Chari Cohen, PhD, MPH
Director of Public Health Research Hepatitis B Foundation
Dr. Chari Cohen is the Director of Public Health Research for the Hepatitis B Foundation (HBF), in Doylestown, PA. For over 10 years, she has worked with the HBF public health team to plan, implement and evaluate community programs and research projects focusing on hepatitis B and liver cancer. Currently, her research focuses on reducing HBV and liver cancer health disparities, and developing models for improved health care access and management for chronic HBV infection, including the early detection and prevention of liver cancer.
Dr. Cohen directs Hep B United Philadelphia, a campaign to increase testing and vaccination to fight hepatitis B and liver cancer. Dr. Cohen received her PhD in 2015 from Drexel University School of Public Health; and MPH in Community Health Education from Temple University in 2001.
Robert G. Gish, MD
Director Clinical Hepatology Professor of Clinical Medicine
Medical Director UCSD Medical Center
Robert G. Gish, MD, is a world-renowned hepatologist, an advisor of the National Task Force, Consultant Professor at Stanford University Hospitals, Medical Director of Hepatitis B Foundation, and Steering Committee member of the National Viral Hepatitis Routable. Gish has published more than 500 original articles, reviews, abstracts, and book chapters with great focus on hepatitis B. He has been at the forefront of hepatitis B advocacy/policy effort and clinical trials. He frequently attends monthly call and provides insightful and useful comments. Dr. Gish received his medical degree from the University of Kansas in Kansas City. After graduation, he went on to complete his internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine and a fellowship in Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology and has the advance Certificate of Added Qualification (CAQ) in Liver Transplantation and is a UNOS certified Liver Transplant Physician. He is a member of the American Association for the Study of the Liver, the American Gastroenterological Association, the American Society of Transplant Physicians, and the International Liver Transplant Society, among others. He is fluent in Spanish and Vietnamese.
Loc T. Le, MD
Dr. Loc T. Le graduated from Union College in Schenectady, New York, Magna Cum Laude, with a degree in Mathematics and Biology in 1984. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in Rochester, New York in 1988. Dr. Le completed his Internship and Residency at the Sinai Hospital/Johns Hopkins Hospital Internal Medicine Residency Program.
While at Sinai Hospital he received the Best Resident of the Year Award in 1991. He did his Gastroenterology Fellowship at the Medical College of Virginia where he received extensive training in therapeutic gastrointestinal endoscopy and hepatology.
Loc T. Le, MD has been elected as Chairperson of the 2012-2014 National Task Force on Hepatitis B: Focus on Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. He is a former Chairman of the Division of Gastroenterology and Director of Endoscopy at Harbor Hospital of Baltimore.
Moon S. Chen, Jr., PhD, MPH
Professor and Associate Director of Population Research and Cancer Disparities
UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center
Moon S. Chen, PhD, MPH is a co-founder of the National Task Force with Dr. Gary Euler of CDC and a nationally renowned expert in cancer health disparities, particularly as they affect Asian-American populations. When Dr. Chen was professionally challenged with the task to “eliminate health disparities”, he could think of only one example where health disparities have ever been eliminated…and that was the historical example of smallpox eradication. Today because of smallpox eradication, there are no disparities between any people groups as smallpox has been eliminated from the face of the globe. At the 2008 NIH Conference on the Science of Health Disparities, he proposed that hepatitis B viral infections offers the world’s next best candidate for elimination…and that HBV could be eliminated through the same approach as smallpox. This would be through “case finding”, i.e., screening to identify any “positives” and referring them to appropriate treatment and for those who lack natural immunity, to vaccination. Concurrently, completing the birth-dose of HBV and the continuation of HBV vaccinations for youth could spare future generations from HBV. This vision drives his passion for the Task Force’s work and the potential for seeing a world free of HBV-linked infections. He directed the NIH-funded “Liver Cancer Control Interventions for Asian Americans” and continues to be engaged in community and clinically-based HBV control. Currently he is UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Associate Director for Cancer Control and Professor in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at UC Davis, continuing to be engaged in HBV control and also leads a portfolio of research that addresses determinants of cancer risk and their mitigation in human populations.
Karen Jiobu, MA, DLM (ASCP)
Karen Jiobu has a broad background in clinical laboratory medicine and community service projects spanning over 30 years. She has been spending the last 10 years working to eliminate hepatitis B by working with Asian American Community Services, Asian Services in Action, Asian Festival Health and Wellness Pavilion, and the Ohio Asian American Health Coalition. She has collaborated on various research projects, including the data collection for Hep B Free database, New York University Center for the Study of Asian American Health for Ohio, as well as the Health through Action program funded by the Asian and Pacific Islander Health Forum and the Kellogg Foundation (2008-2012), which resulted in a Poster presentation at the American Public Health Association National Convention in October 2011 and a published article in the Journal of Investigative Medicine in 2013. She wrote the first draft of FOA for the CDC grant “Early identification and linkage to care among foreign-born persons with hepatitis B” for the Ohio Asian American Coalition, which was successfully funded. Mrs. Jiobu has previously served on the National Task Force on Hepatitis B’s Executive Board as well as a Regional Director. She is also a member of the Hep B United coalition and the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable.