“Dr. Mullen brings with him 40 years of experience in caring for patients with liver disease, as well as pursuing research into new treatments,” Judie Charlton, M.D., chief medical officer of WVU Medicine, said. “We’re grateful to have him on our team as we look to address the increasing number of hepatitis cases in West Virginia.”
Mullen’s path has crossed this state more than a few times. A program in medical school brought him from his native Ireland to Parkersburg for a summer, and during his fellowship in Cleveland, he traveled on weekends to work in the emergency room in Kingwood. He has also given several guest lectures at West Virginia University over the years.
Mullen is an expert in diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis C. He is interested in promoting screenings for hepatitis C as well as awareness of new therapies that are 90 to 100 percent effective. He is also interested in using WVU Medicine’s telemedicine capabilities to relieve the burden of treatment on patients who would otherwise have to travel long distances for monthly visits.
“I have a strong interest in liver disease, which there is a fair bit of in this state," Mullen said. “And now we’ve got very effective therapies, so it’s really good to diagnose it and avail of those therapies. We have a lot of things we can offer the patient.”
One of the most important elements, Mullen stressed, is to address not only the liver disease but also the substance abuse issues, such as alcoholism or intravenous drug use, that cause or spread it.
“The Department is excited to welcome Dr. Mullen as section chief, and we look forward to his role in enhancing our hepatitis C and hepatology programs,” Arif R. Sarwari, M.D., interim chairman for the West Virginia University Department of Medicine, said.
Mullen received his undergraduate degree from Belvedere College in Dublin, Ireland, and attended medical school at the University College of Dublin School of Medicine. After a one-year internship at Victoria General Hospital in Nova Scotia, Canada, he completed his residency at McMaster University in Ontario, followed by clinical and research fellowships in gastroenterology at Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. He completed an additional fellowship at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.
Most recently, he held a dual appointment as a research gastroenterologist with MetroHealth Medical Center and professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
To date, Mullen has authored and co-authored more than 200 abstracts, textbook chapters, and other peer-reviewed publications, as well as being a reviewer and on the editorial boards of several medical journals. He has also led or co-led more than 30 clinical trials.
Mullen officially joined the staff of WVU Medicine on October 3.