Gastroenterology & Hepatology (GI)

Gastroenterology and Hepatology Research Opportunities

Carol Casey, PhD

Various projects in the broad area of alcoholic liver injury are available in our laboratory. In one set of experiments we are using animal models (rats and mice) to examine the interactions of various cell types in the liver following alcohol administration. In other sets of studies we are utilizing knockout mice to examine altered receptor function and its role in liver injury. In a third set of experiments we are examining a role for impaired endocytosis during alcoholic apoptosis. Residents should contact Dr. Casey for additional information.

Terrence M. Donohue, Jr., PhD Professor 995-3556

Ethanol, Protein Catabolism and Liver Cell Injury. Supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Projects currently being conducted in my laboratory include the following:

  • Impairment by ethanol metabolism of hepatic proteasome activity and on the subsequent formation of Mallory-Denk bodies (i.e protein aggregation). Alleviation of protein aggregation by proteasome activation.
  • Mechanisms of hepatic steatosis (fatty liver) after acute (vs chronic) ethanol administration.
  • Role of specific transcription factors in hepatic steatosis and their regulation by antioxidants.
  • Ethanol-induced suppression of hepatic autophagy. Role in alcohol-induced liver injury.

Facilities: Approximately 600 sq ft of laboratory space located at the Research Service of the Omaha VA Medical Center. This facility is equipped with state-of the-art instrumentation for conducting diverse types of modern biomedical research.

Kusum K. Kharbanda, PhD 995-3752

The principal research interest of my laboratory is to determine how alcohol-induced alterations in methionine metabolic pathways results in the development of liver injury. In particular, we are interested in consequent methylation defects that lead to the development of alcoholic steatosis, apoptosis and the accumulation of altered proteins - hallmark features of alcoholic liver injury. We are also evaluating the efficacy of betaine and betaine analogs and esters in preventing and treating liver injury of various etiologies including alcohol and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.

Natalia Osna, MD, PhD 995-3735

Research interests:

  • Chronic hepatitis C: antigen presentation, interferon signaling, proteasome function in liver cells
  • Chronic hepatitis C: effects of interferon alpha treatment
  • Effects of ethanol on liver cells: antigen presentation, interferon signaling, proteasome function

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