Faculty and Staff

The Liver Research Institute conducts research on, teaches about and provides comprehensive care for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions of the liver. It is a unit of the UA Department of Medicine and the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson.

University of Arizona Liver Research Institute
1501 N. Campbell Ave.
PO Box 245136
Tucson, AZ  85724-5136
Tel: (520) 626-3005
Fax: (520) 626-5975


Thomas D. Boyer, MD
Professor Emeritus of Medicine, and Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Founder, Liver Research Institute

Dr. Boyer received his medical degree from the University of Southern California (USC) and performed his post-graduate training at USC and the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF). He has served on faculty at USCF and was the director of the Division of Digestive Diseases at Emory University before joining the faculty of the University of Arizona in 2000. He has served on numerous National Institutes of Health committees as well as international organizations for the study of liver disease and is a past president of the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease and the International Association for the Study of the Liver. He is the editor of Hepatology: A Textbook of Liver Disease and has served on editorial boards of several peer reviewed journals. He is currently the associate editor for the American Journal of Medicine.

Archita Desai, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Interim Director, Liver Research Institute

Dr. Desai completed her medical school degree at the University of California at San Francisco and her post-graduate training at the University of Chicago, where she was a fellow in both gastroenterology and transplant hepatology. She joined the faculty at the University of Arizona in August 2014. Her research interests focus on improving outcomes in patients with liver disease. In 2015, she was one of seven junior faculty to win a UA Health Sciences Career Development Award for her work on improving quality in the hospitalist-based health-care delivery model for cirrhosis.

Jen-Jung Pan, MD, PhD 
Associate Professor of Medicine
Medical Director, Liver Transplants

Dr. Pan graduated from the School of Medicine at the National Yang Ming University in Taipei, Taiwan, in 1993. Afterward, he obtained a doctoral degree in pathology at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo. Following completion of his graduate study in 1999, he undertook residency training in internal medicine in Taiwan and at the SUNY at Buffalo. He then moved to the University of Florida in Gainesville and completed gastroenterology and transplant hepatology fellowship training in 2009. He was a faculty member of Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Texas in Houston. He joined the UA Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology as an associate professor in September 2017. Dr. Pan has clinical interest in liver diseases and research interest particularly in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

Research Staff

Laurie C. Judge, RN
Senior Research Nurse
Phone: (520) 626-6342
Fax: (520) 626-9815
Email: ljudge@deptofmed.arizona.edu

Jo McClain, RN
Senior Research Nurse
Phone: (520) 626-9882
Fax: (520) 626-9815
Email: jmcclain@deptofmed.arizona.edu 

Fran Drake, RN
Senior Research Nurse
Phone: (520) 626-7210
Fax: (520) 626-9815
Email: francesd@deptofmed.arizona.edu 

Clinical Staff

Carol Peters, NP
Nurse Practitioner
Phone: (520) 626-5952
Fax: (520) 626-5975
Email: cpeters2@deptofmed.arizona.edu

Carol received her bachelor's of science degree in nursing from Northern Arizona University and her advanced degrees from the University of Arizona College Of Nursing. After working for several years in general gastroenterology, she joined the Liver Research Institute in 2010. In addition to managing general liver disease, Carol specializes in the treatment of hepatitis C and has been an integral part of the clinical research program.

Mirna Cano, MA
Medical Assistant
Phone: (520) 626-2589
Fax: (520) 626-2798
Email: mirna.cano@bannerhealth.com

Janet Serrano, MA
Medical Assistant
Phone: (520) 626-5952
Fax: (520) 626-5975
Email: janet.serrano@bannerhealth.com

Office Staff

Lisa Laughlin
Administrative Associate
Phone: (520) 626-3005
Fax: (520) 626-5975
Email: laughlin@deptofmed.arizona.edu 

Jason Gass
Data Entry Specialist
Phone: (520) 626-0706
Fax: (520) 626-9815
Email: jgass@deptofmed.arizona.edu