We are interested in the inflammary events leading to fibrosis. One of my goals is to improve technology for specific drug efficacy monitoring in a novel pre-clinical model for liver fibrosis, the NIF mouse.
Chronic damage to the liver eventually creates a wound that never heals. This condition, called fibrosis, gradually replaces normal liver cells, which detoxify the food and liquid we consume, with more and more scar tissue until organ function fails. Liver fibrosis and cirrhosis are most commonly caused by alcoholism and hepatitis C, but also insulin resistence and obesity resulting in life-threatening conditions with no efficient FDA-approved therapies currently available.
Whilst liver biopsy remains an important part of advanced Hepatology practice, clearly we need better non-invasive tools at our disposal to evaluate the nature and severity of liver disease.
Thus, we see a great potential and need for developing time efficient new approaches that can accurately diagnose the early-stages of liver fibrosis and in combination with a relevant preclinical in vivo model (NIF mouse) will identify the most promising drugs at an early stage of disease.
We aim to establish a multimodal imaging approach for accurate diagnosis and monitoring of liver fibrosis by combining magnetic resonance imaging and elastography (MRE), optical projection tomography and synchrotron radiation imaging. The specific aim is to establish a more specific and robust method for longitudinal monitoring of drug efficacy in pre-clinical models for liver fibrosis providing anatomical, functional and molecular imaging information and that hold potential for the longitudinal assessment of therapy responses.