Jules L. Dienstag, MD
Carl W. Walter Professor of Medicine
Jules L. Dienstag, M.D. is the Carl W. Walter Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Dienstag received his BA degree from Columbia College in 1968 and his MD degree from the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1972. After two years of medical internship and residency at the University of Chicago, Dr. Dienstag joined the U.S. Public Health Service as a Research Associate in the Hepatitis Virus Section of the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH, Bethesda MD. There, between 1972 and 1974, he began his work on viral hepatitis, concentrating on hepatitis A. In 1976, Dr. Dienstag came to Boston for a gastroenterology fellowship under Kurt J. Isselbacher, MD at Massachusetts General Hospital. He has been on the staff there, currently as Physician, and a member of the HMS faculty since.
As a hepatologist, clinical investigator, and teacher, Dr. Dienstag has devoted his career to the understanding, prevention, and management of viral hepatitis. He participated in early studies to define the virology and epidemiology of hepatitis A; his studies on hepatitis B spanned epidemiology, immunology, vaccine development, and antiviral therapy, including leadership of clinical trials of the first successful oral antiviral nucleoside analog for its treatment; and he has participated in the clinical trials that established contemporary curative therapy for chronic hepatitis C. In November 2014, he received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases for “lifelong distinguished contributions as a physician-scientist to enhance the science and practice of hepatology.”
Between 1983 and 1998, Dr. Dienstag was Medical Director for Liver Transplantation at the MGH. Between 1989 and 2005, he served as Executive Director of the MGH Liver-Biliary-Pancreas Center, and in 1993, he established the MGH Liver Evaluation Clinic. He has been chairman of the MGH General Clinical Research Center Advisory Committee since 1999 and, since 2008, has been chairman of its successor, the Harvard Medical School-wide Catalyst Human Research Center Advisory Committee (Clinical Translational Science Center, CTSC).
In 1984, Dr. Dienstag was appointed to the HMS Committee on Admissions, and in 1994, he assumed the chairmanship of Subcommittee I of the Committee on Admissions. He became Faculty Associate Dean for Admissions and Chairman of the Committee on Admissions in July 1998. In 2003, he became Associate Dean for Academic and Clinical Programs at HMS; in early 2005, he assumed the position of Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Medical Education; and on May 1, 2005, he was appointed Dean for Medical Education. As Dean for Medical Education between 2005 and 2014, he oversaw the 2003-2006 medical education reform initiative that culminated in the introduction of a new, more integrated curriculum in 2006; a revision of curriculum governance; a new compensation program for faculty who teach medical students; the creation of a faculty development center for education (the Academy Center for Teaching and Learning); the introduction of an in-depth, faculty-mentored, scholarly project as a graduation requirement; charging of task forces to reevaluate teaching clinical skills and approaches to classroom learning; the HMS institutional self-study preparation for the 2011 reaccreditation of HMS by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education; and the initiation of a new round of curriculum reform, beginning in 2012, initiated through a Task Force on Redesign of the Preclerkship Curriculum. In 2018, he was appointed Interim Dean for Faculty Affairs to focus on the 2019 reaccreditation of HMS by the LCME, and in 2019 he was named Interim Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs.