He is the Chief of the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He attended the University of California at Berkeley and graduated with a major in integrative biology and a minor in English. He subsequently graduated from the Loma Linda University School of Medicine and completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of Southern California. He completed his gastroenterology fellowship at UCLA where he also obtained a masters of public health degree. He is a graduate of the Executive Program in Management from the UCLA Anderson School of Management where he serves on the Board of Advisors. Dr. Esrailian is also a part of the leadership of several philanthropic organizations including, but not limited to, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Board of Trustees, the Board of Directors of the Hammer Museum, and the Board of Governors of the Motion Picture & Television Fund.
Dr. Esrailian has a particular interest in the development of biomedical innovations, value in health care, medical education, initiatives towards patient-centered care, and connections between health and human rights. He produced The Promise by Terry George, starring Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale. He also produced the educational companion documentary Intent to Destroy with Joe Berlinger — which was nominated for an Outstanding Historical Documentary Emmy. These films, and the accompanying social impact campaigns, drew unprecedented attention to the Armenian Genocide, contributed to U.S. government recognition of the historical facts, and led to the creation of The Promise Institute for Human Rights and The Promise Armenian Institute at UCLA. He is also a co-founder of the California Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy.
In 2012, the School of Medicine awarded him the Lincy Foundation Chair in Clinical Gastroenterology. He is closely involved in strategic planning efforts for the UCLA Health, the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and for the entire university. He also works to facilitate community engagement with a number of other schools and departments within the UCLA campus and its Los Angeles community partners. In 2017, the university designated Esrailian as a UCLA Optimist – among its notable alumni and faculty dedicated to solving the world’s problems. In 2021, he was also honored by Pope Francis at the Vatican with the Benemerenti Medal for his humanitarian activities around the world.