July 31, 2014

Carrie Bebermeyer

SLU’s Di Bisceglie Honored for Leadership in Hepatitis Prevention and Treatment

White House Marks World Hepatitis Day

Adrian Di Bisceglie, M.D., chair of internal medicine at SLU  

ST. LOUIS – On July 30, SLU hepatologist Adrian Di Bisceglie, M.D., was honored at the White House for exemplary leadership in furthering the nation’s prevention and treatment of viral hepatitis. The Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Office of National AIDS Policy recognized Di Bisceglie’s contributions to fighting this liver disease at a ceremony to commemorate World Hepatitis Day.

Di Bisceglie, who is chair and professor of internal medicine at SLU, currently serves as the president of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). Before coming to SLU, he served as the chief of the liver diseases section at the National Institutes of Health, where he supervised that group's research in viral hepatitis. Together with Bruce R. Bacon, M.D., he co-directs the Saint Louis University Liver Center.

Di Bisceglie’s research has focused particularly on hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Both of these viral infections may become chronic and lead to inflammation of the liver, causing fibrosis and cirrhosis, as well as other complications that may lead to liver cancer and death.

Recently though, dramatic advances have been made in therapy of hepatitis C. Worldwide, experts estimate that nearly 180 million people are infected with the hepatitis C virus. About 4 million people in the U.S. have been infected with hepatitis C; an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 people die from complications each year in this country.

From discovery of the hepatitis C virus in 1989 to the advent of new drugs that improve patient cure rates to 95 percent, Di Bisceglie has seen remarkable progress in treating viral hepatitis over the course of his career.

Leading clinical trials and authoring research, Di Bisceglie’s contributions to these new treatment options have been significant. Of particular note is Di Bisceglie’s leadership of the landmark NIH-funded HALT-C clinical trial. In 1999, he was named chairman of the steering committee of this nationwide study that began, for the first time, to make real strides in understanding the nature of the hepatitis C virus.

Read about Di Bisceglie’s career in a story that ran in Hepatology.

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, liver disease, heart/lung disease, aging and brain disease, and infectious disease.

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