James H. Tabibian, MD, PhD, FACP

The Tabibian Laboratory takes a collaborative and multi-pronged approach to research centered around the following areas of focus

  1. Novel techniques, applications, and advances in gastrointestinal and biliary endoscopy
  2. Disparities, ethnoracial variations, and quality of life in digestive and liver diseases
  3. Pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment, and surveillance of cholangiopathies (e.g. primary sclerosing cholangitis)
  4. Equity, quality improvement, and mitigation of medical professional liability in gastroenterology
  5. Training well-rounded, academically-oriented gastroenterologists

Key investigator

  • James H. Tabibian, MD, PhD, FACP

In the news

  • Dr. Tabibian serves as inaugural volume editor for "Diagnosis and Management of Cholangiocarcinoma: A Multidisciplinary Approach" (2021)
    This book, available as hardcover or ebook, is a comprehensive, state-of-the-art, 26-chapter text with contributions from recognized global experts spanning no less than four continents and a dozen countries. It is a vital resource for clinicians, surgeons, researchers, trainees, patients, caregivers and more. The book can be found on Springer Link or Amazon.
  • EVendo Score webpage goes live (2019)
    The EVendo Score — developed to noninvasively, quickly and reliably predict the presence and size of esophageal varices for risk stratification purposes in patients with cirrhosis — is now live online and available in MDCalc. It was developed and validated by James H. Tabibian, MD, PhD, director of endoscopy at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, and recent UCLA fellowship graduates Tien Dong, MD, and Amir Kalani, MD, PhD, along with other colleagues. The full original article, “Machine Learning-based Development and Validation of a Scoring System for Screening High-Risk Esophageal Varices,” was published in the August 2019 issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Extramural collaborators (current and past)

  • Christopher L. Bowlus, MD, FAASLD – UC Davis
  • Elizabeth J. Carey, MD, FAASLD - Mayo Clinic Arizona
  • Vinay Chandrasekhara, MD – Mayo Clinic Rochester
  • Mohit Girotra, MD, FACP – University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
  • Christopher J. Gostout, MD, FASGE - Mayo Clinic Rochester
  • Nicholas F. LaRusso, MD, FAASLD, AGAF – Mayo Clinic Rochester
  • Keith D. Lindor, MD, FAASLD – Mayo Clinic Arizona and Arizona State University
  • Valentina Medici, MD - UC Davis
  • Steven P. O'Hara, PhD - Mayo Clinic Rochester
  • Júlio Pereira Lima, MD - Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre, Brasil
  • Sooraj Tejaswi, MD, MSPH - UC Davis
  • Sachin Wani, MD – University of Colorado

Current research projects

  • Disparities in gastroenterology: A nationwide survey - Principal Investigators: James H. Tabibian, MD, PhD, and Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil
  • Clinical epidemiology of acute pancreatitis in Los Angeles County Department of Health Services - Principal Investigator: James H. Tabibian, MD, PhD
  • Yield of post-acute diverticulitis colonoscopy: Analysis of an underserved patient population in the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services - Principal Investigator: James H. Tabibian, MD, PhD
  • Clinical epidemiology, features, and outcomes of CA 19-9 non-expression cases of pancreaticobiliary malignancy in Los Angeles County - Principal Investigator: James H. Tabibian, MD, PhD
  • External validation of the EVendo score for prediction of presence and size of esophageal varices - Principal Investigator: James H. Tabibian, MD, PhD

Recently completed projects

  • Epidemiology of signet ring cell carcinoma of the stomach: clinical features and outcomes - Principal Investigator: James H. Tabibian, MD, PhD
  • The enterohepatic metabolome in primary sclerosing cholangitis - Principal Investigator: James H. Tabibian, MD, PhD
  • Risk stratification for esophageal variceal screening in cirrhosis - Principal Investigator: James H. Tabibian, MD, PhD
  • Predictors of false positive FIT in a safety-net population - Principal Investigator: James H. Tabibian, MD, PhD
  • Development and validation of a machine learning-based score to predict presence of choledocholithiasis - Principal Investigator: James H. Tabibian, MD, PhD
  • Clinical epidemiology of inflammatory bowel disease: a Los Angeles County population-based study - Principal Investigator: James H. Tabibian, MD, PhD
  • Cancer risk in primary sclerosing cholangitis - Principal Investigator: James H. Tabibian, MD, PhD
  • Biliary endoscopy in the management of primary sclerosing cholangitis and its complications - Principal Investigator: James H. Tabibian, MD, PhD
  • Endoscopy in chronic and advanced liver disease - Principal Investigator: James H. Tabibian, MD, PhD

Future research directions

Research projects are dynamic and often arise serendipitiously through clinical experiences and challenges encountered in real-time. Trainee-initiated proposals are welcomed.


Current GI fellows

  • Dean Erlich, MD - UCLA
  • Brian Fung, MD - University of Arizona

Current residents

  • John Azizian, MD - UCLA-Olive View Internal Medicine Residency Program
  • Jade Law, MD - UCLA-Olive View Internal Medicine Residency Program
  • Anand Rajan, MD - UCLA Internal Medicine Residency Program
  • Simcha Weissman, MD - Hackensack University Medical Center Internal Medicine Residency Program

Past GI fellows

  • Saroja Bangaru, MD - UCLA
  • Tien S. Dong, MD, PhD – UCLA
  • Armen Eskandari, MD - UC Davis
  • Phillip Fejleh, MD - UCLA
  • Moira Hilscher, MD – Mayo Clinic Rochester
  • Mohamad H. Imam, MD – University of Tennessee Health Science Center
  • Amir Kalani, MD, PhD - UCLA
  • Ryan Perumpail, MD - UCLA
  • Kais Zakharia, MD - Beaumont Health Systems

Past residents

Shown here are residents and post-graduate trainees whom were mentored by Dr. Tabibian and have at least one 1st-author national presentation and/or peer-reviewed manuscript:

  • Nabeel Azeem, MD – Mayo Clinic Rochester (went on to GI fellowship at UCSF)
  • Rani Berry, MD – UCLA Internal Medicine Residency Program (went on to GI fellowship at Stanford)
  • Cami Dalai, MD - UCLA-Olive View Internal Medicine Residency Program (went to GI fellowship at University of New Mexico)
  • Brian Fung, MD – UCLA-Olive View Internal Medicine Residency Program (went on to GI fellowship at University of Arizona)
  • James Han, MD - Department of Medicine Residency Program, UC Irvine (went on to GI fellowship at UCI)
  • Gururaj Kolar, MD - Mayo Clinic Research Trainee (went on to IM residency in Massachusetts and faculty at Mayo Clinic Mankato)
  • Long Le, MD – UCLA-Olive View Internal Medicine Residency Program (went on to become chief resident, applying for GI fellowship)
  • Amanda Lynn, MD – Mayo Clinic Rochester (went on to GI fellowship at Mayo Clinic Rochester)
  • Mital Patel, MD – UCLA-Olive View Internal Medicine Residency Program (went on to hem/onc fellowship)
  • Neha Patel, MD – UCLA-Olive View Internal Medicine Residency Program (went on the nephrology fellowship)
  • Kevin P. Quinn, MD – Mayo Clinic Rochester (went on to GI fellowship at Mayo Clinic Rochester)
  • Harman Rahal, MD - UCLA Internal Medicine Residency Program (went on to GI fellowship at Cedars Sinai)
  • Cyril Varghese, MD – Mayo Clinic Rochester (went on to pulmonary/critical care fellowship at Mayo Clinic Rochester)
  • Kavel Visrodia, MD – Mayo Clinic Rochester (went on to GI fellowship at Mayo Clinic Rochester)
  • Ale Zhornitskiy, MD - UCLA-Olive View Internal Medicine Residency Program (went on to UCLA hospitalist, applying for GI fellowship)

Selected publications

  1. Thiruvengadam SS, Fung BM, Barakat MT, Tabibian JH. Endoscopic mucosal resection: Best practices for gastrointestinal endoscopistsGastroenterol Hepatol (N Y). 2022 Mar;18(3):133-144.
  2. Fung BM, Markarian E, Serper M, Tabibian JHCurrent applications of telemedicine in gastroenterologyAm J Gastroenterol. 2022 Apr 1. doi: 10.14309/ajg.0000000000001761
  3. Dalai C, Azizian JM, Trieu H, Rajan A, Chen FC, Dong T, Beaven SW, Tabibian JH. Machine learning models compared to existing criteria for noninvasive prediction of endoscoptic retrograde cholangiopancreatography-confirmed choledocholithiasisLivRes. Vole 5, Issue 4, December 2021, Pages 224-231
  4. Sharma S, Weissman S, Walradt T, Aziz M, Vohra I, Acharya A, Sotiriadis J, Feuerstein JD, Tabibian JH. Readmission, healthcare consumption, and mortality in Clostridioides difficule infection hospitaliszation: A nationwide cohort study.  Int J Colorectal Dis. 2021 Aug 7. doi: 10.1007/s00384-021-04001-w. Online ahead of print. 
  5. Law J, Rajan A, Trieu H, Azizian J, Berry R, Beaven SW, Tabibian JH. Predictive modeling of colonscopic findings in a fecal immunochemical test-based colorectal cancer screening programDig Dis Sci. 2021 Aug 4. doi: 10.1007/s10620-021-07160-6. Online ahead of print.
  6. Mehta TI, Weissman S, Fung BM, Sotiriadis J, Lindor KD, Tabibian JH. Global incidence, prevalence and features of primary sclerosing cholangitis: A systematic review and meta-analysisLiver Int. 2021 Jul 5. doi: 10.1111/liv.15007. Online ahead of print
  7. Fung BM, Leon DJ, Beck LN, Tabibian JH. Pre-procedural preparation and sedation for gastrointestinal endoscopy in patients with advanced liver disease. Dig Dis Sci. 2021 Jun 24. doi: 10.1007/s10620-021-07111-1. Online ahead of print
  8. Weissman S, Ahmed M, Baniqued MR, Ehrlich D, Tabibian JH. Best practices for prevention of post-endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography pancreatitisWorld J Gastrointest Endosc. 2021 Jun 16;13(6):161-169. doi: 10.4253/wjge.v13.i6.161
  9. Bangaru S, Benhammou JN, Tabibian JH. Noninvasive scores for the prediction of esophageal varices and risk stratification inpatients with cirrhosisWorld J Hepatol. 2020 Nov 27;12(11):908-918. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v12.i11.908
  10. Fejleh MP, Tabibian JH. Colonoscopic Management of Diverticular DiseaseWorld J Gastrointest Endosc. 2020 Feb 16;12(2):5359. doi: 10.4253/wjge.v12.i2.53
  11. Fung BM, Tabibian JH. Cholangiocarcinoma in Patients with Primary Sclerosing CholangitisCurr Opin Gastroenterol. 2020 Mar;36(2):77-84. doi: 10.1097/MOG.0000000000000616
  12. Kalani A, Phan J, Taefi A, Deshmukh M, Yamamoto A, Tabibian. Necrotizing Pancreatitis: Common and Uncommon Sequelae and SolutionsDig Dis Sci. 2019 Oct;64(10):3020-3023. doi: 10.1007/s10620-019-05634-2. Epub 2019 Apr 27
  13. Aby ES, Benhammou JN, Tabibian JH. My Doctor Told Me I Have Fatty Liver - What Do I Need to Know? JAMA Intern Med 2019 Jul 1. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.1240
  14. Berry R, Han JY, Tabibian JH. Difficult Biliary Cannulation: Historical Perspective, Practical Updates, and Guide for the EndoscopistWorld J Gastrintest Endosc. 2019 Jan 16;11(1):5-21. doi: 10.4253/wjge.v11.i1.5
  15. Le L, Fung BM, Tabibian JH. Capsule Endoscopy for Refractory Iron Deficiency Anemia in Crohn's Disease: Captivating Pathology, Hybrid TherapyGastroenterology. 2018 Jan 31. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2018.01.055
  16. Fung BM, Kalani A, Tabibian JH. Variceal Hemorrhage With White Nipple Sign Associated With Strangulated Umbilical Hernia in a Patient With CirrhosisClin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2018 Feb 6. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2018.01.050
  17. Zakharia K, Tabibian A, Lindor KD, Tabibian JH. Complications, Symptoms, Quality of Life, and Pregnancy in Cholestatic Liver DiseaseLiver Int. 2017 Sep 18. doi: 10.1111/liv.13591
  18. Ali AH, Tabibian JH, Naser-Ghodsi N, Lennon RJ, DeLeon T, Borad MJ, Hilscher M, Silveira MG, Carey EJ, Lindor KD. Surveillance for Hepatobiliary Cancers in Patients with Primary Sclerosing CholangitisHepatology. 2017 Dec 15. doi: 10.1002/hep.29730
  19. Hilscher M, Enders FB, Carey EJ, Lindor KD, Tabibian JH. Normalization of Serum Alkaline Phosphatase is a Biomarker of Improved Survival in Primary Sclerosing CholangitisAnn Hepatol. 2016 Mar-Apr 2016;15(2):246-253
  20. Tabibian JH, Yang J, Baron TH, Kane SV, Enders FB, Gostout CJ. Weekend Admission for Acute Cholangitis Does Not Adversely Impact Endoscopic or Clinical OutcomesDig Dis Sci. 2016 Jan;61(1):53-61
  21. Tabibian JH, O'Hara SP, Trussoni CE, Tietz PS, Splinter PL, Mounajjed T, Hagey LR, Larusso NF. Absence of the intestinal microbiota exacerbates hepatobiliary disease in a murine model of primary sclerosing cholangitisHepatology. 2016 Jan;63(1):185-96
  22. Tabibian JH, Visrodia KH, Levy MJ, Gostout CJ. Advanced endoscopic imaging of indeterminate biliary stricturesWorld J Gastrointest Endosc. 2015 Dec 10;7(18):1268-78
  23. Tabibian JH, Macura SI, O'Hara SP, Fidler JL, Glockner JF, Takahashi N, Lowe VJ, Kemp BJ, Mishra PK, Tietz PS, Splinter PL, Trussoni CE, Larusso NF. Micro-computed tomography and nuclear magnetic resonance imaging for noninvasive, live-mouse cholangiographyLab Invest. 2013 Jun;93(6):733-43
  24. Tabibian JH, Weeding E, Jorgensen RA, Petz JA, Keach JC, Talwalkar JA, Lindor KD. Randomised clinical trial: vancomycin or metronidazole in patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis - a pilot studyAliment. Pharmacol. Ther. 2013 Mar;37(6):604-12

View a detailed list of Dr. Tabibian's publications indexed in the National MEDLINE database


Funding support

  • 2018: Mayo Clinic Arizona Small Grants Proposals Fund (1 year, $6,881, NIH impact/priority score 1.7)  - “Cost-consequences simulation model of diagnosing cholangiocarcinoma for patients with PSC”  - Principle Investigator: Elizabeth J. Carey; Co-Investigators: James H. Tabibian et al
  • 2014 - 2015: AASLD Clinical and Translational Research Award (2 years, $150,000) - “Intestinal permeability and enterohepatic metabolome in primary sclerosing cholangitis” - Principle Investigator: James H. Tabibian
  • 2013 - 2014: PSC Partners Seeking a Cure Annual Research Grant (1 year, $30,000) - “Cholangiocyte senescence associated secretory phenotype as a therapeutic target in PSC” - Principle Investigators: James H. Tabibian et al
  • 2011 - 2013: PSC Partners Seeking a Cure Annual Research Grant (2 years, $60,000) - “Potential Role of Cholangiocyte Senescence in PSC” - Principle Investigator: Nicholas F. LaRusso; Co-Investigators: James H. Tabibian et al

Selected editorial, societal and leadership positions

  • 2017 - Present: Abstract Reviewer, The Liver Meeting and Digestive Disease Week (DDW), American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
  • 2017 - Present: Section Editor, Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endoscopy section, Journal of Community Medicine
  • 2016 - Present: Scientific and Medical Advisory Board, PSC Partners Seeking a Cure
  • 2017 - 2018: Lead Guest Editor, "Advances in Therapeutic Endoscopy.” Special issue, Gastroenterology Research & Practice
  • 2016: Lead Guest Editor, “Advances in biliary tract disorders: novel biomarkers, pharmacotherapies, endoscopic techniques, and surgical management.” Special issue, Gastroenterology Research & Practice
  • 2015 - 2018: Associate Editor, Annals of Hepatology (Official journal of the MAH, LAASL, and CASL)
  • 2015 - 2017: Board of Directors, PSC Partners Seeking a Cure
  • 2015 - 2016: Membership and Diversity Committee member, ASGE
  • 2013 - 2015: Editorial Board, Annals of Hepatology
  • 2012 - 2016: Editorial Board, Journal of Analytical Oncology
  • 2012 - 2014: Associate Editor, Pancreatobiliary diseases section, BMC Gastroenterology