Our lab has a long standing interest in liver injury and repair. To learn more about the mechanisms that regulate this process, we study cultured cells, animal models of acute and chronic liver damage and samples from patients with various types of liver disease. Our group also conducts clinical trials in patients with chronic liver disease. We are particularly interested in fatty liver diseases, such as alcoholic fatty liver disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Main research areas include:
1) Investigating the role of fetal morphogens, such as the hedgehog pathway, in regulating fat metabolism and energy homeostasis.
2) Unraveling the role of redox homeostasis and ferroptosis, a recently identified form of regulated cell death, in hepatic stellate cell biology and liver fibrosis.
3) Using the next generation sequencing technologies such as single-cell RNA sequencing and single-cell ATAC sequencing to study the mechanisms associated with liver regeneration induced by acute/chronic injury at single cell resolution.
4) Aging increases the incidence of chronic liver disease, worsens its prognosis, and represents the predominant risk factor. We have previously demonstrated that liver regeneration becomes dysfunctional with aging and that aging-associated changes in hepatic structure increased hepatic vulnerability to injury. Our goal is to understand how aging affects hepatocyte plasticity by using high throughput sequencing technologies and mouse models of various injury types.