Harmeet Malhi, MBBS, studies mechanisms of liver injury and inflammation in the context of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. The cellular pathways of interest to Dr. Malhi's laboratory are endoplasmic reticulum stress and macrophage activation and their role in mediating liver injury and inflammation in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
- MicroRNAs in fatty liver disease. Dr. Malhi has identified microRNAs regulated by palmitate, a lipotoxic free fatty acid, and is characterizing the pathways regulated by these microRNAs.
- C/EBP homologous protein. Dr. Malhi is using complementary in vitro and genetic knockout models to study the endoplasmic reticulum stress-induced transcription factor C/EBP homologous protein in macrophage activation and cell death.
- Lipotoxic macrophage activation. Dr. Malhi is investigating the role of mediators of endoplasmic reticulum stress in lipotoxic macrophage activation.
Significance to patient care
The goal of Dr. Malhi's laboratory is to provide understanding of the role of macrophages in fatty liver disease. The expectation is to define the molecular mechanisms of macrophage recruitment and activation in the liver such that novel biomarkers or druggable targets might be identified, thereby improving diagnosis and treatment of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.