Summary of research interests of the laboratory
Chronic liver disease, be it from viral infection (e.g., HepC), alcohol, drugs, or obesity (i.e., NAFLD), share a common natural history. This natural history comprises at least three distinct disease states, including fatty liver (steatosis), inflammation, fibrosis and cirrhosis. Furthermore, hepatitc cancer (HCC) is often the result of cirrhosis. Barring a successfull liver transplant, complications of end-stage liver disease will often cause the death of the individual. There are currently no FDA-approved therapies to halt or reverse the progression of liver diseases. It is the goal of this laboratory's work to identify key molecular mediators of chronic liver diseases, which may serve as useful therapeutic targets.
Importantly, the molecular mechanisms identified may not only be shared in chronic diseases of the liver, but also in chronic inflammatory diseases to other organs. Therefore, the results of our research may shed light on chronic diseases of inflammation and remodeling in other organs (e.g., heart, lungs and kidneys).
Current major research foci of our group include:
- Acute and chronic alcohol-induced liver injury
- Priming of the inflammatory response in liver
- Sensitization of cytotoxic cell killing in liver
- Mechanisms of hepatic regeneration and remodeling