New investigator: Justin Mott, M.D., Ph.D.

January 19, 2016

Image with caption: Justin Mott, M.D., Ph.D.

Justin Mott, M.D., Ph.D.

This profile is part of a series to highlight the researchers who will be honored at a ceremony for UNMC's 2015 Scientist Laureate, Research Leadership, Distinguished Scientist and New Investigator Award recipients.

The New Investigator Award

New Investigator Awards go to outstanding UNMC scientists who in the past two years have secured their first funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense or other national sources. New Investigators also had to demonstrate scholarly activity such as publishing their research and/or presenting their findings at national conventions.

  • Name: Justin Mott, M.D.
  • Title: Assistant professor, biochemistry and molecular biology, College of Medicine
  • Joined UNMC: Oct. 1, 2011
  • Hometown: Arvada, Colo.

Research focus:
Liver disease

Describe your research briefly in layman's terms.
We study how cell death plays a role in diseases of the bile ducts in the liver. In the setting of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, it is well-established that there is increased cell death in the liver; we have now identified increased cell death in the biliary tree as well. Separately, in cancer of the bile ducts (cholangiocarcinoma), tumor cells fail to die in response to immune surveillance or chemotherapy; we are studying how these cancer cells resist death.

How does your research contribute to science and/or health care?
Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis affects up to 9 million people in the U.S., while cholangiocarcinoma is a devastating but rare cancer affecting a few thousand patients each year. By learning how cell death is altered (either activated or blocked) in these diseases, we hope to help improve treatment.

What is the best piece of advice anyone ever gave you, professional or personal?
In science, perseverance is key. If you're still standing at the end of the battle, everyone thinks you're the general.

List three things few people know about you.

  • I celebrated 20 years of marriage to my best friend Kristina in 2015.
  • I'm a fan of college hockey.
  • I will always remember the first time I saw Saturn through a telescope.


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Kusum kharbanda
January 23, 2016 at 11:06 AM

Congratulations Justin!! A well-deserved award!

Andrew Coughlin
January 21, 2016 at 9:14 PM

Congratulations Justin! I'm glad that my chicken thigh model was able to help you achieve this acclaim. Just joking. Well deserved!

John S Davis
January 19, 2016 at 4:40 PM

Very nice, Congratulations Justin!

marcia shadle cusic
January 19, 2016 at 2:31 PM

Congratulations Dr Mott, Marcia Shadle Cusic

Sathish Kumar Natarajan
January 19, 2016 at 1:50 PM

Congratulations!!! Dr. Mott Sathish

Michael Huckabee
January 19, 2016 at 12:08 PM

Congratulations, Dr. Mott. In addition to your excellence in research, we appreciate your leadership, wisdom and easy-going style of communication.

Carol Russell
January 19, 2016 at 6:41 AM

Congratulations!! Carl Russell