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Loyola Establishes New Division of Hepatology

5 Physicians and 3 Researchers Focused on Liver Diseases, Transplant

MAYWOOD, Ill. - Loyola University Health System (LUHS) and the Stritch School of Medicine (SSOM) are expanding hepatology services with the addition of five physicians and three researchers. They will become part of the newly established Division of Hepatology, focused on the care of patients with liver disease, liver transplantation and liver research.

Scott Cotler, MD, has been named division director of Hepatology of LUHS and professor, SSOM. Dr. Cotler was recruited from the University of Illinois (UIC) Hospital and Health Science System where he was chief of the Section of Hepatology. He will join Loyola Aug. 1.

“Through Dr. Cotler’s leadership, Loyola’s new hepatology division will be a game-changer in the treatment of liver disease and the care of liver patients not just at Loyola but throughout the region,” said Larry Goldberg, president and CEO, LUHS.

Also coming from the UIC medical center are physicians Jamie Berkes, MD, medical director, Liver Transplant; Eric Kallwitz, MD; and Natasha Walzer, MD. Joining the Loyola hepatology team from the University of Michigan Health System is Steve Scaglione, MD.

Thomas Layden, MD, will be named professor of medicine, SSOM, and will be responsible for conducting clinical research trials in hepatology, gastrointestinal and infectious diseases. Dr. Layden was recruited from the UIC medical center where he served as head of the Department of Medicine and preceded Dr. Cotler as the director of the liver program.

““Dr. Layden's reputation as a clinician and researcher is well-established in the Chicago area and beyond. We are pleased that he will bring his leadership and experience to our hepatology research team,” Goldberg said.

Susan Uprichard, PhD, has been named director of hepatology research at Loyola. She and Harel Dahari, PhD, will conduct research focusing on viral hepatitis B and C infection. Both are at UIC medical center and will join Loyola Sept. 1.

“When Trinity Health acquired Loyola University Health System in July 2011, a key goal was to strengthen Loyola’s national presence as a standard bearer in advanced specialty care,” said Dr. David W. Hecht, chair, Department of Medicine at Loyola University Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine. “Our decision to add these highly regarded hepatologists and preeminent researchers to our team will elevate Loyola’s competitive standing and allow our patients to receive comprehensive liver-care services from some of the most talented physicians in the region."

The new hepatology team joins in patient care with the Loyola surgical team led by Paul Kuo, MD, MS, MBA, FACS, professor and chair, Department of Surgery, and Amy Lu, MD, MPH, MBA, FACS, professor and surgical director, liver transplantation and hepatobiliary surgery.

Loyola Hepatology Division Physicians

Dr. Cotler, who is renowned for his clinical translational research in liver disease, has more than 70 peer-reviewed publications. He has established a statewide liver-referral system for transplantation with offices in Rockford, Peoria, Moline and the Chinatown neighborhood in Chicago. Dr. Cotler received his medical degree from the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, and completed a residency in internal medicine at University of Chicago Hospitals. He completed a fellowship in gastroenterology at Rush University Medical Center and a fellowship in hepatology at the University of Washington Medical Center. He served as chief, Section of Hepatology and professor of medicine at UIC.

Dr. Berkes will serve at Loyola as medical director of liver transplantation. He received his medical degree from the University of Iowa. He completed his residency, fellowship and internship at UIC medical center.

Dr. Kallwitz received his medical degree from Rush University Medical Center. He completed his residency at the University of Chicago Hospitals and his fellowship at UIC medical center.

Dr. Walzer was responsible for developing a UIC medical center telemedicine program to treat patients with hepatitis C at off-site clinics. She received her medical degree from Saint Louis University. She then completed her residency at the University of North Carolina Medical Center and her fellowship at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Scaglione received his medical degree from SSOM, where he also completed his residency. He completed a fellowship in transplant hepatology at the University of Michigan Health System.

All of the physicians are board certified in internal medicine, gastroenterology and transplant hepatology.

Loyola Hepatology Division Researchers

Dr. Layden had a distinguished career at UIC medical center where he served many leadership roles including: head of the digestive disease and liver section and head of Medicine from 2001-11. Under his leadership, the research funding of the department expanded fourfold and federal funding was obtained to expand clinical research and train MD/PhD physician scientists. Dr. Layden received his medical degree from SSOM.

Dr. Uprichard, who will serve at Loyola as director of hepatology research, received her doctorate from Harvard University. She is supported by the National Institutes of Health to study viral hepatitis C replication and has made groundbreaking findings regarding the uptake of hepatitis C into liver cells.
Dr. Dahari received his doctorate from Bar-Ilan University, Tel Aviv, Israel, and completed his postdoctoral fellowship at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He has authored numerous articles in top journals covering all aspects of hepatitis viral infection and antiviral therapy.

“Both Dr. Uprichard and Dr. Dahari are primary investigators involved in leading-edge discovery and clinical research focusing on viral hepatitis infection and treatment,” Hecht said. “The researchers will work in collaboration with Loyola’s infectious disease team, gastroenterology team, the Center for Biomedical Informatics and others at Loyola."

The new hepatology program will join Loyola’s nationally recognized transplant programs in bone marrow, heart, lung and kidney.

“In the past year, our transplant program also has added new systems, technologies and talent, thereby significantly raising Loyola’s profile in the Chicago area,” Hecht said.

Patients who choose to continue their care relationship at Loyola with one of the new physicians can call 1- 85-LIVER DOC (1-855-483-7362).

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

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Stasia Thompson
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