a former president of the Canadian Foundation for Infectious Diseases and the Canadian Association for HIV Researcher



Johns Hopkins University Johns Hopkins University Dr. Andrea L. Cox is a Professor of Medicine and Oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a member of the Johns Hopkins Viral Hepatitis Cancer. She leads a prospective cohort study of acute HCV infection designed to enable detailed molecular analysis of HCV transmission, host immune responses and virus sequence evolution. She was the co-principal investigator on the only prophylactic HCV vaccine trial in individuals at risk of HCV infection. In addition to her research on immune responses to viral infections and vaccines, Dr. Cox is actively involved in clinical care of patients with HCV, HIV and hepatitis B infection.



Assistant Professor UHN Dr Morven Cunningham completed medical training at the University of Cambridge and Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, UK. She undertook a PhD at Queen Mary, University of London, before moving to Toronto in 2017 to complete a Fellowship in Hepatology at University of Toronto. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto and Staff Hepatologist at Toronto Centre for Liver Disease. Clinical and academic interests include the effects of oncological disease and its treatment on the liver, and medical education in hepatology.



Professor UNIVERSITY of FLORIDA Dr. Cusi is a Professor of Medicine at the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at The University of Florida at Gainesville (2011-present; division chief from 2011-2022). 
He completed his early medical training in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and fellowship in endocrinology at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas. 
His earlier career was at the University of San Antonio Health Science Center, Texas (1992-2011) was on the role of defects in insulin secretion and of insulin resistance in the development of type 2 diabetes.
His later work has focused on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) as a common complication of obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2DM), with a need to screen people as done for diabetic retinopathy, nephropathy or cardiovascular disease. 
Dr. Cusi has published more than 240 peer-reviewed manuscripts centering on the mechanisms causing T2DM, as well as NAFLD in obesity and diabetes, and contributed to recent guidelines for the management of NAFLD (AASLD 2012 & 2018, ALEH 2020, AGA 2021, AACE 2022).
His basic and clinical research programs at the University of Florida include funding from the National Institute of Health and from industry on the mechanisms leading to NAFLD and search for new treatments. 
He received from The University of Florida the prestigious Exemplary Teacher Award, as well as the Clinical Research Award for Outstanding Achievement, Research Discovery, and Productivity.
In 2020, he received the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) Jack Baskin, MD, Endocrine Teaching Award.


de Palma

Assistant professor (part-time)/ Research associate McMaster University Dr. Giada De Palma is currently a part time assistant professor and a research associate at McMaster University. She has done her PhD in Spain with Dr. Yolanda Sanz on the role of gut microbiome in celiac disease, after which she came to Canada in 2011 to work, as a postdoctoral fellow first and research associate later, with Dr. Bercik and Collins. Giada investigates the role of gut microbiome in disorders of the gut-brain axis, with a specific focus on microbially-derived metabolites that can alter gastrointestinal host physiology and symptoms presentation.

Rujuta Shailesh


Postdoctoral Associate University of Calgary Rujuta Deshpande, PhD is a second year postdoctoral associate in Dr. Derek McKay's lab at the University of Calgary. She did her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Calgary, where she worked on the metabolic adaptations during infection using fruit flies. Currently she is working with her team to understand the role of human interleukin 4 activated macrophages, as a potential immunotherapy for patients suffering from IBD. Her projects aims to understand the effect of medications used to treat IBD patients on the human interleukin 4 activated macrophage phenotypes.



Assistant Professor University of Calgary Dr. Antoine Dufour is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiology & Pharmacology. He received the Young Investigator Award by the Canadian Society for Mass Spectrometry (CSMS). He was selected as a Top 40 under 40 by Calgary Avenue Magazine. He is the scientific director of the Southern Alberta Mass Spectrometry (SAMS) Core facility at the University of Calgary. His laboratory is at the leading edge in the development of transformative technologies and specializes in using proteomics and a unique N-terminomics approach to understand the roles of proteases in immunity.



Research Associate University of British Columbia A specialists in cellular and molecular gastroenterology, translational medicine and Barrett's adenocarcinogeneis, PhD Trinity College Dublin, Post Doc Imperial College London and UBC



Associate Professor Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Dr. Christine Durand is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She is an expert in the clinical care of transplant recipients and people with cancer who also have HIV or hepatitis and her research is focused on epidemiologic, translational, and clinical studies in this population. She directs the Transplant Research Center at JHU, a multidisciplinary research group focused on strategies to mitigate the organ shortage, improve outcomes in transplantation, and train future leaders in the field.

Joshua Bailey Druker


Research Student Toronto Centre for Liver Disease (UHN) My name is Joshua Feld, I am a third-year undergraduate student at Dalhousie University majoring in Biology and a former member of the Dalhousie Integrated Science Program. Over the past two summers, I have worked as a research student at the Toronto Centre for Liver Disease. I'm passionate about research and medicine and aspire to become a clinician-scientist in the future. In my spare time, I enjoy hockey, ultimate frisbee, camping, chess and getting involved in my community.



Associate Professor Queen's University Dr. Flemming is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Public Health Sciences at Queen’s University with clinical training in gastroenterology, hepatology and liver transplantation. After completing her Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology training at Queen’s University, she completed two years of advanced hepatology and a Master’s in Clinical Research at the University of California San Francisco. She is a clinician scientist who leads a research program which leverages Ontario administrative data housed at ICES to evaluate the epidemiology and outcomes of patients with cirrhosis and recently appointed as the ICES-Queen’s Site Director. Her research has been supported by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD), the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) and the Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program. In addition, Dr. Flemming is an Associate Editor of the American Journal of Gastroenterology, serves as the Chair for the Guidelines Committee of the Canadian Association for the Study of Liver Disease (CASL), and is a member of the CASL Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee, AASLD Women’s Initiatives Committee, and the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care.



Assistant Professor of Medicine University of Calgary Nauzer Forbes specializes in advanced and therapeutic endoscopy, including ERCP, EUS and related techniques. His research interests include studying outcomes, quality and innovation in luminal and pancreaticobiliary endoscopy. His work is supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE). He has published over 90 peer-reviewed manuscripts and serves on the ASGE Standards of Practice Committee and helps prepare cutting-edge high-impact endoscopy guidelines.



Staff Hepatologist Toronto General Hospital Dr. Scott Fung is an Associate Professor of Medicine at University of Toronto and staff hepatologist at Toronto General Hospital. He co-authored the CASL HBV Guidelines and is on the steering committee of the Canadian Hepatitis B Network. His clinical interests focus on epidemiology and treatment of viral hepatitis.



Professor University of Manitoba Professor, Director, Gastrointestinal Basic Biology Research, IBD Clinical & Research Centre  Vice-Président Acfas-Manitoba  Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences



The University of British Columbia The University of British Columbia Dr. Gibson is an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia on the Okanagan Campus. She is a translational scientist who studies how the gut microbiome develops in response to the environmental cues, like dietary patterns, and how this drives immunometabolic responses.One focus of Dr. Gibson’s research has been how to improve diets for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients, including a clinical trial on the Mediterranean diet pattern in people with Ulcerative Colitis. One of her major areas in her research lab is to figure out how to alter the course of the microbiome through novel therapeutics. One example is via improving the bioavailability of probiotics to improve the disease-associated microbiome that stimulates unbalanced inflammation. To this end, she has bioengineered live biotherapeutic products to treat intestinal inflammatory conditions including IBD and metabolic comorbidities as well as on the gut-brain axis. She is passionately involved in finding the cure for IBD and is currently the Co-Chair for the Crohn’s and Colitis Canada Scientific and Medical Advisory Council, a member of the COVID taskforce for the Crohn’s and Colitis Canada Scientific & Medical Advisory Council, a member of the steering committee Mentoring in IBD, as well as a member of the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology WomenCAN.She was the recipient of an NSERC research scholar award, a UBC Killam research award and the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology 2018 Young Investigator Award.

Ravinder K.


Associate Professor of Medicine University of Illinois Chicago Dr Ravinder Gill, is Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Department of Medicine (DOM) and Associate Director of the MSTP program at University of Illinois Chicago (UIC). Her basic research interests primarily focus on intestinal epithelial transport with specific emphasis on serotonin transporter and its relation to aryl hydrocarbon receptor signaling in health and gastrointestinal disorders. The strength of Dr. Gill’s research program lies in her efforts to understand the role of gut-microbiota axis in both gut and brain disorders. She obtained her master and bachelor’s degrees, followed by a PhD from Panjab University, Chandigarh, one of the premier research institutes in India. Dr. Gill then completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Gastroenterology at UIC Chicago. Her career trajectory has been remarkable with outstanding achievements including “new investigator award” from American Physiological Society USA in 2007, continuous track record of funding from NIH. Her work has also been supported by Senior Research Award from Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America and a VA Merit Award. She has authored more than 95 peer reviewed publications and 12 book chapters and reviews.

Samaa T.


Ph.D. Candidate Université de Montréal Samaa Gobran is a physician by training. After completing her M.D. in Egypt, she pursued her master degree focusing on innate immune response in HCV spontaneous resolvers versus chronic progressors. Later on, she joined Dr. Naglaa Shoukry lab as a Ph.D. Student co-supervised by Dr. Petronela Ancuta to characterize impact of untreated and cured HCV on HIV disease progression. Today she is presenting some of her data.



Postdoctoral fellow Centre de Recherche du CHUM Dr. Elsa Gomez Escobar obtained her Master’s degree in Biotechnology Engineering from the Institut Polytechnique de Bordeaux in 2017. Then, she joined the team of Dr. Philippe Roingeard at the Université de Tours and obtained her PhD in Virology. There, she worked on the optimization of a hepatitis C vaccine candidate. Because of her keen interest on Immunovirology, she joined Dr. Naglaa Shoukry's team at the Centre de Recherche du CHUM in Montreal as a Postdoctoral fellow in 2022. The main topic of her research is the study of immune responses in PWID during reinfection.