Delivering better livers so that we can all live better

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1. Please give a summary of your research.

Chronic liver disease (CLD) has a huge clinical burden globally, affecting up to 30% of the population. Its major underlying causes are viral hepatitis, alcohol and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Irrespective of aetiology, CLD results in the development of liver fibrosis, or scarring of the liver. About 5.5 million Australians have NAFLD, a condition in which the liver accumulates fat, causing cell death, inflammation and aberrant wound healing responses that lead to fibrosis. NAFLD can progress to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which is associated with a range of serious sequelae such as liver cancer. Despite its growing prevalence, NAFLD remains largely undiagnosed as patients often have no symptoms. Furthermore, no approved therapies exist for the treatment of NAFLD/NASH, and thus there is an increasing demand for donor livers for transplant. New diagnostics and therapeutics for CLD are thus urgently needed.


My research aims to better understand molecular mechanisms of liver fibrosis. I have used an innovative combination of approaches to gain new insights into the roles that our genes play in the development and severity of CLD, including NAFLD. I profiled gene expression changes in liver biopsies of patients with different underlying causes of CLD and at various stages of liver fibrosis, in combination with analysis of specific markers in the blood that are predictive of liver fibrosis. This combined approach enabled me to identify a core set of liver fibrosis-associated genes, as well as a specific protein that drives the expression of multiple CLD-linked genes. Furthermore, by comparing the genetic profiles of CLD patients with and without fatty liver, I was able to pinpoint a set of genes specifically associated with fatty liver disease. The outcomes of this research offer potential for developing new biomarkers and therapeutic interventions to both treat this disease and halt its progression.

2. Please include any additional details you would like to share

As an early career post-doctoral researcher, I have established and led a completely new project within the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) Centre for Inflammation and Disease Research (CIDR) at The University of Queensland. This project, which focused on characterizing inflammation-associated determinants of chronic liver disease, represented a new research direction for the laboratory (Sweet laboratory) and institute (IMB) in which I am based. The project bridged clinical and basic research, and required me to co-ordinate with clinicians, patients and other researchers. Ultimately, the findings from this study enabled me to identify inflammation-related proteins as potential targets and biomarkers for liver fibrosis, and to identify a particular transcription factor as a key driver of fibrosis-associated genes. This research has opened up many new avenues for future pursuit, one of which is currently being pursued through an industry collaboration. The findings from this study were recently published (Ramnath et al, JCI insight, 2018; PMID: 30046009: https://insight.jci.org/articles/view/120274; see also: https://insight.jci.org/posts/80). As of 22nd August, this article was in the top ten most read articles in the last 30 days for all articles published in JCI Insight over the last 2 years.

Comments

39
Anand Vaidyanathan
11 months ago

Divya Ramnath has developed a robust research project which has immense potential to be scaled further...All the very best

Cauvery Iyer
11 months ago

Divya best of luck

Vishwanath Iyer
11 months ago

Best of luck ??

Krishnanam Sitaram
11 months ago

Divya all the very best

Krishnanam Sitaram
11 months ago

All the best lata n raju

Prabha Iyer
11 months ago

all the best

Krishnamoorthy Ramaier
11 months ago

Good luck. Blessings

Prasad Moorthy
11 months ago

Hope this reseearch especially on NASH will provide lot of benefits to tge society

Mugdha Mistry
11 months ago

Great research Divya, All the very best.

Yu Hung
11 months ago

Awesome work! Good luck Divya!

Divakaran Kn
11 months ago

Great work for human upliftment

Amy Chan
11 months ago

Amazing job! Best of luck Divya

nabilah kamal
11 months ago

awesome! good luck div!

Swatantra Ramakrishnan
11 months ago

Congratulations Divya, and all the very best to you????????

Dhan Thapa
11 months ago

nice one Divya..keep it up!!!

Deepa Champaneri Gandhi
11 months ago

Divya great job...

Divya Ramnath
11 months ago

Dear all, thank you so much for your kind wishes and support! It is very much appreciated.

Dhivya Shankar
11 months ago

Congratulations Divya ... All the very best for all your endeavours

Hari Babu
11 months ago

Congratulations Divya and I wish you all the best!

Yashaswini Kanakagiri
11 months ago

Congratulations Divya and All the very best

Ram Sivasubramaniam
11 months ago

Good luck sis.!!

Sanjiv Damodaran
11 months ago

Opportunity comes to those who quit Waiting and start Looking. Success comes to those who quit Thinking and start Doing. Congratulations for Looking and Doing.

Frances Vaidya
11 months ago

All the best Divya

Rahul Kadam
11 months ago

Congratulations Divya and All the very best ??????

Yogesh Deshmukh
11 months ago

Congrats Divya & All The Best ?

Pankaj Jain
11 months ago

All the best .... Great work

Bronwyn Smithies
11 months ago

Great work Divya!

Shailesh Maskeri
11 months ago

Congratulations Divya!! And wish you all the success in your future endeavour

Mohan Iyer Mahadevan
11 months ago

All the best Divya.. Stay blessed...

Sathish K
11 months ago

All the Best. Wish, your research would be beneficial to deserving patients ????

Sonal Acharya
11 months ago

Great work! All the best.

ganesh Iyer
11 months ago

Best of luck ! Go win this!

Sai Navneethan Markandan
11 months ago

Congratulations and all the best for your project success Sai Navneethan

Vishy Parmeshwar
11 months ago

This research on Liver, a key organ that processes and protects the body fom toxicity, will help stem the ever increasing health risk caused by genetical disposition of the liver. This path breaking research work needs our support and encouragement. Excellent work Divya for leading this work.

Subramanian Raman
11 months ago

All the best Divya

Janaki Sabapathy
11 months ago

Good luck Divya

Jeevanantham Rajeswaran
11 months ago

Divya... best of luck .. keep at it!!!

Sankar Narayan
11 months ago

Path breakable research Divya.Keep it up.Sfd your contribution to a healthy world.

Roy Costilla
10 months ago

Go Divya!

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An early career post-doctoral researcher, leading a project characterising inflammation-associated determinants of chronic liver disease at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) Centre for I...

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