My ultimate goal is to increase understanding of the pathophysiology of fatty liver disease to allow for development of better treatment options.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common liver disorder in the western world and is closely associated with metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, and obesity. My main interest is in understanding the disease pathophysiology and through it, normal liver physiology. My studies focus on understanding the genetic aspects of fatty liver disease, its pathogenesis, the mechanisms of action of various treatment options, and the prediction of response to treatment.
Applying our Research
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is an extremely common disorder (affecting 30 percent of Americans) but currently has no approved therapy. Better understanding of the mechanisms of disease may allow for identification of druggable targets, better selection of patients for treatment, and early prediction of treatment response, with the overall effect of preventing death and suffering associated with the disease.
Need for Further Study
We need a better understanding of the mechanisms that cause some individuals to accumulate fat in the liver during caloric excess, while others are protected. Similarly, it is unclear why some individuals will develop liver injury and progressive disease after accumulating fat in their liver, while others maintain a relatively benign course. Finally, better treatment options are needed.