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Alcoholic Liver Disease

Alcoholic Liver Disease Program: biomedical, genetic and translational/clinical research
Alcoholic liver disease has the highest mortality amongst all alcohol related disorders. There is no effective treatment for this debilitating hidden epidemic. The overall goal of the program is to understand the mechanisms of how alcohol injures the liver and identify potential genetic/non-genetic bio-markers for therapy and/or diagnosis. Dr Seth’s research program addresses the following clinical and fundamental issues for better understanding of this disease leading to improved patient care.

Why do only some drinkers get cirrhosis while others who drink similar levels do not? To answer one of the big questions in this field Dr Seth leads a NIH/NIAAA (USA) funded multinational GenomALC Consortium. The focus of the consortium is to explore genome wide genetic and epigenetic factors that predispose some drinkers to and protect others from developing ALD. This program has created one of the largest biobank and clinical database of thousands of heavy chronic drinkers with great potential for future studies.

Establishing blood biomarkers of alcohol consumption and alcoholic liver disease. Current markers for alcohol consumption and self-report are sub-optimal and unreliable. Seth and her team have established tests using UHPLC-MS/MS (Clinical Pathology, RPAH) for measuring direct metabolites of alcohol (PEth, EtG and EtS) as serum biomarkers for alcohol consumption. Development of and access to these tests will significantly improve the screening and monitoring of alcohol use in individuals with alcohol-related problems, such as addiction, pre- and post-liver transplant, alcohol dependence treatment and in other non-clinical settings (social services, workplace, prison, driving, judicial, forensics, court disputes).

Understanding the cellular/molecular mechanisms of alcohol-induced liver injury and liver regeneration. (i) Seth laboratory has established in vitro and in vivo models of alcohol and alcohol plus high fat diet to study mechanisms of liver injury. In particular, role of Osteopontin (first reported in ALD by Seth) in fibrogenesis. (ii) The group has identified rare circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) altered with alcohol in human and mice that may have a role in angiogenesis mediated liver regeneration during injury. (iii) Another large international project is to identify microRNAs (miRNAs) as novel diagnostic markers in liver and kidney toxicity due to prescription drugs (e.g. paracetamol) and poisoning (e.g. pesticides, snakebite).

Devanshi Seth – Head of Alcoholic Liver Disease Program

Phone: 02 9565 6268 | 02 9515 7201
Email: d.seth@sydney.edu.au

Additional roles

  • Principal Scientist, Drug Health Services, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
  • Principal Scientist and Associate Faculty, Centenary Institute
  • Clinical Associate Professor, Clinical Medicine & Addiction Medicine, University of Sydney (USYD)
There are no publications available for this Program.