Samar H. Ibrahim, M.B., Ch.B., studies protective mechanisms against the development of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
NASH is considered the hepatic manifestation of the metabolic syndrome. It is closely linked to obesity and insulin resistance, and well-recognized as the most common cause of liver disease in developed countries.
- To study the role of the stress kinase MLK3 in the generation of extracellular vesicles by lipotoxic hepatocytes, and to investigate the cargo of these extracellular vesicles and their role in liver injury and inflammation.
- To examine the protective role of pharmacological MLK3 inhibition in an animal model of NASH.
- Dr. Ibrahim's main focus is to examine in vitro and in vivo mechanisms of liver injury inflammation, to examine fibrosis, and to explore therapeutic targets through genetic and pharmacological manipulations.
Significance to patient care
The ultimate goal of Dr. Ibrahim's work is to gain mechanistic insight into the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in NASH pathogenesis and identify therapeutic targets that prevent human NASH progression to irreversible end-stage liver disease.
Dr. Ibrahim's research has the potential to translate to patient care as new therapeutic targets in NASH are identified and successfully tested in preclinical models; early-phase clinical trials will be possible for this common disease with no effective medical therapy.