Tribute to Dr. Stephen Harrison

April 27, 2024 | By

Chandler, AZ, April 27, 2024 / Today, we remember and honor a truly remarkable individual and dear friend, Dr. Stephen Harrison, whose first and foremost love was his family and especially his two children who were his pride and joy.  We extend our deepest condolences to them, his wife Renee and his extended family during this difficult time.

Dr. Harrison’s extraordinary professional contributions to the field of hepatology and steadfast dedication to his patients and colleagues have left an indelible mark on our lives, the medical community, and the pharmaceutical industry.

Dr. Harrison was not only a pioneer in the field of liver disease but also a devoted educator, valued colleague and mentor to many. He founded Pinnacle Clinical Research and co-founded Summit Clinical Research, leading with a vision that has undoubtedly shaped the future of hepatology. His relentless pursuit of knowledge and excellence saw him publish over 350 peer-reviewed articles, making significant advancements in the understanding and treatment of Metabolic Dysfunction-Associated Steatotic Liver Disease (MASLD) and Metabolic Dysfunction-Associated Steatohepatitis (MASH). His work did not just stay within the confines of academia/research; it translated into better, impactful treatments for countless patients, echoing his personal mission to make a real difference in the lives of those suffering from chronic liver conditions.

Anita Kohli, MD, our CEO expressed, “Stephen was more than just a colleague; he was a visionary leader whose work will continue to influence our field for generations to come. His commitment to our mission was unparalleled, and his scientific contributions were vital to our advancements in patient care. Personally, I will deeply miss our friendship, our time talking about family, sharing new ideas and his of course his great sense of humor. He filled the room and his relationships with energy and creativity. ”

Dr. Harrison’s military service is also a testament to his character. As a Colonel in the United States Army, he dedicated over 20 years to serving our country, including significant roles such as the Director of Graduate Medical Education at Brooke Army Medical Center. His leadership and commitment to service were clear in every role he undertook.

Our Chief Medical Officer, Naim Alkhouri, MD, reflected on Stephen’s impact, stating, ” I met Stephen when I moved to San Antonio in 2017 and we immediately started a collaborative relationship looking at different aspects of MASLD.  Over the past 7 years, we published 38 papers together and worked with many pharmaceutical companies to bring medications closer to FDA approval. Stephen cared deeply about me as a person and a friend and always checked on my family.  Stephen’s deep understanding of hepatology transformed our approach to liver disease. He was not only a brilliant researcher but also a compassionate physician who always put his patients first. His legacy will live on in the countless lives he touched.”

At Arizona Liver Health, we enjoyed growing our program alongside Dr. Harrison’s and his ideas and our creative brainstorming  have helped shape our research program for patients.  “I first met Stephen 20 years ago during one of his lectures while he was still serving in the military. His profound knowledge and extensive experience left an lasting impression on me. Over the years, our friendship and professional relationship developed, leading to many enriching discussions and his visits to Phoenix to speak at many educational programs. Stephen was exceptionally gracious and generous with his time, playing a pivotal role in guiding and encouraging the growth of our liver programs in Arizona. We are deeply saddened by his loss. Stephen’s commitment to the research and treatment of MASLD and to educating patients on lifestyle changes through diet and exercise, was more than just professional duty; he embraced these principles with genuine passion and grace in his own life and this transcended to all of us in our lives and interactions with patients,” says Richard Manch, MD Chief of Hepatology.

As we remember Dr. Harrison today, let us honor his memory by continuing to pursue excellence and compassion in our work. Let us carry forward his legacy of innovation and care, striving to make a difference in the world just as he did.

Thank you, Dr. Harrison, for your incredible contributions, your inspiring leadership, and your unwavering friendship. You will be profoundly missed, but your legacy will forever be a beacon for all of us in the field of hepatology and beyond.

Rest in peace, dear friend.