Vatsalya Vatsalya, M.D., Pg.D., MS, M.Sc.

Assistant Professor of Medicine

502-852-8928 E-mail

Education and Training

  • M.D.: Medicine, Odessa State Medical University (2002)
  • Pg.D.: Preventive and Promotive Healthcare (with Dissertation), Apollo Hospitals Education and Research Foundation (2005)
  • M.S.: Mental Health Counseling, Fort Valley State University (2006)
  • M.Sc.: Health Promotion Management (with Thesis), American University (2013)
  • Fellowship: Addiction Pharmacology and Psychiatry, NIAAA, National Institutes of Health (2014)

Distinguished Membership

  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine (2021)


  • Director, Addiction-Liver Research, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
  • Director, U-01 Dur-928
  • Director, Clinical Laboratory for the Intervention Development of AUD and Organ-Injury
  • Chair, ISBRA-Comm

Research Interests

    • Novel Human Alcohol Mechanistic Paradigm
    • Treatment Assessment of AUD
    • Gut-Brain Axis
    • Organ Injury (AALD)
    • AUD-Viral Comorbidity

Our clinical research group develops the treatment of alcohol use disorder. Studies focus on the pharmacodynamics of alcohol administration in alcohol addiction and associated organ injury (primarily focused on liver diseases [AALD], and cardiovascular diseases). All studies use novel human paradigm to target treatment efficacy, prognostic value in disease population; comparing with the disease and healthy controls. Such novel clinical designs utilize an unique platform for investigations evaluating sex, age, drinking patterns, phenotypes and genetic polymorphisms on alcohol responses in addiction and organ injury. Our research extends to identifying novel pathways of alcohol addiction pathology and therapeutic-mechanistic targets in clinical setting, and validate the mechanisms by translating the findings in preclinical models.

Featured Publications

  • Vatsalya V, Kong M, Marsano LM, Kurlawala Z, Chandras KV, Schwandt ML, Ramchandani VA, McClain CJ. (2020). Interaction of Heavy Drinking Patterns and Depression Severity Predicts Efficacy of Quetiapine Fumarate XR in Lowering Alcohol Intake in Alcohol Use Disorder Patients. Subst Abuse. 9;14:1178221820955185. doi: 10.1177/1178221820955185. PMID: 32963470; PMCID: PMC7488613.
  • Vatsalya V, Cave MC, Kong M, Gobejishvili L, Falkner KC, Craycroft J, Mitchell M, Szabo G, McCullough A, Dasarathy S, Radaeva S, Barton B, McClain CJ. Keratin 18 Is a Diagnostic and Prognostic Factor for Acute Alcoholic Hepatitis. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2020 Aug;18(9):2046-2054. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2019.11.050. Epub 2019 Dec 4. PMID: 31811953; PMCID: PMC7269867.
  • Vatsalya V, Cave MC, Kumar R, Srivastava S, Khanal S, Jenson AB, Schwandt ML, Barve SS, Ramchandani VA, McClain CJ. Alterations in Serum Zinc and Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Concentrations in Treatment-Naive HIV-Diagnosed Alcohol-Dependent Subjects with Liver Injury. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2019 Jan;35(1):92-99. doi: 10.1089/AID.2018.0124. Epub 2018 Dec 11. PMID: 30280905; PMCID: PMC6343188.
  • Vatsalya V, Song M, Schwandt ML, Cave MC, Barve SS, George DT, Ramchandani VA, McClain CJ. Effects of Sex, Drinking History, and Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids Dysregulation on the Onset of Liver Injury in Very Heavy Drinking Alcohol-Dependent Patients. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2016 Oct;40(10):2085-2093. doi: 10.1111/acer.13197. Epub 2016 Sep 2. PMID: 27589090; PMCID: PMC5367046.
  • Vatsalya V, Gowin JL, Schwandt ML, Momenan R, Coe MA, Cooke ME, Hommer DW, Bartlett S, Heilig M, Ramchandani VA. Effects of Varenicline on Neural Correlates of Alcohol Salience in Heavy Drinkers. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2015 Jul 25;18(12):pyv068. doi: 10.1093/ijnp/pyv068. PMID: 26209857; PMCID: PMC4675979.

More publications can be reviewed at the National Library of Medicine.