Newswise — Alexandria, VA – The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) Foundation, the largest private supporter of liver disease research and training in the United States, today announced its combined investment of over $2.8 million in Research and Career Development Awards, Abstract Awards, and its Emerging Liver Scholars (ELS) Program. The 2021 award recipients — selected from a highly competitive applicant pool — demonstrate both exceptional aptitude and deep interest in liver disease research and treatment. Their work will further advance the mission of the Foundation and hepatology as a medical specialty.

This year’s funding enables:

  • 26 researchers and clinicians to conduct innovative liver disease research and seek advanced hepatology training through Research and Career Development Awards.
  • 81 early career investigators to receive Abstract Awards, which recognize their scientific excellence and promote professional development through an opportunity to present their research to a large, global audience at AASLD’s annual meeting, The Liver Meeting® and Digestive Disease Week®.
  • 30 residents who have the potential for a career in academic medicine and who have not yet determined their long-term career goals an opportunity for learning, mentorship, and networking opportunities through the ELS Program, which encourages and welcomes future medical changemakers into the field of hepatology.

“Consistent with our belief that tomorrow’s cures for liver disease need funding today, even as we emerge from a challenging year, AASLD Foundation remains resolute in its mission of investing in innovative hepatology research and in the people who study and treat liver disease,” said AASLD Foundation Chair, Bruce A. Luxon, MD, PhD, FAASLD. “AASLD Foundation continues to provide more funding of hepatology research and training than any other private organization in the United States, and we have the generosity of our donors to thank for that.”

In 2021, AASLD Foundation donors’ generosity enables the foundation to fund a diverse portfolio of research projects. This year’s award recipients will explore Pediatric Hepatology, Hepatobiliary Neoplasia, Portal Hypertension and Other Complications of Cirrhosis, NAFLD and NASH among others. With NIH funding becoming increasingly competitive, Foundation research awards play an important role in supporting preliminary work that serves as a bridge to future research. “In a typical year, half of the Foundation’s award recipients go on to receive NIH funding. Liver disease continues to be a critical healthcare issue in the United States and globally,” explained Dr. Luxon, “and there is still much work to be done to get to a world without liver disease.  Integral to the success of this vision will be a consistent, stable source of funding for those committed to finding cures and saving lives through novel and impactful research.”

AASLD Foundation’s enduring financial investment in its awards program demonstrates its commitment to providing critical funding for liver research, securing education and training for those caring for people with liver disease, encouraging early career investigators who are new to the field, and increasing access to trained providers.

To learn more about AASLD Foundation, and its 2021 award recipients, visit

About AASLD Foundation

AASLD Foundation is the largest private supporter of liver disease research in the United States with more than $55 million awarded since 2000, together with AASLD. Its mission is to invest in innovative hepatology research and in the people who study and treat liver disease. Building upon the philanthropic legacy of AASLD, the Foundation does this by funding hepatology research and advanced hepatology training as well as by providing liver disease education for hepatologists, hepatology healthcare professionals and frontline healthcare professionals.