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Jennifer Lai, M.D.

Liver specialist

Dr. Jennifer C. Lai is a general and transplant hepatologist who specializes in caring for patients with chronic viral hepatitis, autoimmune disorders, and cirrhosis, particularly those awaiting liver transplantation. She is also actively engaged in patient-oriented clinical research within three major areas: integrating core principles of geriatrics (e.g., frailty, disability, palliative care, multi-morbidity) to patients with cirrhosis, investigating disparities in organ allocation and distribution as well as assessing the impact of liver donor quality on outcomes.

As the principal investigator for the NIH-funded Functional Assessment in Liver Transplantation (FrAILT) study, Lai aims to apply measures of frailty and functional status to patients with end-stage liver disease awaiting liver transplantation. Her research lays the groundwork for therapeutic interventions aimed at "pre-habilitating" patients awaiting liver transplantation to improve their outcomes and quality of life.

Lai earned her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and combined MD/MBA degrees from Tufts University. She completed residency at the New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia and gastroenterology and advanced/transplant hepatology fellowships at UCSF. She is a member of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, American Society of Transplantation, American Gastroenterological Association, and American College of Gastroenterology. She has been recognized as a Fellow of the American College of Physicians (FACP). Lai is board certified in Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology, and Advanced/Transplant Hepatology.


Liver Disease and Liver Transplant
350 Parnassus Ave., Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 94143
Phone: (415) 353-2318
Fax: (415) 353-2407

Hours: Monday to Friday
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

More about Jennifer Lai


Tufts University School of Medicine 2005


New York Presbyterian Hospital 2008

Selected Research and Publications

  1. Saxena V, Lai JC. Kidney Failure and Liver Allocation: Current Practices and Potential Improvements. Adv Chronic Kidney Dis. 2015 Sep; 22(5):391-8.
  2. Volk ML, Goodrich N, Lai JC, Sonnenday C, Shedden K. Decision support for organ offers in liver transplantation. Liver Transpl. 2015 Jun; 21(6):784-91.
  3. Campos-Varela I, Lai JC, Verna EC, O'Leary JG, Todd Stravitz R, Forman LM, Trotter JF, Brown RS, Terrault NA. Hepatitis C Genotype Influences Post-liver Transplant Outcomes. Transplantation. 2015 Apr; 99(4):835-40.
  4. Lai J, Gerson LB. Chronic Cough and Reflux: An Ongoing Conundrum Possibly Elucidated by Combined pH Impedance Monitoring. Gastroenterology. 2015 May; 148(5):1065-7.
  5. Lai JC, Bikle DD, Lizaola B, Hayssen H, Terrault NA, Schwartz JB. Total 25(oh) vitamin d, free 25(oh) vitamin d, and markers of bone turnover in cirrhotics with and without synthetic dysfunction. Liver Int. 2015 Mar 11.
  6. Lai JC, Covinsky KE, Hayssen H, Lizaola B, Dodge JL, Roberts JP, Terrault NA, Feng S. Clinician assessments of health status predict mortality in patients with end-stage liver disease awaiting liver transplantation. Liver Int. 2015 Jan 28.
  7. Lai JC, Shoback DM, Zipperstein J, Lizaola B, Tseng S, Terrault NA. Bone Mineral Density, Bone Turnover, and Systemic Inflammation in Non-cirrhotics with Chronic Hepatitis C. Dig Dis Sci. 2015 Jan 7.
  8. Bissell DM, Lai JC, Meister RK, Blanc PD. Role of Delta-aminolevulinic Acid in the Symptoms of Acute Porphyria. Am J Med. 2015 Mar; 128(3):313-7.
  9. Sharpton SR, Feng S, Hameed B, Yao F, Lai JC. Combined effects of recipient age and model for end-stage liver disease score on liver transplantation outcomes. Transplantation. 2014 Sep 15; 98(5):557-62.
  10. Lai JC, Covinsky K, Feng S. The octogenarian donor: can the liver be "younger than stated age"? Am J Transplant. 2014 Sep; 14(9):1962-3.
  11. Feng S, Lai JC. Expanded criteria donors. Clin Liver Dis. 2014 Aug; 18(3):633-49.
  12. Lai JC, Feng S, Terrault NA, Lizaola B, Hayssen H, Covinsky K. Frailty predicts waitlist mortality in liver transplant candidates. Am J Transplant. 2014 Aug; 14(8):1870-9.
  13. Schwartz JB, Lai J, Lizaola B, Kane L, Markova S, Weyland P, Terrault NA, Stotland N, Bikle D. A comparison of measured and calculated free 25(OH) vitamin D levels in clinical populations. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014 May; 99(5):1631-7.
  14. Schwartz JB, Lai J, Lizaola B, Kane L, Weyland P, Terrault NA, Stotland N, Bikle D. Variability in free 25(OH) vitamin D levels in clinical populations. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2014 Oct; 144 Pt A:156-8.
  15. Lai JC, Kahn JG, Tavakol M, Peters MG, Roberts JP. Reducing infection transmission in solid organ transplantation through donor nucleic acid testing: a cost-effectiveness analysis. Am J Transplant. 2013 Oct; 13(10):2611-8.
  16. Lai JC, Feng S, Vittinghoff E, Roberts JP. Offer patterns of nationally placed livers by donation service area. Liver Transpl. 2013 Apr; 19(4):404-10.
  17. Halldorson JB, Paarsch HJ, Dodge JL, Segre AM, Lai J, Roberts JP. Center competition and outcomes following liver transplantation. Liver Transpl. 2013 Jan; 19(1):96-104.
  18. Lai JC, Feng S, Roberts JP. An examination of liver offers to candidates on the liver transplant wait-list. Gastroenterology. 2012 Nov; 143(5):1261-5.
  19. Lai JC, O'Leary JG, Trotter JF, Verna EC, Brown RS, Stravitz RT, Duman JD, Forman LM, Terrault NA. Risk of advanced fibrosis with grafts from hepatitis C antibody-positive donors: a multicenter cohort study. Liver Transpl. 2012 May; 18(5):532-8.
  20. Saxena V, Lai JC, O'Leary JG, Verna EC, Brown RS, Stravitz RT, Trotter JF, Krishnan K, Terrault NA. Recipient-donor race mismatch for African American liver transplant patients with chronic hepatitis C. Liver Transpl. 2012 May; 18(5):524-31.

Publications are derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and provided by UCSF Profiles, a service of the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at UCSF. Researchers can make corrections and additions to their publications by logging on to UCSF Profiles.