Jennifer Leong, MD
Why did you choose to specialize in hepatology?
I was first drawn to gastroenterology as an ideal blend of comprehensive patient care and procedures, but it was during my gastroenterology fellowship that I discovered my love for the field of hepatology. I became fascinated by this complex organ that performs vital functions for the human body and the many different diseases and conditions that can impact the liver. The investigation of why a person’s liver tests became abnormal was a diagnostic dilemma that I found to be challenging and intriguing. This led me to pursue an additional year of fellowship training in Transplant Hepatology to further advance my knowledge and expertise in the evaluation and management of liver conditions.
What are your areas of special interest and expertise within hepatology?
While I treat all liver diseases my specific clinical areas of interest and focus include viral hepatitis, autoimmune liver diseases, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD, aka fatty liver disease). NAFLD has become an emerging health issue for many in this country and a leading risk factor for the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) as well as for needing a liver transplant. There is currently no FDA approved treatment for NAFLD. I enjoy the collaboration and multidisciplinary effort required to optimally manage and treat this disease, which requires targeting not just the liver, but also a holistic approach tailored to each unique individual. Although my hope is to adequately treat my patients’ liver diseases to avoid the need for transplantation, with over 10 years of liver transplant experience, I can counsel my patients about this approach when appropriate.
Do you have any special honors, recognition or achievements in your medical career that you would like to share?
I am a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. I have spoken at several community events and hospitals in order to provide education on liver diseases and in particular, gave a presentation on the impact of Hepatitis B in the Asian Community during a NYC Hep Free Press Event at City Hall in 2015. I have conducted research on Hepatitis B and outcomes following liver transplantation. I have published more than 40 articles and abstracts in peer-reviewed journals.
What do you and your family enjoy doing in your spare time?
Bake, watch movies, read books with my daughter, go to museums and zoos, take walks through Central Park and meet with friends and other family members.