Dr. Thomas Boyer Appointed Director of New Arizona Liver Institute at UA

George Humphrey
Oct. 9, 2000


Dr. Thomas D. Boyer, an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of liver disorders, has been appointed director of the new Arizona Liver Institute at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.

Boyer, who also is a noted liver transplant physician, brings to AHSC 20 years of experience in hepatology and a long record of both basic and clinical research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and industry. Established with funding from the Arizona Legislature, the Arizona Liver Institute will search for chemical and natural agents that offer potential cures for liver diseases. Dr. Boyer's goal is to develop the Institute into a world-renowned integrated clinical and basic research program for chronic liver disease.

Boyer also will serve as a professor in the UA department of medicine and will work with the University Medical Center Liver Transplant Program.

A graduate of the University of Redlands and University of Southern California School of Medicine, Boyer received his training in internal medicine and hepatology at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. He completed his training in gastroenterology at University of California San Francisco, where he then went on to become a faculty member. During his tenure at UCSF he became professor of medicine and chief of gastroenterolgy at the San Francisco Veterans Hospital.

In 1990, Boyer moved to Emory University in Atlanta as professor of medicine and biochemistry and director of the Division of Digestive Diseases. While at Emory he directed a division of about 15 physicians and investigators and was responsible for the clinical and training programs at Emory University Hospital, Grady Memorial Hospital and the Atlanta VA Hospital. Boyer was the transplant physician for the liver transplant program and had a large hepatology practice at the Emory Clinic. He was the principal investigator on one NIH grant and numerous studies of the treatment of viral hepatitis, which were sponsored by industry. In addition, he was an investigator on two large multicenter NIH funded studies of the treatment of bleeding varices and treatment of primary biliary cirrhosis.

Boyer has published more that 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals, is the editor (with Dr. David Zakim) of the leading textbook on liver disease (Hepatology), and is the author of numerous book chapters, review articles and editorials. In addition, he is a member of the board of directors of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and will serve as president of that organization in 2002.

The need for this new institute is apparent. Approximately 25 million Americans (one in 10) are afflicted with liver, bile duct or gallbladder diseases, according to the American Liver Foundation. At least 4 million Americans have hepatitis C, a potentially fatal virus that infects the liver. About 26,000 Americans die each year from chronic liver diseases and cirrhosis.

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