The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
McGovern Medical School
Department of Anesthesiology
The overall focus of my laboratory is to study the mechanisms of acute and chronic liver injury with a focus on murine models of ethanol feeding supported by observations in clinical datasets. For the past 6 years, I have been focused on the mechanisms of inflammation contributing to alcohol-associated liver disease (ALD). ALD is a prevalent and increasing disease for which there are no effective therapies and liver transplantation is the only option in severe cases of ALD. The innate immune system is well-described to contribute to the onset and progression of ALD, but the specific and druggable targets remain elusive. The current projects in my lab will be focused on targeting the inflammatory master switch, macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) in the liver, and MIF-mediated signaling in specific cell types through novel means. Rotating students can expect to utilize both in vitro and in vivo systems to test hypotheses related to MIF in ethanol-induced liver injury, inflammation and cell death. Studies will continue to evolve into mechanisms of MIF in liver fibrogenesis and cirrhosis. Techniques used in the lab will include, but are not limited to: western blotting, ELISA, tissue culture, qPCR, immunohistochemistry, exosome isolation and validation, small RNA interference, RNA sequencing, primary cell isolation, and models of ethanol feeding in rodents.
Education & Training
PhD, Michigan State University, 2013