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Jennifer C. Lai


Mother of two and tennis fanatic

Dr. Jennifer C. Lai is a general and transplant hepatologist who specializes in caring for patients with chronic viral hepatitis, autoimmune disorders or cirrhosis, particularly those awaiting liver transplantation.

Lai is active in patient-oriented research in three major areas: integrating core geriatric issues – such as frailty, disability, need for palliative care and multimorbidity (having more than one disease) – to patients with cirrhosis, investigating disparities in organ allocation and distribution, and assessing the impact of liver donor quality on outcomes.

As principal investigator for the Functional Assessment in Liver Transplantation (FrAILT) Study funded by the National Institutes of Health, Lai applies measures of frailty and functional status to patients with end-stage liver disease awaiting transplantation. Her research lays the groundwork for preparing these patients with therapeutic interventions that may improve their outcomes and quality of life. She is director of hepatology research at UCSF.

Lai earned her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and combined medical and master of business administration degrees from Tufts University. She completed her residency at New York–Presbyterian Hospital and fellowships in gastroenterology and transplant hepatology at UCSF.

Lai 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 is a fellow of the American College of Physicians.

  • Education

    Tufts University School of Medicine, 2005

  • Residencies

    New York Presbyterian Hospital, 2008

  • Board Certifications

    Gastroenterology, American Board of Internal Medicine

    Transplant Hepatology, American Board of Internal Medicine

  • Academic Title

    Associate Professor

My mission is to help more patients survive to transplant and thrive after.

Where I see patients (3)

    My reviews


    Overall Experience
    115 Ratings
    Explained things in a way that was easy to understand
    115 Ratings
    Did the doctor pay attention to your concerns
    115 Ratings
    Gave easy to understand instructions about taking care of health problems or concerns
    113 Ratings
    Knew the important information about your medical history
    115 Ratings
    The provider showed respect for what you had to say
    114 Ratings
    The provider spent enough time with me
    115 Ratings

    Selected research

    Decorative Caduceus

    ALTA TIPS: A 5-year Longitudinal Observational Study of Patients Undergoing TIPS Placement

    Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt (TIPS) was first developed as a salvage tool for life threatening variceal bleeding or for the management of severe ascites refractory to medical therapy. Over the past decade there ha...


    Decorative Caduceus

    Functional Assessment in Liver Transplantation

    Grip strength: Performance-based. Measured in kilograms. This was measured in each subject's dominant hand using a hand dynamometer (Jamar Hydraulic hand dynamometer). We averaged three trials. Chair stands: Performance-based. Me...


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