About Jules Dienstag, MD

Jules L. Dienstag is a Physician, Gastrointestinal Unit, MGH and the Carl W. Walter Professor of Medicine. He is the former Dean for Medical Education at Harvard Medical School (2005-2014). 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 (1999-2008) and then (2008-2015) chaired its successor, the HMS-wide Catalyst Human Research Center Advisory Committee (Clinical Translational Science Center).

Clinical Interests:



Mass General Gastroenterology
55 Fruit St.
Boston, MA 02114
GI Associates Office: 617-726-2426

Medical Education

  • MD, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons
  • Residency, University of Chicago Hospitals
  • Fellowship, Massachusetts General Hospital

American Board Certifications

  • Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine

Accepted Insurance Plans

Note: This provider may accept more insurance plans than shown; please call the practice to find out if your plan is accepted.


Dr. Dienstag's primary research interest is in viral hepatitis. Among his contributions have been basic virologic, experimental animal-model, immunologic and immunopathogenetic, genetic, epidemiologic, vaccination and antiviral studies of hepatitis A, B, C, and D viruses.

Dr. Dienstag's recent research efforts have focused on antiviral therapy for chronic viral hepatitis. Dr. Dienstag has participated in clinical trials of interferon therapy for chronic hepatitis C; in combination with the nucleoside analog ribavirin; in naive, relapsing and nonresponder patients; with different formulations of standard interferon; with long-acting, pegylated, preparations and with directly acting antiviral agents (e.g., protease inhibitors).

Dr. Dienstag led one of 10 Clinical Center teams nationwide in an multiyear trial of protracted antiviral therapy for patients 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-term interferon therapy, even in biochemical/virologic nonresponders to interferon, can limit histologic and clinical progression. The HALT-C Trial also included a series of ancillary studies that defined virologic alterations during protracted therapy and during the natural progression of disease and provided a rich source of clinical material, which shed light on the process of fibrosis and hepatocarcinogenesis.

Dr. Dienstag was the leading US academic clinical investigator in the development of lamivudine as the 1st approved orally administered nucleoside analog for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B.


  • Select 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]

Reviews: Comments and Ratings