Dr. Beaven attended Stanford University where he majored in mathematics with honors in humanities. He went on to receive his MD from the University of California, San Francisco, and received the Dean’s Research Prize for work he performed in the laboratory of Dr. Scott Friedman under a Howard Hughes Medical Student Research Fellowship. Dr. Beaven completed internal medicine residency training at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. He came to UCLA in 2003 as a fellow in digestive diseases where he completed his gastroenterology fellowship. During this period, Dr. Beaven continued his research training and received a PhD with Dr. Peter Tontonoz in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Department of Pathology. His doctoral work focused on cholesterol and lipid metabolism as it pertains to an important clinical problem: the metabolic syndrome. His research interests include nuclear receptor signaling and the relationship of inflammation to lipid metabolism during chronic liver injury.
Dr. Beaven joined the digestive diseases faculty at UCLA as an assistant professor in 2010. He is the research director for COMET, the Center for Obesity and Metabolic Health, which studies (in part) how metabolic pathways influence liver and gastrointestinal diseases. His molecular biology laboratory investigates how nutrient homeostasis impacts the development of liver fibrosis and diabetes. In particular, his team studies the biology of the hepatic stellate cell, the key scar-forming cell in all forms of liver disease (e.g. fatty liver, viral hepatitis, alcoholic liver disease). COMET has active protocols to enroll and study patients with metabolic syndrome, identify the genetics that influence liver fibrosis, and is developing novel tools to improve the delivery of care to patients with liver disease. Dr. Beaven and his trainees have received awards from the UCLA Department of Medicine Research Day, UCLA CURE, and the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). He is an active peer reviewer for several scientific journals, including Diabetes, Molecular & Cellular Biology, Hepatology, Gastroenterology, and the Journal of Lipid Research. Dr. Beaven teaches in the medical school at all levels and lectures to medical residents and fellows on issues related to liver and gastrointestinal disease. He primarily sees patients with liver diseases as well as patients enrolled in the research protocols related to COMET.