Research Leadership: Carol Casey, PhD

Carol Casey, PhD

Carol Casey, PhD

This profile is part of a series to highlight the researchers who will be honored at a ceremony on Nov. 9 for UNMC’s Scientist Laureate, Research Leadership, Distinguished Scientist, New Investigator and Community Service to Research Award recipients.

Research Leadership

The Research Leadership Award honors scientists previously recognized as Distinguished Scientists who have a longstanding research funding history and also serve as research leaders and mentors on campus.

  • Name:  Carol Casey, PhD
  • Title: Professor of internal medicine, UNMC Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, research career scientist, Nebraska-Western Iowa Veterans Affairs Healthcare System
  • Joined UNMC: 1984
  • Hometown: Mitchell, South Dakota

Please describe your research focus in three words:

Alcohol-associated organ injury

Why is research important in the world today?

Research is the basis for much of what we enjoy in life today – longer lives, healthier lives, cures for diseases, development of vaccines and so much more. And there still are so many more advances to be made, not only with health care, but in areas such as space exploration. It’s exciting to play even a small part in what the future holds. 

My work will make a difference because:

Alcohol and its byproducts are known to affect function in several organs in the body, especially in the liver, which leads to liver failure. One of the earliest signs of alcohol-induced liver injury is fatty liver, which is known to be part of the progression of liver injury in non-alcohol-induced liver injury, as well. My work in examining how alcohol (and excess fat) disrupts cellular function may define some potential therapies that can be used in the setting of liver injury not only from alcohol, but other toxins.

The best advice I could give a beginning researcher is:

Work hard, don’t give up, be smart in your approaches to your work. Not everything works the first time, and it is a lifelong learning process. Be a collaborative and supportive colleague and share your knowledge and resources with others – it always will pay off.

The toughest lesson I’ve learned is: 

Some decisions are out of your control, so you just have to keep working toward success.

The best part of my job is:

The people I have worked with and the students, post-docs and young investigators I have mentored. I love the opportunities for growth and collaborations that this job has allowed and the flexibility to be able to participate in conferences, lead research teams and do something I enjoy.

Three things you may not know about me are:  

  • I am the oldest of eight and grew up on a farm outside of Mitchell, South Dakota. We raised vegetables and had our own retail outlet – “Casey’s Gardens.” We were well-known for watermelons and sweet corn.
  • I love to play cards (mostly pinochle) and bingo, read and am known to visit a casino every once in a while. I have been part of a pinochle group and a book group with friends for more than 20 years.
  • I auditioned for “Wheel of Fortune” but didn’t make it. I do watch the show whenever I can and still am hoping to be able to audition again and maybe even get on the show.


  1. Hamid Band says:


  2. Carol Gaebler says:

    Congratulations, Carol! Thanks for all of your important contributions. I am so proud to know you!

  3. Toni Goeser says:

    Congratulations, Dr. Casey! I am rooting for you to be on The Wheel! 🙂

  4. Gail Kotulak says:

    Congratulations, Carol! So deserving!! If you ever need a sub for cards, reach out!!

  5. Brittany Copenhaver says:

    What a wonderful accomplishment for my new supervisor! I am so excited for my new position under her guidance and leadership. Congratulations, Dr. Casey!

  6. Amy Dodson says:

    Congratulations Dr. Casey!

  7. Todd Wyatt says:

    This is a great day for honoring Carol and a great day for VA Research. Those who know Carol know that she is an ideal recipient of a leadership award. Those who really know Carol know that she has only one speed- full on! Her unlimited energy has resulted in so much for so many here at UNMC.

  8. Amar Singh says:

    Congratulations carol. Much deserved recognition.

  9. Mary Haven says:

    Congratulations Dr. Casey. I loved learning more about you.

  10. Laura Bilek says:

    Congratulations, Carol!

  11. karuna Rasineni says:

    Congratulations Dr. Casey!

  12. Saraswathi Viswanathan says:

    Congratulations, Carol! Well deserved.

  13. Hanjun Wang says:

    Congratulations, Carol! You are well deserved:)

  14. molly cowgill says:

    Congratulations, Dr. Casey!

  15. Eileen Rooney says:

    Congratulations for being recognized for all your hard work, Carol! Thank you for your service to UNMC and the VA over the years.

  16. Judi Thelander says:

    This is amazing; you’re so deserving of this, for all your hard work! Congratulations!

  17. Mary Clausen says:

    Congratulations Carol on a well deserved award.

Comments are closed.