About Esperance Schaefer, MD, MPH

Dr. Schaefer is a graduate of Columbia Medical School (New York, NY) where she received her M.D. and M.P.H. She completed both her Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology training at Massachusetts General Hospital, and is an Instructor on the faculty of Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Schaefer has clinical expertise in liver disease (hepatology): from abnormal liver tests to cirrhosis and end-stage liver disease. She sees patients with all types of liver disease including viral hepatitis, alcohol-related liver diseases, fatty liver disease, autoimmune liver disease, and biliary liver diseases. She also performs upper endoscopies, as well as diagnostic and screening colonoscopy.

Dr. Schaefer is actively engaged in basic and translational research in alcohol-related liver diseases, viral hepatitis, fatty liver disease and the biology of why cirrhosis develops.

Departments, Centers, & Programs:

Clinical Interests:



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

Mass General/North Shore Center for Outpatient Care
102-104 Endicott St.
Danvers, MA 01923
Phone: 978-882-6100

Medical Education

  • M.D., M.P.H., Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons
  • Residency, Massachusetts General Hospital*****
  • Fellowship, Massachusetts General Hospital*****

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. Schaefer's research centers around the biology of how chronic liver disease develops, and specifically how small RNA molecules, called microRNAs, impact the progression of several chronic liver diseases, including alcoholic liver disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and viral hepatitis.  Her research includes patient-based translational research as well as basic biology. 


  • Selected publications

    Original research:

    • Rodgers MA*, Villareal VA*, Schaefer EA, et al. Lipid Metabolite Profiling Identifies Desmosterol Metabolism as a New Antiviral Target for Hepatitis C Virus. J Am Chem Soc 2012. (*Authors contributed equally.)
    • Ding Q*, Lee Y*, Schaefer EA*, et al. A TALEN genome editing system for generating human stem cell based disease models. Cell Stem Cell 2013. 12(2) 238-251 (*Authors contributed equally)

    • Schaefer EA .... Chung RT. Apolipoprotein B100 is required for hepatitis C infectivity and Mipomersen inhibits hepatitis C. World J Gastroenterol 2016.

    • Schaefer EA, ... Chung RT. Intermittent hypoxia is a proinflammatory stimulus resulting in IL-6 expression and M1 macrophage polarization. Hepatology Communications 2017.


    • Schaefer E and Pratt DS.  Autoimmune hepatitis: current challenges in diagnosis and management in a chronic progressive liver disease. Curr Opin Rheumatol 2012.
    • Schaefer EA and Chung RT. Anti-hepatitis C virus drugs in development. Gastroenterology 2012. 
    • Schaefer EA and Chung, RT. HCV and Host Lipids: An Intimate Connection. Semin Liver Dis 2013. 
    • Schaefer EA, et al. Case 15-2019: A 55-Year-Old Man with Jaundice. NEJM. 2019.
    • Schaefer EA. The Natural History of Chronic Liver Disease. Scientific American Hepatology, 2017.   

Reviews: Comments and Ratings