About 200 health professionals--including 20 of the world's leading liver specialists from France, Germany, Israel, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States--attended an international conference on liver disease at the Hadassah Medical Center in January, where they honored Hadassah's Prof. Daniel Shouval upon his 70th birthday.
In 1983, Prof. Shouval established the first liver unit in Israel at Hadassah, which he directed for almost 30 years until his recent retirement. During his very long career at the Medical Center, Prof. Shouval was responsible for many breakthroughs, created generations of fine liver experts, and published many pivotal research papers. The new head of Hadassah's Liver Unit, Dr. Rifaat Safadi of Nazareth, had worked alongside Dr. Shouval for 20 years.
"Diagnosis and treatment of liver diseases has made very significant progress in recent years," notes Prof. Shouval. "Israel is among the most advanced countries in the world in preventing and treating viral liver diseases." Prof. Shouval's research and involvement were most influential in a decision by the Israeli government in 1999 to introduce a full-scale national vaccination program for babies against Hepatitis B. This led to a 95 percent decline in Hepatitis B for adults in Israel. Israel was among the first 10 countries worldwide to institute this program.
A former Dean of the Hadassah-Hebrew University Faculty of Medicine, Prof. Shouval currently serves as a professor of medicine at Hebrew University and a visiting professor at the Yeshiva University's Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. During his career, he has held similar positions at the Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and the University of Paris in France, and worked in several liver research centers in the United Kingdom, France, and the United States.
Prof. Shouval is the recipient of several national and international awards and the author of over 200 articles and chapters in medical text books. He served as President of the European Association for the Study of the Liver and Chairman of the Educational Committee of the European Association for the Study of the Liver. In this capacity, he became involved in education about Hepatology and the prevention of liver disease worldwide.
A permanent adviser to the European Viral Hepatitis Prevention Board and the World Health Organization, Prof. Shouval was Associate Editor of The Journal of Liver Transplantation and a member of the editorial boards of several leading hepatology journals.
The Conference, entitled "New Challenges in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Liver Diseases," was sponsored by Hadassah, the Hebrew University, and the European and Israeli societies for study of the liver.