Jules L. Dienstag is a Physician, Gastrointestinal Unit, MGH and the Carl W. Walter Professor of Medicine and Dean for Medical Education, HMS. After a BA from Columbia College (1968), an MD from the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons (1972), and medical residency at the University of Chicago, Dr. Dienstag joined the U.S. Public Health Service as a Research Associate in the Hepatitis Section, Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, NIAID, NIH (1972-1974). Dr. Dienstag was a gastroenterology fellow under Kurt J. Isselbacher, MD, at the MGH (1976-1978) and has been on the staff there and a member of the HMS faculty since. As a hepatologist, clinical investigator, and teacher, Dr. Dienstag has devoted his career to the understanding, prevention, and management of viral hepatitis. His studies on hepatitis B spanned epidemiology, immunology, vaccine development, and antiviral therapy, including leadership of clinical trials of the first successful oral antiviral nucleoside analog for its treatment; and he has participated in the clinical trials that established contemporary therapy for chronic hepatitis C. He continues to focus on the development of antiviral therapy for chronic viral hepatitis. He was Medical Director for Liver Transplantation at the MGH (1983-1998) and Executive Director of the MGH Liver- Biliary-Pancreas Center (1989-2005); in 1993, he established the MGH Liver Evaluation Clinic. He chaired the MGH General Clinical Research Center Advisory Committee (1999-2009) and now chairs its successor, the HMS-wide Catalyst Human Research Center Advisory Committee (Clinical Translational Science Center).
Dr. Dienstag's primary research interest is in viralhepatitis. Among his contributionshave been basic-virologic, experimental animal-model, immunologic andimmunopathogenetic, genetic, epidemiologic, vaccination, and antiviral studiesof hepatitis A, B, C, and D viruses.
Dr. Dienstag's recent research efforts havefocused on antiviral therapy for chronic viral hepatitis. Dr. Dienstag has participated inclinical trials of interferon therapy for chronic hepatitis C; in combination with the nucleoside analog ribavirin; innaive, relapsing, and nonresponder patients; with different formulations ofstandard interferon; with long-acting, pegylated, preparations, and with directly acting antiviral agents (e.g., protease inhibitors).
Dr. Dienstag led one of 10 Clinical Centerteams nationwide in an an multiyear trial of protracted antiviral therapy forpatients refractory to treatment for chronic hepatitis C. This study, designated the HALT-C (Hepatitis Antiviral Long-term Treatment against Cirrhosis) Trial, was designed to test the hypothesis that long-terminterferon therapy, even in biochemical/virologic nonresponders to interferon,can limit histologic and clinical progression. The HALT-C Trial also included a series of ancillary studiesthat defined virologic alterations during protracted therapy and during thenatural progression of disease and provided a rich source of clinicalmaterial, which shed light on the process of fibrosis andhepatocarcinogenesis.
Dr. Dienstag was the leading United States academicclinical investigator in the development of lamivudine as the first approvedorally administered nucleoside analog for the treatment of chronic hepatitisB.
Publications: Di Bisceglie AM, Shiffman ML, Everson GT, Lindsay KL, Everhart JE, Wright EC, Lee WM, Lok AS, Bonkovsky HL, Morgan TR, Ghany MG, Morishima C, Snow KK, Dienstag JL. Prolonged therapy of advanced chronic hepatitis C with low dose peginterferon. N Engl J Med 2008;359:2429 [PMID 19052125]
Di Bisceglie AM, Stoddard AM, Dienstag JL, et al. Excess mortality in patients with advanced chronic hepatitis C treated with long-term peginterferon. Hepatology 2011; 53:1100 [PMID: 21480316]
Dienstag JL, Ghany MG, Morgan TR, Di Bisceglie AM, Bonkovsky HL, Kim H-Y, et al. A prospective study of the rate of progression in compensated, histologically advanced chronic hepatitis C. Hepatology 2011 [PMID: 21520194]