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Advisory Boards

Internal Advisory Board Members

Pamela Mellon, PhD

Dr. Mellon, Professor of Neurosciences and Reproductive Medicine at UCSD, with extensive experience in directing a large mouse core facility at USCD, serves as Chair of the Internal Advisory Board. She brings broad experience in Center grants and new project development. She also has extensive experience in developing women and under-represented minorities in academics.

Jerrold Olefsky, MD

Dr. Olefsky, Professor of Medicine at UCSD, has been the PI and Director of a NIDDK-supported Diabetes Research Center grant jointly operated by UCSD and UCLA. Thus, he is very familiar with the issues of Center management and the effort involved in building a functional consortium.

D. Brent Polk, MD, AGAF

Dr. Polk is Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Gastroenterology and Executive Vice Chair for the Department of Pediatrics, at the University of California, San Diego. In addition, he is the Chief of Pediatrics, Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Pediatrics, at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego. Dr. Polk was the founding Director of Vanderbilt Digestive Disease Research Center, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He serves as the DDRCC External Advisory Board member for several centers.

Mitchell Kronenberg, PhD

Dr. Kronenberg is President and Chief Scientific Officer based at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology (LIAI), Professor of Biology at UCSD, and a Center member. Dr. Kronenberg will provide insight from the perspective outside of UCSD.

External Advisory Board Members

Christian Jobin, PhD
Dr. Jobin is Professor of Medicine and Program Leader of the Cancer Microbiota & Host Response at the University of Florida Health Cancer Center, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition. He studies the differential contribution of bacteria in protecting or exacerbating the development of colitis and colorectal cancer. Dr. Jobin has contributed to the understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanism regulating host response to bacterial colonization, and has published numerous papers on innate signaling events taking place in the intestine and how these impact intestinal homeostasis. He has served on several study sections including the ​American Cancer Society, CCFA Fellowship and Career Awards, NIH tumor microenvironment and he is currently serving on the Gastrointestinal Mucosal Pathobiology study section (GMPB-permanent member).​

Jacquelyn Maher, MD
Dr. Maher is Professor of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco, Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology at San Francisco General Hospital and Director of the P30-funded UCSF Liver Center. Research in her laboratory focuses on the pathogenesis of fatty liver disease. Special emphasis is placed on the effects of individual dietary macronutrients on liver injury. Her studies in mice implicate dietary sugar as an important inducer of fatty liver disease, through conversion to toxic saturated fatty acids. Ongoing work in her group concentrates on the synergistic toxicity of carbohydrates and saturated fats, and explores how adipose tissue in obesity adversely affects the liver. She uses stem cells from patients with fatty liver disease to study what makes their livers susceptible to injury.

Anil K. Rustgi, MD
Dr. Rustgi is Professor of Medicine and Director of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center. He is a world-renowned leader in the field of gastrointestinal oncology. His interdisciplinary research focuses on tumor initiation, the tumor microenvironment and tumor metastasis in the context of gastrointestinal cancers, including cancer of the esophagus, pancreas, and colon. Dr. Rustgi's lab works to translate their discoveries into improving molecular diagnostics and finding new experimental therapeutics for patients and is funded through several NIH-funded grants and an American Cancer Society Research Professorship. He served for many years as the Director of the Center for Molecular Studies in Digestive and Liver Diseases at the University of Pennsylvania until 2018.

Hidekazu Tsukamoto, PhD
Dr. Tsukamoto is Professor of Pathology and Director at the Southern California Research Center for ALPD & Cirrhosis, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC). His research program has uninterruptedly been funded by both NIH and VA since 1983, supporting his pursuit for elucidation of molecular mechanisms underlying cell fate regulation of hepatic macrophages (HMs), hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), and hepatocytes in the genesis of liver inflammation, fibrosis, and cancer. Since joining USC in 1994, he has mentored many postdoctoral fellows and faculty members. He served as a member of the National Advisory Council for NIAAA/NIH from 2004 to 2009. Dr. Tsukamoto served as the Associate Director of the University of Southern California Research Center for Liver Diseases from 1995 to 2003. He has been the founding Director of the NIH/NIAAA P50 Center on Alcoholic Liver and Pancreatic Diseases (ALPD) and Cirrhosis since 1999.