A major area of interest to the Liver Center is metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a combination of medical disorders that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome in the United States is calculated as encompassing up to 25 percent of the population. A compromise in liver metabolism plays a crucial role in the development of metabolic syndrome. Other areas of focus are to define the mechanism for progression of fatty liver to liver cancer; examine the genetic and epigenetic factors that contribute to liver cancer and metabolic diseases; investigate individual differences in liver (drug) metabolism (pharmacogenomics); study the mechanism of alcoholic liver disease and factors for alcohol abuse, and discover new drugs and diagnostic methods to prevent and treat liver cancer and metabolic diseases. The Liver Center also includes research on gastrointestinal disorders and treatment.
Our researchers fall into several categories of liver and GI investigations: