HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Orlando, Florida, USA or Virtually from your home or work.
WOC 2022

Higinio Mappala

Higinio Mappala, Speaker at Weight Management Conferences
Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center, Philippines
Title : The Efficacy of Ursodeoxycholic Acid in the Treatment of Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis: A 15-year Systematic Review


Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most common forms of chronic liver disease which may progress to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Currently there are no therapeutic strategies for such disease. Only lifestyle modification through diet and exercise were proven to afford some benefit in patients with NAFLD. No pharmacologic agents have so far been approved for the treatment of NAFLD or NASH. Therefore, most clinical efforts have been directed at treating the components of metabolic syndrome, namely obesity, diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemias. Other interventions are directed at specific pathways potentially involved in the pathogenesis of NAFLD, such as insulin resistance, oxidative stress, pro- inflammatory cytokines, apoptosis, bacterial overgrowth, and angiotensin pathway. However, since the FLINT study, the largest NASH study to date, no drug has ever come close to Obeticholic acid except Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA). This lecture aims to show the potential of Ursodeoxycholic Acid (UDCA) as a promising therapeutic option for NAFLD. This is a 15- year Systematic Review of randomized controlled trials on the effects of Ursodeoxycholic Acid on Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. (NAFLD). Ursodeoxycholic Acid may yet prove to be a targeted treatment for Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease


A distinguished physician and gifted medical researcher with 30 years of clinical experience, as well as a prolific communicator and lecturer in both academic and clinical fora. A board-certified specialist in Internal Medicine with board-certified subspecialties in Gastroenterology, Endoscopy, Clinical Toxicology and Pharmacology, and Nutrition. A University Professor, Dean, and Administrator at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels, Speaker, and Author of more than 70 scientific papers. A natural leader, confident and articulate, a productive and prolific lecturer.

Doctor of Medicine

University of Santo Tomas, Philippines
Graduated Cum Laude – 1986

Bachelor of Science Pre-Medical Course (General Sciences)
Graduated Cum Laude – 1982

Residency Training in Internal Medicine
Jose R. Reyes Mem. Medical Center, 1986-1990

Subspecialty Fellowship in Gastroenterology/Digestive Endoscopy,
University of Santo Tomas Hospital, 1990-1992

Subspecialty Training in Clinical Nutrition
Philippine Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, 2002-2004

Short-Course Training in Clinical Toxicology/Pharmacology,
University of the Philippines and Philippines General Hospital- 1993-1994

Professional History:


Medical Specialist III (Internal Medicine/Gastroenterology/Clinical Nutrition– Permanent (PT), Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center, Sept 2000- Present
President – Philippine College of Physicians, Manila Chapter, 2021-present
President – JRRMMC Employees Association
Former Dean/Professor - School of Medicine, St. Paul University Philippines, Jan 2014-Dec 2018.
Former Dean/Professor, School of Medicine, Texila American University, Guyana, South America, Dec 2018-May 2019.
Editorial Board – AS Gastrointestinal Disorders Journal, Dec 2021 - present
Editorial Board – Advanced Research in Gastroenterology and Hepatology Journal, April 2017-present
Research Rater and Critical appraiser of high quality research papers for McMaster Online Rating of Evidence System, Canada, 2006-Present
Research Rater and Critical appraiser of high quality research papers for DynaMed online publications, 2012-Present
Faculty - Part-time, Grad. School, (PhD deg.), St. Paul University, 2012-2014 (Topic: Management and Transformational Leadership)
Visiting Consultant - University of Santo Tomas Hospital, 2005-2010
Visiting Consultant - Manila Med (Medical Center Manila), 2008-2012.
Fulltime Faculty - School of Medicine, St. Paul University, 2011 -2014
Unit Head - Dept. of Pharmacology, St. Paul University, 2011-2014
Associate Professor, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, 2007-2011
College of Medicine, Special Modular Lecturer in Gastroenterology
Instructor, University of Santo Tomas, College of Medicine, 1992-1994.
Chairman, Detoxification Center, Jose Reyes Mem. Medical Center, 2000-2004.
Medical Consultant, GetzPharma Inc., Jan. 2003-Dec. 2010
Medical Consultant, MegaWeCare Pharmaceuticals, Jan. 2011-Dec. 2016.
Other Employment and Activities – Numerous other positions, including Chairmanships, Boards of Directors, and Committee Chair, 1992-Present

Special Skills:


  • Medical Research
  • Advanced Teaching, Mentoring, and Training
  • Advanced Leadership, Management, and Organization
  • Pharmaceutical Consultancy



  • Honorary Doctorate of Phil
  • Nominated as “One of the Top 100 Leading Physicians-2018”, American  Institute of Sciences.
  • Cited as one of “Leading Health Professionals of the World in Gastroenterology and Endoscopy 2010” - British Biographical Institutes, Cambridge, England, 2010
  • Nominated as “Ambassador to the World in Gastroenterology and Digestive Endoscopy”- American Institute of Sciences, 2011
  • Young Investigator’s Awardee:
    Asia-Pacific Congress of Gastroenterology, Yokohama, Japan, 1996
    World Congresses of Gastroenterology, Los Angeles, CA, 1994.
  • Most Outstanding Isabelino – Province of Isabela, 2000.
  • Most Outstanding Cabagueno –  Cabagan, Isabela, 1990.