Office Hours with… Lamia Haque

An expert on the intersection of addiction and chronic liver diseases, Haque talks about her clinical work, training at Yale, and her current pastimes.
Lamia Haque

Lamia Haque (Photo by Dan Renzetti)

Lamia Haque may be a new faculty member, but she’s no stranger to Yale. She came to the university as an internal medicine resident in 2013 and stayed to complete fellowships in addiction medicine, digestive diseases, and advanced transplant hepatology. Now, she’s an assistant professor improving treatment for individuals with substance use disorders and liver disease.

We caught up with her for the latest edition of Office Hours, a Q&A series that introduces Yale newcomers to the broader university community.

Title Assistant Professor of Medicine (Digestive Diseases)
Research interest The intersection of addiction and chronic liver diseases
Prior institution Columbia University and Brown University
Started at Yale July 1, 2021

How would you describe your research?

Lamia Haque: My research focuses on the overlap between addiction and liver diseases and ways of improving outcomes for this patient population. Two of the most common causes of chronic liver disease in the United States are alcohol and hepatitis C infection. Both are often related to addiction, either in the form of alcohol use disorder or other substance use disorders. Oftentimes patients are unable to access addiction treatment or do not receive it as part of their liver-related care, even though addiction might be an important part of their other medical issues. My interest is in looking at models of care that address the lack of addiction treatment for patients who need it in liver care settings.

You direct the Yale Clinic for Alcohol and Addiction Treatment in Hepatology. What services does the clinic provide?

Haque: The clinic, which launched this academic year, aims to bridge the gap in care for patients who have both addiction and liver disease and to treat both concurrently. For instance, someone with alcohol use disorder and alcohol-associated cirrhosis can receive evidence-based treatments such as medications for alcohol use disorder as well as management of any complications related to their liver disease. We’re hoping to expand our services to include more behavioral health options soon.

You’ve done a lot of your medical training here at Yale. Why did you decide to stay as an assistant professor?

Haque: There’s tremendous strength in both addiction medicine and hepatology here. The Yale Program in Addiction Medicine has rapidly grown over the past several years to include faculty members from various medical specialties with additional expertise in addiction medicine who provide education, conduct world-class research, and help integrate addiction care throughout the medical system. On the hepatology side, Yale is home to one of the few dedicated National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases-funded liver centers in the country and my colleagues are leaders in the field.

I am also fortunate to have the support of the Yale-DAHRS [Drug use, Addiction, and HIV Research Scholars] program, an institutional career development program that is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Its focus is to provide early-career faculty with mentorship and opportunities to build research skills related to the integration of addiction care into various medical settings — it is a perfect fit for my interests. So there were a lot of reasons why Yale was a great place to stay!

What do you like to do in your free time?

Haque: I spend a lot of it with family. Exploring New Haven and Connecticut, listening to TED Talks on various topics, meditation and mindfulness are some of the other things I’ve been doing lately.

Is there a particular subject you’re drawn to when you listen to TED Talks?

Haque: I like learning about communication and ways of connecting to people. Lately there were a couple I came across about empathy and social change that were inspiring. I also benefit from stories that have to do with public health and the patient experience — as a physician and researcher, I find it helpful to expose myself to as many different perspectives as I can.

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