Lisa B. VanWagner, M.D., M.Sc., is an Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern and a member of its Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases. She serves as the Division's Director of Clinical Research, and focuses her clinical practice on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)/nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a condition associated with high cardiovascular risk, and patients with liver disease due to congenital heart disease, heart failure and those undergoing heart-liver transplantation.

Dr. VanWagner holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She received her medical degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville, and completed residency training at Northwestern University's McGaw Medical Center in Chicago, where she served as Chief Resident and obtained a master's degree in clinical investigation from the Northwestern University Graduate School. She then remained at Northwestern to receive advanced training through a fellowship program in gastroenterology and hepatology, followed by an advanced fellowship program in transplant hepatology.

Prior to joining the UT Southwestern faculty in 2022, Dr. VanWagner served as an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine.

Her clinical research laboratory utilizes human population-based approaches, large electronic health record data analysis and health services research methods to define and characterize cardiometabolic disease risk prediction, prevention and treatment approaches in patients with chronic liver disease. Her scientific work has been recognized by leading professional organizations, with awards from the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL), American Society of Transplantation (AST) and American Heart Association (AHA). She has published more than 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts and has received NIH, foundation, and industry funding to support her scientific work.

She is an active member of several professional organizations, including the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease, American Gastrointestinal Association, American Society for Transplantation, American Heart Association, European Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, and the International Liver Transplantation Society. 

During her free time, Dr. VanWagner enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with her family.


Medical School
University of Virginia School of Medicine (2007)
McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University (2010), Internal Medicine
Other Post Graduate Training
Northwestern University Graduate School (2011)
Graduate School
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (2011)
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (2014), Gastroenterology
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (2015), Transplant Hepatology

Research Interest

  • Cardiovascular Risk Optimization in Liver Transplant Candidates and Recipients
  • Defining the Role of TIPS in Portal Hypertension
  • Identification and Management of Cirrhotic Cardiomyopathy
  • Mechanisms Linking NAFLD and Cardiovascular Disease

Honors & Awards

  • Outstanding Article Award in Clinical Transplantation
    American Journal of Transplantation (2021)
  • Young Physician-Scientist Award
    American Society for Clinical Investigation (2021)
  • Fellow
    American Society for Transplantation (2018)
  • Fellow
    American Heart Association (2018)
  • Faculty Teaching Award
    Northwestern University (2017)
  • Feinberg Academy of Medical Educators
    Northwestern University (2017)
  • Finalist
    American Heart Association Sandra Daugherty Award for Excellence in Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology (2017)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
  • American Gastrointestinal Association
  • American Heart Association
  • American Society for Transplantation
  • European Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
  • International Liver Transplantation Society