NAFLD Research Team

Nurse Practitioners

Lisa Richards, Nurse Practitioner


Lisa has over 14 years of hepatology experience and is co-investigator on the NAFLD research studies. Her expertise in liver disease brings a strong foundation to our research unit. Additionally, as assistant director of clinical research operations, she is responsible for overseeing the team's activities. She and Dr. Loomba have worked together since 2009 and share the same core values of providing exceptional care to our patients.

Emily Rizo, Nurse Practitioner


Emily worked as a registered nurse in gastroenterology for over 5 years. With this extensive background, she pursued additional training and education to obtain her nurse practitioner degree in 2015. She is co-investigator on the NAFLD research studies. Emily’s focus is to provide medical evaluation and care to patients enrolled in research studies. This activity is performed in collaboration with Dr. Loomba. She maintains a high level clinical competence and focuses on delivering excellent-quality patient care.

Clinical Research Coordinators

Phirum Nguyen


Phirum has a bachelor of science degree in public health and is our senior research coordinator. She has been with Dr. Loomba since 2012. She has extensive experience in clinical research and is an integral part of the research team. Working with Dr. Loomba, she ensures that research is conducted in accordance with study protocols, as well as federal, state, institutional and regulatory guidelines. As a coordinator, Phirum’s priority is to provide exceptional care to her study subjects.

Carolyn HernandezCarolyn Hernandez


Carolyn has a bachelor's degree in cognitive/neuroscience and joined Dr. Loomba’s team as a student assistant in 2012. After finishing her undergraduate degree at UCSD in 2014, she joined our team as a full time research coordinator. Working with Dr. Loomba, she ensures that research is conducted in accordance with study protocols, as well as federal, state, institutional and regulatory guidelines. As a coordinator, Carolyn’s priority is to provide exceptional care to her study subjects.

Lynda Fortney


Lynda recently joined Dr. Loomba’s team in 2016 after completing her bachelors of science in public health at UCSD. Working with Dr. Loomba, she ensures that research is conducted in accordance with study protocols, as well as federal, state, institutional and regulatory guidelines. As a coordinator, Lynda’s priority is to provide exceptional care to her study subjects.


Shirin Bassirian, MD


Shirin is a physician who trained in Poland is currently working as a clinical research coordinator. She is currently preparing for her United States medical licensing exam. Working with Dr. Loomba, she ensures that research is conducted in accordance with study protocols, as well as federal, state, institutional and regulatory guidelines. As a coordinator, Shirin’s priority is to provide exceptional care to her study subjects.


Seema Singh, PhD


Seema has her PhD in Biotechnology and recently joined Dr. Loomba's team in 2017. Seema ensures that research is conducted in accordance with study protocols, as well as federal, state, institutional and regulatory guidelines. As a coordinator, Seema's priority is to provide exceptional care to her study subjects.

Claire Faulkner


Claire is the newest member of Dr. Loomba's team. She recently joined in 2017 after completing her bachelors of arts in behavorial neuroscience. Claire ensures that research is conducted in accordance with study protocols, as well as federal, state, institutional and regulatory guidelines. As a coordinator, her priority is to provide exceptional care to her study subjects.

Visiting Scholars

Cyrielle Caussy, MD, PhD


Cyrielle is an endocrinologist who came from Lyon, France to conduct research with Dr. Loomba. She is participating in an international collaboration between UCSD and Lyon 1 University. Her focus includes metabolic syndrome, obesity, and type-2 diabetes mellitus related to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).