With great pride, we would like to share with you that we will be hosting the Liver Excellence Gala to honor those making a difference in the liver community!

Previously, the Flavors of San Diego was recognized as the premiere culinary fundraiser in San Diego hosted by the American Liver Foundation, and it was the largest fundraising event of the year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the last Flavors of San Diego was held in 2019. Since then, we are no longer operating as the American Liver Foundation locally, as they now operate on a national level. To fill the gap of community-based services in San Diego, the Liver Coalition of San Diego was started.

We are honored that Flavors Chef Jeffrey Strauss with Pamplemousse Grille will be creating an extraordinary culinary experience for our 2024 Gala!

Most importantly, we are excited to be honoring excellence in the field while bringing the liver disease community together. Four awards will be presented, with three of them being inaugural awards to honor those making a difference in our community.


Event Date: Sunday, October 20, 2024

Location: Don Room at El Cortez,
702 Ash St, San Diego, CA 92101

Time: 5:00PM – 9:30PM

Event Attire: Cocktail

Purchase Tickets: TBA

Live Stream: Thanks to our partner Global Liver Institute, there is no fee to view the live stream. Click here to register.

Funds raised through the Liver Excellence Gala will benefit the Liver Coalition of San Diego’s mission: to save lives by improving liver health and preventing liver disease through community-based education, linkages to care, advocacy, and research programs.

Check back later to view the 2024 Award Recipients

2023 Award Recipients

Physician Legacy Award: Paul Pockros, MD

The Physician Legacy Award, building off the Physician of the Year award, has been established to recognize an outstanding clinician and leader in the field of liver disease.

Paul J. Pockros, MD is the President and Founder of SC Liver Research Consortium, LLC. Dr. Pockros joined the Division of Gastroenterology/Hepatology at Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, California in 1985 where he is currently the Director of the Liver Disease Center and the Director of Clinical Research at the Scripps Translational Science Institute.

Dr. Pockros began his medical career in 1978 after graduating from the USC School of Medicine. Following graduation, he did his residency at the Los Angeles County USC Medical Center and his fellowship in Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Scripps Clinic and Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center in Los Angeles. He joined colleagues at the division of Gastroenterology/Hepatology at Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, California, in 1985 where he has earned an outstanding international reputation in establishing world-class divisions of Hepatology, Transplant Hepatology and research in the field of liver disease.

Through his research, Dr. Pockros has been on the forefront of liver disease including the development of life-savings treatment of chronic hepatitis B and C. Additionally, his research has contributed to the treatment of end-stage liver disease. He is principal investigator for numerous studies at Scripps Clinic and he has contributed over 300 published manuscripts and abstracts in peer-reviewed journals on topics such as chronic viral hepatitis, liver transplantation, complications of cirrhosis, diagnostic tests for liver disorders, and alcoholic, metabolic and fatty liver diseases. He regularly presents his research at conferences, universities, and medical societies.

Dr. Pockros has held multiple leadership positions, including Chief of Staff at Scripps Green Hospital (2009-11); Medical Director of the Liver Transplantation Program (1990-97); and Head of the Division of Gastroenterology/Hepatology (1996-2012). He also serves on the Medical Advisory Board for the Liver Coalition of San Diego.

Dr. Pockros has been recognized for his contributions with numerous awards, including the Outstanding Teacher Award at Scripps Clinic, being named as a Skaggs Clinical Scholar with The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), and Adjunct Associate Professor with the Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine at TSRI. Dr. Pockros has also been named to several prestigious lists including Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare and the Guide to America’s Top Physicians, as well as being recognized as 2013’s Physician of the Year at the American Liver Foundation’s 16th Annual Flavors of San Diego.

Dr. Pockros was a strong supporter of the San Diego chapter of The American Liver Foundation (ALF). When the ALF was forced to close down their chapters due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he felt there was a need to continue local access for patients, caregivers, and families. With that goal in mind, the idea of the Liver Coalition of San Diego was conceived. The Liver Coalition of San Diego continued the collaboration of like-minded healthcare advocates who sought a community-based approach to liver health care. With Dr. Pockros’ inspiration, the Liver Coalition of San Diego has had a voice at the county, state, and federal levels.

It is our honor to present Dr. Paul Pockros with the inaugural Physicians Legacy Award.

PAST Physician of the Year RECIPENTS

Physicians who have done outstanding clinical work and demonstrated leadership in the field of liver disease.

2019Dr. Christian RamersFamily Health Centers of San Diego
2018Dr. John PersonSharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group
2017Dr. Catherine FrenetteScripps Green Hospital
2015Dr. Rohit LoombaUC San Diego Health
2014Dr. Tarek HassaneinSouthern California Liver Centers
2013Dr. Paul PockrosScripps Clinic and Research Foundation
2012Dr. Lisa NybergKaiser Permanente – San Diego Medical Center
2011Dr. Christopher MarshScripps Green Hospital and Scripps Clinic

Innovations Award:


The Innovation Award was created to recognize innovation in the life sciences sector for treatment advances of liver disease.

ProSciento is being recognized as a leading scientific voice and contributor to advancements in new therapeutics and devices for metabolic diseases. ProSciento has established novel approaches fueled by data and analytics to improve nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) research and support the development of critically needed therapeutics for patients. In addition to their unparalleled NASH trial experience, ProSciento’s NASH PASS links patients with NAFLD/NASH clinical studies. Additionally, through their Metabolic Continuum Roundtable Forums, ProSciento brings together leading voices to facilitate advances in science, clinical research, and patient care for NASH.

We are proud to present this year’s Innovation Award to ProSciento.

Innovations Award:


The Innovation Award was created to recognize innovation in the life sciences sector for treatment advances of liver disease.

Intercept is being recognized for their focus on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics to treat rare and serious liver diseases, including primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) and severe alcohol-associated hepatitis (sAH). With their expertise, they have made key discoveries in the field of liver health. While advancing treatments for rare and serious liver diseases, we applaud Intercept’s belief that treatment goals should aim to prevent end-stage liver disease and in turn increase transplant-free survival.

We are proud to present this year’s Innovation Award to Intercept.

PAST Innovations Award RECIPENTS

Recognizing innovation in the life sciences sector for treatment advances of liver disease.


Retrophin was recognized for their focus on the development and commercialization of bile sulfur to treat bile acid synthesis disorders, and other genetic pediatric liver diseases.

Additionally, Retrophin has done pediatric patients with undiagnosed cholestasis a huge favor by offering the Emory Genetic Cholestasis Panel, which tests for the 68 genes now associated with cholestasis, for free. The award was accepted by accepted by Eric Dube, CEO.

2018BIOCOMBIOCOM was recognized for their leadership with the passage of the Protect Medical Innovation Act and for supporting California’s life science sector as it makes vital investments to find treatments and cures for liver disease. The award was accepted by Joe Panetta, CEO.
2017Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc.Conatus Pharmaceuticals was recognized for their focus on the development and commercialization of medicines to treat liver disease, especially NASH and NAFLD. The award was accepted by Steven Mento, PhD.


The Christie Award:

Paul Sisson & Blake Nelson

The Christie Award was created to recognize those who educate the public in pursuit of telling the story with journalistic integrity.

This award is named in honor of former Board Member Brian Christie. He joined our leadership ranks on December 5, 2016. Brian was open about his life, his many professional accomplishments, such as being the primary anchor on CNN for over a decade and anchoring locally on KUSI, and his fight to beat Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a liver inflammation and damage caused by a buildup of fat in the liver. He passed away on January 17, 2021.

In honor of their journalistic pursuits of promoting awareness of hepatitis C in San Diego and the work put into their article: Hepatitis C is curable and efforts are ramping up in San Diego County to eliminate deadly disease, published in The San Diego Union-Tribune on August 11, 2023, we recognize Paul Sisson and Blake Nelson as carrying on the spirit of Brian Christie and what this award stands for.

Paul Sisson covers health care for The San Diego Union-Tribune, is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and was San Diego’s Journalist of the Year in 2021.


Blake Nelson, a native San Diegan, covers homelessness and other issues affecting Southern California for the San Diego Union-Tribune. He has also covered government and politics for The Star-Ledger, NJ.com, and The Associated Press.

We are proud to present the inaugural The Christie Award to Paul Sisson and Blake Nelson.

Dr. Anders Nyberg
Volunteer of the Year Award:

Rita McCrerey

The Dr. Anders Nyberg Award was created to recognize those who embody the values of compassion and dedication of service to the liver community.

This award is named to honor the memory of Anders Nyberg, MD, PhD, a physician with Kaiser Permanente who was well known in the patient and caregiver community for his compassion, caring nature, and approachability.  He was humble, but accomplished, and known for his values of excellence and integrity. He was adored by his patients and received countless awards for his patient care and clinical research. With these shared qualities, we are naming this award in his memory to honor those who share the same values in supporting the liver disease community in San Diego County.  Dr. Anders Nyberg passed away on March 14, 2023.

As a caregiver, Rita was inspired by both Dr. Anders Nyberg and his wife Dr. Lisa Nyberg to get involved in liver-related community organizations.  She started volunteering with LifeSharing Donate Life Organization and the local liver advocacy organization in 2005, serving as board president during a period of revitalization and then again with the organization reformed as the Liver Coalition of San Diego. Rita currently serves as the Board President as the organization celebrates its third-year anniversary.

We are proud to present the inaugural Dr. Anders Nyberg Volunteer of the Year Award to Rita McCrerey.