Ongoing Research Funded by DHF

Novel Protective Mechanism against Liver Damage in Liver Transplant Patients

2021  | Disease: Liver/Hepatology

Principal Researcher: Xiaoying Liu

Co-Principal Researcher: Josh Levitsky, MD, MS | Co-Principal Researcher: Richard M. Green, MD | 

Principal Investigator: Xiaoying Liu, PhD

The term cholestasis describes any condition that impairs normal bile flow from the liver into the bile ducts and then into the intestine. This disease state can cause chronic liver damage, cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease (requiring a liver transplant), and death. Cholestatic liver diseases include primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) and primary biliary cholangitis (PBC). Cholestasis also occurs frequently after liver transplantation, which can result in the need for repeat liver transplantation or death. Unfortunately, the molecular drivers of cholestasis are still poorly understood with few effective medical therapies. The liver unfolded protein response (UPR) is a molecular pathway that protects cells from injury. UPR has been demonstrated to be important in many liver diseases, although its role in cholestasis remains unknown. Dr. Liu intends to investigate the activation of the liver UPR pathways in liver transplant patients with cholestasis. Identifying new UPR protein and gene targets will ultimate aid in developing novel drug therapies and improving liver transplant outcomes.

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