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Florence McAlister Distinguished Professor of Medicine

Research Summary

Dr. Diehl has been studying metabolic dysfunction associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD) for 30 years ago. She was one of the first to describe the similar hepatic histologic features but contrasting clinical parameters of patients with MASLD (then dubbed NAFLD) and alcoholic liver disease. Since then, she has worked with colleagues to apply an iterative bedside-to-bench-to-bedside approach to advance knowledge about MASLD pathogenesis. Discoveries about innate immune dysregulation, microbiome abnormalities, and cell death mediators in MASLD provided a conceptual foundation for treatments that are now in large multi-center clinical trials. Her team was also one of the first to leverage “omics” technologies to sub-classify large cohorts of seemingly similar MASLD patients and the results stimulated investigation of signaling pathways that orchestrate wound healing responses, including Hedgehog. They identified a previously unsuspected, but highly significant, role for Hedgehog signaling in liver fibrogenesis and steatohepatitis (NASH/MASH) progression.

CGIBD Focus Area(s):  Regeneration and Repair; Clinical/Translational Research

Collaborators:  Cowley, David