Saint Louis University

ST. LOUIS -- The Friends of Saint Louis University Liver Center, an independent group of community members who annually generate funds to support the education, research and treatment of liver diseases at the Saint Louis University Liver Center, presented a $250,000 check to the Center on Feb. 17, bringing the total donations for 2011 to $367,500.

Liver Center doctors Adrian Di Bisceglie and Brent Tetri with ‘Friends’ executive director Leisa Duff.  

Since its inception in 2002, the Friends organization has raised and donated more than $2.4 million for the Saint Louis University Liver Center. By leveraging the donations of the Friends, the Liver Center is able to use the “seed money” as a means to apply for larger grants from outside sources; for every $1 raised locally, the Center has generated an additional $18 from outside the region.

“Thanks to the efforts of the Friends, we’ve been able to make real progress in finding new treatments for liver disease,” said Bruce Bacon, M.D., co-founder of the Liver Center and professor of internal medicine at the School of Medicine. “I’m pleased to report that our research efforts for hepatitis C, which affects roughly five million Americans and their families, have led to better therapies.”

The donation represents the net proceeds from the organization’s recent “Denim & Diamonds” Black & White Gala and last spring’s “Shoot For A Cure” fundraiser. The “Denim & Diamonds” event is the largest annual fundraiser put on by the organization.

Providing national leadership in the field of hepatology, the Saint Louis University Liver Center is staffed by some of the highest-profile doctors and research scientists in the nation. The Center has one of the world’s largest hepatitis C practices in the world, treating more than 800 patients annually.

Established in 1836, Saint Louis University School of Medicine has the distinction of awarding the first medical degree west of the Mississippi River. The school educates physicians and biomedical scientists, conducts medical research, and provides health care on a local, national and international level. Research at the school seeks new cures and treatments in five key areas: cancer, infectious disease, liver disease, aging and brain disease and heart/lung disease.