The Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease Specialty Research Network is a multi-disciplinary group of clinician-investigators that evaluates clinically important questions to inform new treatments and new approaches for care in diseases of the pancreas, liver, biliary (gallbladder) system, stomach, small bowel, and colon.  These include inflammatory, infectious, malignant, and immune-related disorders. The group’s investigations are supported by several sources including The Permanente Medical Group, the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, and private non-profit foundations. 

​Physicians Involved in Research

Sripriya Balasubramanian, MD
Roseville Medical Center
Douglas A. Corley, MD, PhD
Division of Research and San Francisco Medical Center
Erina Foster, MD
Vacaville Medical Center
Jeffrey Fox, MD
San Rafael Medical Center
Courtney Gonzales, MD
Antioch Medical Center
Benjamin Hassid, MD
Oakland Medical Center
Sundip Karsan, MD
San Jose Medical Center
Jeffrey K. Lee, MD, MPH
Division of Research and San Francisco Medical Center
Theodore Levin, MD
Walnut Creek Medical Center
Dan Li, MD
Santa Clara Homestead
Mitchell Liverant, MD
Oakland Medical Center
Brock MacDonald, MD
San Rafael Medical Center
Craig Munroe, MD
San Francisco Medical Center
Amir Prushani, MD
Santa Rosa Medical Center
Joanna Ready, MD
Santa Clara Homestead
Catherine Rongey, MD
Vallejo Medical Center
Abhik Roy, MD
San Leandro Medical Center
Varun Saxena, MD
South San Francisco Medical Center
Lyle Shlager, MD
San Francisco Medical Center
Mandeep Singh, MD
Modesto Medical Offices

Upcoming Events




​American College of Gastroenterology: Clinical Meeting and Postgraduate Course

October 24-28, 2020

​Nashville, TN

American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) annual meeting

​November 13-17, 2020

​Boston, MA

​Digestive Disease Week

May 2-5, 2020

​Chicago, IL

Recent Achievements 

A big congratulations to Theodore Levin, MD, for receiving the 2018 Sidney Garfield Exceptional Contribution Award, for colorectal screenings. His accomplishments in improving colorectal cancer screening have led to a 25% decrease in the incidence of colorectal cancer and a 50% decrease in mortality, respectively within Kaiser Permanente Northern California.

To learn more about Dr. Levin's work please follow this link to his award announcement.

Ongoing and Completed Gastroenterology Projects, All Funding Mechanisms

An Organized Hepatitis B Surveillance Program increases Patient Identification and Optimizes Management
Krisna Chai, Joanna Ready, Andy Avins | RAU | Ongoing

Assessment of the Risks of Biologic Therapy in Elderly Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Jennifer Chan | CH | Ongoing

Colorectal cancer screening decisions based on predicted risk: the PREcision ScreENing randomized controlled Trial (PRESENT)
Jeff Lee | NCI | Ongoing

Comparative analysis of safety and effectiveness of non-transplant treatment options for early-to-intermediate stage hepatocellular carcinoma across a large, integrated health care system in Northern California
Nizar  Mukhtar | CH | Ongoing

Comprehensive Colorectal Cancer Risk Prediction To Inform Personalized Screening
Doug Corley, Jeff Lee | NCI | Ongoing

Contemporary Probability of Occult Colorectal Cancer in Patients with Colitis-Related Dysplasia undergoing Colectomy
Fernando Velayos | Other | Ongoing

COVID-19 Pandemic: Impact on Colorectal Cancer Screening and Adenoma Surveillance Outcomes (PICASO)
Theodore Levin | Other | Ongoing

De-implementation of Outdated Colonoscopy Surveillance Interval Recommendations Among Patients with Low-risk Adenomas (DESIRE)
T.R. Levin, Jeffrey Fox, Jeffrey Lee | DSGP | Ongoing

Effect of Screening for Hepatocellular Carcinoma on cancer-related and all-cause mortality in patients with cirrhosis-a population-based case control study
Sreepriya Balasubramanian, Julie Schmittdiel | RAU | Ongoing

Effectiveness of Screening for Colorectal Cancer in Average Risk Adults: Colonoscopy vs. FIT (SCOLAR2)
Doug Corley, T.R. Levin | NCI | Ongoing

Esophageal adenocarcinoma risk in patients with Barrett’s Esophagus without dysplasia. Is ongoing surveillance endoscopy warranted?
Tanaaz Baldawala | CH | Ongoing

Hepatocellular Carcinoma Biomarker Study with Glycotest®
Varun Saxena | Other | Ongoing

Implementation success of integrated program on hepatitis B identification, surveillance, and treatment
Krisna Chai & Joanna Ready, Andy Avins | RAU | Ongoing

Improving health outcomes and reducing healthcare costs in individuals with Helicobacter pylori infection in a large, community-based population
Dan Li | PRP | Ongoing

International Travel for Liver and/or Kidney Transplantation
Joanna Ready | Other | Ongoing

K Award
Jeff Lee | NCI | Ongoing

Non-endoscopic management of acute esophageal food impaction (EFI) in the emergency department
Linda Lee | CH | Ongoing

Optimization of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Surveillance Protocols
Varun Saxena, Julie Schmittdiel | DSGP | Ongoing

Optimizing Colorectal Cancer Screening PREcision and Outcomes in CommunIty-baSEd Populations (PRECISE)
Doug Corley, T.R. Levin | NCI | Ongoing

Phase III, randomized, double blind, parallel group, placebo controlled, multicentre study to assess efficacy & safety to adult allogeneic expanded adipose-derived stem cells (eASCs) for treatement of complex perianal fistulising Crohn's disease
Fernando Velayos | Other | Ongoing

PICASO study of pandemic related impact on colorectal cancer screening outcomes
TR Levin | Other | Ongoing

PREDICT PCCC: PREDICTing Post Colonoscopy Colorectal Cancer
T.R. Levin, Jeffrey Lee, Vincent Liu, Charles Quesenberry, Oleg Sofrygin | PRP | Ongoing

PREDICT: Predicting advanced neoplasia on surveillance colonoscopy
TR Levin | Other | Ongoing

Predicting Serious Colonic Growths to Risk Stratify People Coming Due for Surveillance Colonoscopy
TR Levin | PRP | Ongoing

Prednisone, but not biologics or immunomodulators are associated with severe COVID-19 outcomes: A community-based study
Fernando Velayos, Jennifer Dusendang, Julie Schmittdiel | Other | Ongoing

PREEMPT CRC screening trial. Multicenter study of a multi-omics based blood based screening test
TR Levin, Aasma Shaukat | Industry | Ongoing

Prior immunosuppressive therapy and severe illness among patients diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2: a community-based study
Fernando Velayos | Other | Ongoing

Reproductive Health Following Liver Transplant
Sreepriya Balasubramanian | Other | Ongoing

Retreatment of Hepatitis C Infection in Patients who Previously Failed Sofobuvir/Velpatasvir/Voxilpravir
Varun Saxena | Other | Ongoing

Retrospective Validation of MeScore for Identification of Colorectal Cancer (CRC)
Doug Corley, T.R. Levin | Industry | Ongoing

Sarcopenia and Frailty Among Liver Transplant Recipients
Sreepriya Balasubramanian | Other | Ongoing

SARS-CoV-2 Serological Antibody Testing for Disease Surveillance and Clinical Use
Jacek Skarbinski, Larry Kushi, Douglas Corle | NIH | Ongoing

System-Level Capture of Family History Data to Assess Risk of Cancer and Provide Longitudinal Care Coordination
Doug Corley | PCORI | Ongoing

Tenofovir Disoproxil vs. Entecavir on the Risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma, All-Cause Mortality and Liver Transplantation in Kaiser Permanente Northern California Members with Chronic Hepatitis B Virus
Suk Seo | CH | Ongoing

Volumetric Lase Endomicroscopy in dysplastic Barrett's esophagus: Can we see the invisible lesions?
Ben Hassid | Other | Ongoing

Benefits of Hepatitis C Virus Cure
Varun Saxena, Julie Schmittdiel | RAU | Completed

Burden of psychiatric co-morbidity in patients presenting to the Emergence department with infammatory  bowel disease
Ben Hassid, Shellie Kahane | CH | Completed

Cardiovascular Mortality after Azithromycin versus Amoxicillin Prescription: Pilot Feasibility Study
Jon Zaroff | Pfizer | Completed

Colorectal Cancer Risk in Patients with Diverticulitis: Is Routine Colonoscopy Warranted?
Tanaaz Baldawala | CH | Completed

Comparison of risk factors, clinical behavior and prognosis of microsatellite stable vs. unstable colorectal cancers in a large diverse U.S. population
Li, Dan MD | CH | Completed

Comparisons of Risk factors, Clinical Characteristics, Screening perfomance, and Survival of Microsatellite Stable vs. Unstable Colorectal Cancers in a Large U.S. Populations
Doug Corley, TR Levin, Jeffrey Lee, Minggui Pan | CH | Completed

COVID-19 Complications Are Not More Common Among Immunosuppressed Populations in KPNC
Fernando Velayos, Julie Schmittdiel | RAU | Completed

Early follow up after emergence room presentation reduces repeat emergency care in patients with inflammatory bowel disease
Ben Hassid | CH | Completed

Evaluating the prevalence and predictors of colorectal neoplasia after age 75 in patients with prior colonoscopy between the ages of 70-75
Abhik Roy | CH | Completed

Evaluating the yield and safety of surveillance colonoscopy in elderly patients
Abhik Roy | CH | Completed

Evaluation of a Novel Pharmacy Program for Reducing Variation in Prescribing Biologics for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Jennifer Chan | CH | Completed

Evaluation of hepatocellular carcinoma management practices and patient survival within the Kaiser Permanente Northern California health care system across age, gender and racial/ethnic groups
Mukhtar, Nizar MD | CH | Completed

Identifying the Determinants and Incidence of Colorectal Neoplasia after a Negative Colonoscopy in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Fernando Velayos | CH | Completed

Impact of Colonoscopist on Diagnostic Yield of Colonoscopy in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Fernando Velayos | CH | Completed

Incidence of Serrated Polyps in Patients 40-49 Years and Associated Risk for Metachonous Advanced Neoplasia
Gene Ma | CH | Completed

Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Prevalence and Associated Mortality (NAFLD PAM)
Levin, Theodore R MD | CH | Completed

Optimization of Diagnosis of Serrated Polyps of the Colorectum among KPNC Gastroenterologists and Pathologists
Dan Li | PRP | Completed

Prevalence of Severe Infections in Elderly Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Benjamin Hassid | CH | Completed

Preventative Health Care Utilization in High Risk Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Benjamin Hassid | CH | Completed

Rates and Risk Factors of Post-Colonoscopy Colorectal Cancer in a Large, United States Population-based Cohort Study
Jeffrey Lee | CH | Completed

Risk of colorectal cancer in individuals with serrated polyposis
Dan Li | CH | Completed

Risk of Colorectal Cancer in Patients with Diverticulitis: Is Routine Colonoscopy Warranted?
Baldawala, Tanaaz MD | CH | Completed

Risk of COVID-19 pandemic on immunosuppressed populations
Fernando Velayos, Julie Schmittdiel | RAU | Completed

Risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Patients with Isolated Anti-Hepatitis B Core Antibody Positivity: Implications for Surveillance
Jamila Champsi | CH | Completed

Risk of Metachronous Advanced Neoplasia After Colonoscopic Polypectomy in Younger Patients
Gene Ma | CH | Completed

Risk of Metachronous Advanced Neoplasia After Colonscopy in Patients Aged 40-49 Years Compared to Patients Aged 50-59 Years
Gene Ma | CH | Completed

Risk stratification of emergency department patients with lower gastrointestinal bleeding: identifying patients who may be safe for outpatient management
Sean Bouvet | CH | Completed

Telemedicine (Compared to in-Person Gastroenterology Visits) Had High Patient Satisfaction and Comparable Physician Decison-Making
Craig Munroe, Doug Corley | RAU | Completed

The Incidence of Gastric Adenocarcinoma after Helicobacter Pylori Eradication Therapy in a Large U.S. Population
Dan Li | CH | Completed

Travel for liver transplantation: is there a quantifiable benefit for our patients?
Joanna Ready | CH | Completed

Variable Phenotypes of Eosinophilic Esophagitis: Does Gender, Age and Race Play a Role?
Pauline Mysliwiec | CH | Completed

Virtual care in Gastroenterology: An Observational, Cross Sectional study in a community based, integrated health care system
Craig Munroe, Doug Corley | RAU | Completed