A clinical nutritionist and researcher who helped legitimize alcohol research and showed that alcohol and not poor diet caused cirrhosis of the liver has died.
The New York Times reported March 11 that Charles S. Lieber, 78, died this week of stomach cancer. Lieber’s work helped break down the myth that alcoholism could not be treated by disproving the conventional wisdom about the underlying causes of liver damage among heavy drinkers.
Much of Lieber’s groundbreaking work came while he worked at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in the Bronx. “He was a giant in his field, probably the most eminent in the world in alcohol and the liver,” said fellow alcohol researcher Steven Schenker of the University of Texas Health Science Center. “His concepts put him under a lot of pressure, but he defended his positions brilliantly and gentlemanly in very heated discussions with some of the brightest scientists in the world.”
Lieber also helped the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence launch the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.