John M. Vierling M.D. is Professor of Medicine and Surgery at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, where he also serves as Director of Baylor Liver Health and Chief of Hepatology. In addition, he is the Director of Advanced Liver Therapies, a center devoted to clinical research in hepatobiliary diseases at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital. Dr. Vierling is board certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. He received his undergraduate degree in Biology at Stanford University with great distinction and departmental honors and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He obtained his M.D. degree from Stanford University School of Medicine, where he was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha.
Following medical internship and residency at Strong Memorial Hospital of the University of Rochester, he trained as a Clinical Associate in the Liver Unit at the National Institutes of Health and then completed a fellowship in gastroenterology at the University of California, San Francisco before joining the faculty. He next joined the faculty at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, where in 1987 he was instrumental in creating a new liver transplant program. He relocated to Los Angeles in 1990 and from 1990-2004 he served as Director of Hepatology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. From 1990-2000 he was also Medical Director of Liver Transplantation and from 2000-2004 he served as Medical Director of Multi-Organ Transplantation. He held the rank of Professor of Medicine in Residence (tenured) at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. In 2005, Dr. Vierling moved to the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
Dr. Vierling is the author of numerous research manuscripts, reviews and chapters. His research interest in the immunologic mechanisms of hepatobiliary injury (autoimmune and alloimmune liver diseases and hepatitis B and C infections), in which the host immune response plays an important role. By emphasizing a "laboratory bench to bedside" philosophy, Dr. Vierling has also been active in the design and execution of clinical therapeutic trials of antiviral agents for treatment of hepatitis B and C infections in patients before and after liver transplantation and trials of immunosuppressive drugs in liver transplantation and autoimmune liver diseases.
He is the 2006 President of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, the premier international professional organization devoted to enhancing the science and practice of hepatology. He is also as a member of the International Association for the Study of Liver, European Association for the Study of Liver, American Gastroenterological Association, American Federation for Clinical Research and International Liver Transplantation Society. He has served the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases as past Chairman of the Training and Education, the Publications and the Public Policy Committees. As Chairman of the Publications Committee, he proposed and directed the creation of the journal Liver Transplantation. He is also a past councilor of the International Liver Transplantation Society. He has served on the Editorial Boards of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Liver Transplantation. In addition, he is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Arbios Systems, Inc. a biotechnology company developing devices to treat liver failure. He also serves as a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry.
Dr. Vierling has served on three NIH Advisory Boards for Liver Center Grants at the University of California, San Francisco, the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and the University of Minnesota. He is also a member of the NIH Liver Tissue Procurement and Distribution advisory board and has served on several NIH Study Sections. He also serves as an advisor to the Hepatitis Division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Vierling Co-Chaired a Hepatitis C Task Force that helped develop and pass two Senate bills in California to address hepatitis C. He also chaired the Task Force on Liver Transplantation for Hepatitis B that led to MediCal approving liver transplants for patients with hepatitis B and liver cancer and to CMMS approving coverage for liver transplantation for hepatitis B under Medicare.
His honors include: Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Omega Alpha, Who's Who, presidencies of both the Western Gut Club and the Southern California Society for Gastroenterology, and recurrent selection by his peers as one of the Best Doctors in America. He has been active for many years in the American Liver Foundation and served as Chairman of its National Board of Directors from 1994-2000. He currently serves on the ALF Hepatitis C Council and recently completed service as Chairman of the ALF's Council on Hepatitis C and Liver Diseases in Veterans. Dr. Vierling is married to Donna M. Vierling, M.D., a gastroenterologist. One of their 5 children died at age 9 of brain cancer. Hobbies include tennis, hiking, camping, fly fishing and photography.