Division of Gastroenterology

Rohit Loomba, MD, MHSc

Professor of Medicine

Phone: (858) 534-2624
Fax: (858) 534-3338
Email: roloomba@ucsd.edu

Lab Website: fattyliver.ucsd.edu
Patient website for Dr. Loomba
Liver Epidemiology Fellowship

Clinical Epidemiology and Outcomes in Liver Disease

Rohit Loomba, MD, MHSc, is an expert in the clinical management of chronic liver diseases and holds a joint appointment in the Division of Gastroenterology in the Department of Medicine and the Division of Epidemiology in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of California at San Diego School of Medicine.

His research focuses on all aspects of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease including aging, epidemiology, genetic and environmental predisposition, natural history, and treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Dr. Loomba is the Principal Investigator for the adult hepatology for the NIDDK-sponsored NASH-CRN (2009-14) and serves on it’s steering committee. This work is performed in close collaboration with investigators in the Department of Pediatrics and Radiology at UCSD.

Dr. Loomba is the recipient of the American Gastroenterological Association Foundation-Sucampo-ASP Designated Research Award in Geriatric Gastroenterology and the T. Franklin Williams Scholarship Award  for 2009-12. This research in liver and aging epidemiology is conducted with strong support from his mentor Drs. Elizabeth Barrett-Connor and David Brenner. He also participates in teaching in the Cardiovascular Epidemiology T32 training program that is run by Drs. Michael Criqui and Mathew Allison. Dr. Loomba’s vision is to establish a comprehensive center of excellence in clinical research and epidemiology of liver disease at UCSD.

He utilizes diverse epidemiologic and outcomes research methodologies to answer clinically relevant questions. The types of research conducted includes patient-oriented clinical research based upon patients seen in the liver clinic, clinical trials, population-based cohort studies, twin studies with Dr. Daniel O’Connor, and clinical decision making by utilizing meta-analytic approaches. He continues to work in close collaboration with his colleagues at the National Institutes of Health, where he received his clinical and research training in advanced hepatology.

Dr. Loomba is conducting research on the epidemiology of viral hepatitis in relation with hepatocellular carcinoma. He has established collaborations with the epidemiology group at the National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.

He works closely with his trainees and has several published and on-going research projects with residents, and fellows. If you are interested in working with Dr. Loomba; please feel free to write an email at roloomba@ucsd.edu. Prior experience in epidemiology and data analysis is strongly encouraged but is not necessary. Just bring your enthusiasm! Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows have the opportunity to learn and develop their expertise in clinical research and epidemiology in a superb teaching environment.


 Institution  Degree  Year  Field of Study
 The Armed Forces Medical College, India  MBBS (MD)  1999  Medicine
 St. Luke's Hospital, MO  Internship, 
Chief Resident
 2000-04  Medicine
 NIH/NIDDK, Bethesda, MD  Fellowship  2004-07  Hepatology
 UCSD, La Jolla, CA  Fellowship  2007-09  Gastroenterology

Most Significant Publications

  1. Loomba R and Liang TJ. Novel approaches to new therapies for hepatitis B virus infection. Antivir Ther 2006; 1: 1-16.
  2. Lutchman G, Modi A, Pomrat K, Kleiner D, Ghany MG, Heller T, Loomba R, Park Y, Liang TJ, Hoofnagle JH. The effects of discontinuing pioglitazone in patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Hepatology 2007;46(2): 424-9.
  3. Loomba R and Ghany MG. Diagnosis and treatment of chronic HBeAg-negative hepatitis B. Curr Hepatitis Rept 2007; 6:146-153.
  4. Loomba R and Liang TJ. Treatment of chronic hepatitis B. Antivir Ther 2007; 12 Suppl 3:H33-41.
  5. Loomba R, and Ghany MG. Association of BMI and diabetes and hepatocellular carcinoma. Ann Intern Med 2008; 15: 148 (2):166-7.
  6. Loomba R, Hwang SJ, O’Donnell CJ, Ellison RC, Vasan RS, D’Agostino RB, Liang TJ, and Fox CS. Parental obesity and offspring serum alanine and aspartate aminotransferase levels: the Framingham heart study. Gastroenterology 2008; 134(4):953-9.
  7. Loomba R, Rowley A, Wesley R, Liang TJ, Hoofnagle JH, Pucino F, and Csako G. Preventive lamivudine reduces the risk of chemotherapy-induced hepatitis B virus reactivation: A systematic review. Ann Intern Med 2008;148(7):519-28.
  8. Loomba R, Rowley A, Wesley R, Smith K, Liang TJ, Pucino F, and Csako G. Hepatitis B immunoglobulin and lamivudine reduce hepatitis B related morbidity and mortality post-liver transplantation: Meta-analysis. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2008;  6(6):696-700.
  9. Loomba R, Wesley R, Pucino F, Liang TJ, Kleiner DE and Lavine JE. Placebo in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis: Insight into natural history and implications for future clinical trials. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2008; 6(11): 1243-8.
  10. Loomba R, Lutchman GA, Kleiner D, Feld J, Borg B, Modi A, Premkumar A, Sumner A, Liang TJ, and Hoofnagle JH. Clinical Trial: A pilot study of metformin for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2009; 29(2): 172-182.
  11. Loomba R, Kleiner DE, and Hoofnagle JH. Mechanism of action of metformin in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Aliment Pharmacol Thera 2009; 29 (5): 603-604.
  12. Stein L and Loomba R. Drug targets for hepatitis B virus. Infect Disord Drug Targets 2009; 9(2):105-16.
  13. Loomba R, Wesley B, Bain A, Csako G, Pucino F. Role of flouroquinolones in primary prophylaxis of spontaneous bacterial peritonitis: Meta-analysis. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2009; 7(4):487-93.
  14. Loomba R, Sirlin CB, Schwimmer JB and Lavine JE. Advances in pediatric nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Hepatology 2009; 50(4):1282-93.
  15. Palmore TN, Shah NL, Loomba R, Borg BB, Lopatin U, Feld JJ, Khokar F, Lutchman G, Kleiner DE, Young N, Childs R, Barrett JA, Liang TJ, Hoofnagle JH, Heller T. Reactivation of hepatitis B with reappearance of hepatitis B surface antigen after chemotherapy and immune suppression. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2009; 7(10):1130-7.
  16. Loomba R, Bettencourt R, and Barrett-Connor E. Synergistic association between alcohol intake and body mass index with serum alanine and aspartate aminotransferase levels in older adults: The Rancho Bernardo Study. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2009; 30 (11-12):1137-49.
  17. Stein LS, Dong MH, and Loomba R. Insulin Sensitizers in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Steatohepatitis: Current Status. Adva Ther 2009; 26(10):893-907.
  18. Rotman Y, Borg BB, Soza A, Feld JJ, Modi AA, Loomba R, Lutchman G, Rivera E, Doo E, Ghany MG, Heller T, Neumann AU, Liang TJ, Hoofnagle JH. Clinical trial: low- and standard-dose peginterferon alfa-2a for chronic hepatitis C, genotype 2 or 3 - efficacy, tolerability, viral kinetics and cytokine response. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2010;31(9):1018-27.
  19. Sanyal AJ, Chalasani N, Kowdley KV, McCullough A, Diehl AM, Bass NM, Neuschwander-Tetri BA, Lavine JE, Tonascia J, Unalp A, Van Natta M, Clark J, Brunt EM, Kleiner DE, Hoofnagle JH, Robuck PR. NASH CRN. Pioglitazone, vitamin E, or placebo for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. N Engl J Med. 2010;6;362(18):1675-85.
  20. Loomba R, Rao F, Zhang L, Khandrika S, Ziegler M, Brenner DA, and O’Connor DT. Genetic covariance between gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase and fatty liver risk factors: role of beta2-adrenergic receptor genetic variation in twins. Gastroenterology. 2010;139(3):836-45.
  21. Loomba R, Yang YI, Su J, Brenner DA, Iloeje U, and Chen CJ. Obesity and alcohol synergize to increase the risk of incident hepatocellular carcinoma in men. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2010; 8(10):891-8, 898.e1-2.
  22. Chalasani NP, Guo X, Loomba R, Mark GO, Haritunians T, Kwon S, Jinrui C, Kent TD, Wilson L; Cummings WO, Chen IY, and Rotter JI. Genome-wide association scan (GWAS) of patients with histologically characterized nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Gastroenterology 2010; 139(5):1567-76.
  23. Dong M, Bettencourt R, Barrett-Connor EB, and Loomba R. Alanine Aminotransferase decreases with age: The Rancho Bernardo Study. PLoS One. 2010 Dec 8;5(12):e14254
  24. Loomba R, McBurney R, Vanessa-Williams, Park Y, Barbara Rehermann, Alter H, Liang TJ, Hoofnagle JH and Heller T. Acute hepatitis C: Clinical presentation, laboratory findings, and treatment outcomes. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2011; 33(5):559-65.
  25. Brunt EM, Kleiner DE, Wilson LA, Belt P, Neuschwander-Tetri BA; NASH Clinical Research Network (CRN). Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) activity score and the histopathologic diagnosis in NAFLD: distinct clinicopathologic meanings. Hepatology. 2011; 53(3):810-20.
  26. Lavine JE, Schwimmer JB, Van Natta ML, Molleston JP, Murray KF, Rosenthal P, Abrams SH, Scheimann AO, Sanyal AJ, Chalasani N, Tonascia J, Ünalp A, Clark JM, Brunt EM, Kleiner DE, Hoofnagle JH, Robuck PR; Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Clinical Research Network. Effect of vitamin E or metformin for treatment of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in children and adolescents: the TONIC randomized controlled trial.  JAMA. 2011; 305(16):1659-68.
  27. Wassel CL, Loomba R, Ix JH, Allison MA, Denenberg JO, Criqui MH. Family history of peripheral artery disease is associated with prevalence and severity of peripheral artery disease the San Diego population study. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2011; 58(13):1386-92.
  28. Dong M, Bettencourt R, Brenner DA, Barrett-Connor EB, and Loomba R. Serum Levels of Alanine Aminotransferase Decrease with Age in Longitudinal Analysis. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012; 10(3):285-290.
  29. Boettcher E, Csako G, Pucino F, Wesley R, and Loomba R. Meta-analysis: pioglitazone improves liver histology and fibrosis in patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2012; 35(1):66-75.
  30. Lee JK, Bettencourt R, Brenner DA, Le TA, Barrett-Connor E , and Loomba R. Association between serum interleukin-6 concentrations and mortality in older adults: The Rancho Bernardo Study. PLoS One. 2012;7(4):e34218.
  31. Le TA, Chen J, Changchien C, Peterson M, Kono Y, Patton H, Cohen BL, Brenner DA, Sirlin C and Loomba R for the San Diego NAFLD Research Consortium (SINC). Effect of colesevelam on liver fat quantified by magnetic resonance in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis: A randomized controlled trial. Hepatology. 2012 Sep;56(3):922-932
  32. Loomba R, Yang YI, Iloeje U, Jun Su, Brenner DA, Barrett-Connor E and Chen CJ. Synergism between obesity and alcohol in increasing the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma: a prospective cohort study. Am J Epidemiol. 2013 Feb 15;177(4):333-42
  33. Loomba R, Abraham MB, Unalp A, Wilson L, Lavine JE, Doo E, Bass M, and the NASH Clinical Research Network. Association between diabetes, family history of diabetes and risk of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and fibrosis. Hepatology. 2012 Sep;56 (3):943-951.
  34. Loomba R. Who should undergo a liver biopsy in NAFLD? AGA Perspectives 2012. Vol 8. No.3: 20-21
  35. Bambha K, Belt P, Abraham M, Wilson LA, Pabst M, Ferrell L, Unalp-Arida A, Bass N; Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Clinical Research Network Research Group. Ethnicity and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Hepatology 2012; 55(3):769-80.
  36. Permutt Z, Le TA, Peterson MR, Seki E, Brenner DA, Sirlin C, Loomba R. Correlation between liver histology and novel magnetic resonance imaging in adult patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease - MRI accurately quantifies hepatic steatosis in NAFLD. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2012 Jul;36(1):22-9
  37. Le TA, Loomba R. Management of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and steatohepatitis. Accepted for publication in Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hepatology
  38. Noureddin M, and Loomba R. Indications for liver biopsy & Non-invasive biomarkers in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Clinical Liver Disease. September 2012: 1, 4, 103–106
  39. Abecassis M, Bridges ND, Clancy CJ, Dew MA, Eldadah B, Englesbe MJ, Flessner MF, Frank JC, Friedewald  J, Gill J, Gries C, Halter JB, Hartmann EL, Hazzard WR, Horne FM, Hosenpud J,  Jacobson JP, Kasiske BL, Lake J, Loomba R, Malani PN, T.M. Moore TM, Murray A, Nguyen M-H, Powe NR, Reese PP, Reynolds H, Samaniego MD, Schmader KE, Segev DL, Shah AS, Singer LG, Sosa JA, Stewart ZA, Tan JC, Williams WW, Zaas DW, High KP. Solid Organ Transplantation in Older Adults: Current Status and Future Research. Am J Transplant. 2012 Oct;12(10):2608-22
  40. Rose SC, Kikolski SG, Gish RG, Kono Y, Loomba R, Hemming AW, Wallace MJ; On behalf of the Society of Interventional Radiology. Society of interventional radiology critique and commentary on the Cochrane report on transarterial (chemo)embolization. Hepatology. 2013 Apr;57(4):1675-6
  41. Hwang JP, Vierling JM, Zelenetz AD, Lackey SC, Loomba R. Hepatitis B virus management to prevent reactivation after chemotherapy: a review. Support Care Cancer. 2012 Nov;20(11):2999-3008
  42. Zarrinpar A and Loomba R. Systematic Review: The Emerging Interplay Between Bile Acids, Gastrointestinal Tract, and Incretins in the Pathogenesis of Diabetes and Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2012 Nov;36(10):909-21
  43. Loomba R, Doycheva I, Bettencourt R, Cohen B, Wassel C, Brenner DA, and Barrett-Connor E. Serum gamm-glutamyltranspeptidase predicts all-cause, cardiovascular and liver mortality in older adults. J Clin Exp Hepatol. 2013 Mar 1;3(1):4-11
  44. Doycheva I, Patel N, Peterson M, Loomba R. Prognostic implication of liver histology in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in diabetes. J Diabetes Complications. 2013 May-Jun;27(3):293-300
  45. Patel N, Peterson MR, Brenner DA, Heba E, Sirlin C, Loomba R. Association between novel MRI-estimated pancreatic fat and liver histology-determined steatosis and fibrosis in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2013 Mar;37(6):630-9.
  46. Patel NS, Loomba R. Commentary: non-alcoholic fatty pancreas -- toward an uncharted territory; authors' reply. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2013 May;37(9):916-7
  47. Tang A, Tan J, Sun M, Hamilton G, Bydder M, Wolfson T, Gamst AC, Middleton M, Brunt EM, Loomba R, Lavine JE, Schwimmer JB, Sirlin CB. Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: MR Imaging of Liver Proton Density Fat Fraction to Assess Hepatic Steatosis. Radiology. 2013 May;267(2):422-431
  48. Yang L, Inokuchi S, Roh YS, Song J, Loomba R, Park EJ, Seki E. Transforming Growth Factor-β Signaling in Hepatocytes Promotes Hepatic Fibrosis and Carcinogenesis in Mice with Hepatocyte-Specific Deletion of TAK1. Gastroenterology. 2013 May;144(5):1042-1054.
  49. Loomba R, Liu J, Yang HI, Lee MH, Lu SN, Wang LY, Iloeje UH, You SL, Brenner D, Chen CJ. Synergistic Effects of Family History of Hepatocellular Carcinoma and Hepatitis B Virus Infection on Risk for Incident Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2013 May 10. doi:pii: S1542-3565(13)00618-6. 10.1016/j.cgh.2013.04.043. [Epub ahead of print]
  50. Noureddin M, Yates KP, Vaughn IA, Neuschwander-Tetri BA, Sanyal AJ, McCullough A, Merriman R, Hameed B,  Doo E, Kleiner DE, Behling C, and Loomba R for the NASH CRN. Clinical and histological determinants of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and advanced fibrosis in elderly patients. Accepted in Hepatology 2013.
  51. Noureddin M, Lam J, Peterson M, Middleton M, Hamilton G, Le TA, Changchien C, David A. Brenner DA, Sirlin C, and Loomba R. Longitudinal comparison between MRI , MRS and histology-determined steatosis  in NAFLD patients at two-time points in a randomized trial. Accepted in Hepatology 2013.
  52. Johnson BL, Schroeder ME, Wolfson T, Gamst AC, Hamilton G, Shiehmorteza M, Loomba R, Schwimmer JB, Reeder S, Middleton MS, Sirlin CB. Effect of flip angle on the accuracy and repeatability of hepatic proton density fat fraction estimation by complex data-based, T1-independent, T2*-corrected, spectrum-modeled MRI. J Magn Reson Imaging 2013.
  53. Hoofnagle JH, Van Natta ML, Kleiner DE, Clark JM, Kowdley KV, Loomba R, Neuschwander-Tetri BA, Sanyal AJ, Tonascia J; the Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis Clinical Research Network (NASH CRN). Vitamin E and changes in serum alanine aminotransferase levels in patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2013 Jul;38(2):134-43.
  54. Levin YS, Yokoo T, Wolfson T, Gamst AC, Collins J, Achmad EA, Hamilton G, Middleton MS, Loomba R, Sirlin CB. Effect of echo-sampling strategy on the accuracy of out-of-phase and in-phase multiecho gradient-Echo MRI hepatic fat fraction estimation. J Magn Reson Imaging. 2013 May 29. doi: 10.1002/jmri.24193. [Epub ahead of print]
  55. Jensky NE, Allison MA, Loomba R, Carnethon MR, de Boer IH, Budoff MJ, Burke GL, Criqui MH, Ix JH. Null association between abdominal muscle and calcified atherosclerosis in community-living persons without clinical cardiovascular disease: The multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis. Metabolism 2013 [Epub ahead of print]
  56. Loomba R and Sanyal AJ. The global NAFLD epidemic. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2013 Nov;10(11):686-90
  57. Negrete LM, Middleton MS, Clark L, Wolfson T, Gamst AC, Lam J, Changchien C, Deyoung-Dominguez IM, Hamilton G, Loomba R, Schwimmer J, Sirlin CB. Inter-examination precision of magnitude-based MRI for estimation of segmental hepatic proton density fat fraction in obese subjects.  J Magn Reson Imaging. 2013 Oct 17. doi: 10.1002/jmri.24284. [Epub ahead of print]
  58. Bambha K, Wilson LA, Unalp A, Loomba R, Neuschwander‐Tetri BA, Brunt EM, Bass NM for the NASH CRN. Coffee Consumption in NAFLD Patients with Lower Insulin Resistance is Associated with Lower Risk of Severe Fibrosis. In press Liver International 2013
  59. Patel NS, Peterson MR, Lin GY, Feldstein A, Schnabl A, Bettencourt R, Seki E, Sirlin CB, and Loomba R. Insulin resistance increases MRI-estimated pancreatic fat in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and normal controls. In press Gastroenterology Research and Practice 2013.
  60. Doycheva I and Loomba R. Effect of metformin on ballooning degeneration in NASH: When to use metformin in NAFLD. In press. Advances in Therapy 2013
  61. Stinton L and Loomba R. Recommendations for liver biopsy evaluation in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. In press Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica 2013