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Genetic and non-genetic risks associated with non-alcoholic liver steatosis

Genetic and non-genetic risks associated with non-alcoholic liver steatosis

Principal Investigator: Professor Munir Pirmohamed
Approved Research ID: 54764
Approval date: March 9th 2020

Lay summary

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, affects up to one fifth of the UK population. With greater liver fat accumulation, there is increased risk of liver inflammation, scarring and cancer development. The mainstay of treatment currently is weight loss. There are some currently licensed medications but the benefits are only observed in a small proportion of patients. In addition, biological mechanisms of developing fatty liver remain to be fully characterised. Recently, a number of genetic variants in DNA have been shown to be associated with fatty liver. Their exact effects are being studied and larger genetic studies are needed.

This study will be partaken as part of Medical Research Council funded project that will span over 3 years and will guide cellular modelling non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and experimentation. The aim is to identify genetic and non-genetic factors contributing to development of fatty liver disease, which will aid in understanding of how the disease develops and progress, identify drug targets for developing new medicines or repurposing drugs currently available for its treatment. Ultimately, the goal will be to improve current treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and help to tailor treatment to a particular patient.