Discovery of NAFLD gene regulatory networks with multi-omics

Year of award: 2021


  • Dr Inês Cebola

    Imperial College London, United Kingdom

Project summary

One-in-four people have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition characterised by excessive fat in liver cells that can lead to serious health problems, including liver failure and cancer. NAFLD has a heritable component and is accompanied by aberrant activity of genes and DNA regulatory elements in the liver. However, it is not well understood how these two factors contribute to NAFLD. I will apply recently developed multi-omic technologies to study livers from NAFLD patients to identify the cells that malfunction during NAFLD progression and/or are affected by genetic risk variants. As fat accumulation in liver cells is a central feature of NAFLD, I will further investigate NAFLD genetic risk variants and genes using genome editing coupled with lipid trait quantitations in human liver cells. This study will enhance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in NAFLD, assisting efforts to develop drugs targeting the molecular origins of this disease.