|Potential UCARE Research Position?||
|Paid or Volunteer||
Paid by UCARE funding
The current research will focus on Chronic Liver Diseases. Liver fibrosis represents hepatic insufficiency and leads to end-stage liver disease and failure. Liver fibrosis results from repeated liver injury causing excessive scar tissue to build and liver to get stiff and impair hepatic function. This can limit the flow of blood to the healthy liver tissue causing a momentum of scar tissue buildup. Liver fibrosis is a ubiquitous response to numerous liver diseases including Chronic Alcohol Abuse, Viral Hepatitis C or B, and Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease that affects over 4.5 million adults in the United States. The destructive nature of Liver Fibrosis is well established, and hepatic stellate cells activation is known to be a key event in the genesis of liver fibrosis. Current research shows that hepatic stellate cells are the main contributors to liver fibrosis. However the role of changes in liver microenvironment due to fibrosis is underexplored, especially with regards to the changes in hepatocytes and stellate cell interactions and crosstalk. Understanding why and how stellate cells and hepatocytes thrive and the changes which occur to facilitate the thriving cells is critical for understanding the biology Liver Fibrosis and identifying potential therapeutic interventions.