University of Nebraska Medical Center

Kusum Kharbanda, PhD

Professor, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology


Kusum Kharbanda, PhD

Dr. Kharbanda has been actively involved in the field of alcoholic liver injury for more than 25 years with special emphasis on alcohol's deleterious effects in altering the methionine metabolic pathway and lowering the ratio of the methyl donor, S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), to its product, S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH).

In addition to her role as a Principal Investigator on NIH grants and VA Merit Review, Dr. Kharbanda have been actively involved in mentoring young investigators.


  • Efficacy of betaine and betaine analogs and esters in preventing and treating liver injury of various etiologies including alcohol and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.
  • Alcoholic Liver Injury including steatosis, apoptosis, accumulation of damaged proteins, impaired proteasome function, decreased creatine synthesis, and altered protein-protein interactions
  • Alcohol/high-caloric intake-induced methylation defects on alterations in lipid droplet structure and function that leads to their persistence in the liver while promoting their lipolysis in the adipose tissue
Active Grant Support


  • "IPA for Srinivas Chava." Principal Investigator, VA Medical Center
  • "Impaired phospholipid methylaton results in decreased lipid droplets lipolysis: Role in hepatic steatosis." Principal Investigator, DHHS/NIH/NIAAA
  • "Impaired methylation alters lipid droplet dynamics in liver and adipose tissue: Role in hepatic steatosis." Principal Investigator, VA Medical Center


  • "Alcohol Center of Research-Nebraska (ACORN)." Co-Investigator (Casey), DHHS/NIH/NIAAA
  • "Role of Intestinal Autophagy in the Pathogenesis of Alcohol Associated Liver Injury" Co-Investigator (Thomes), DHHS/NIH/NIAAA
  • "The Pivotal Role of Hepatocyte SOD1 in Protecting Against Alcohol-Associated Liver Disease: Implications for Therapeutic Targets" Co-Investigator (Viswanathan), DHHS/NIH
  • "Role of Lysosome Damage in ALD Pathogenesis" Co-Investigator (Thomes), DHHS/NIH/NIAAA
  • BS: Zoology, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India, 1979
  • MS: Endocrinology, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India, 1981
  • PhD: Reproductive Endocrinology, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India, 1988