Episode 49: Nonalcoholic Liver Disease

Johanna DiStefano

Johanna DiStefano Ph.D.

Metabolic and Fibrotic Disease Program

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Dr. Johanna DiStefano joins TGen Talks to discuss nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD, a condition that causes excess amount of fat in one’s liver cells. As evidenced by its name (which could use an update, according to our guest) NAFLD covers a wide-range of liver conditions with the “alcohol” portion somewhat misleading, as it’s not always that cut and dry.
  Different factors, such as genetics, lifestyle, and diet could also play a role in NAFLD. It could also be one’s gender or one’s stage in life. For example, the risk increases for women following menopause.
  Dr. DiStefano discusses her labs focus on the genetic factors that influence the development of NAFLD and increasing awareness of this population among clinicians. 
  How does nonalcoholic fatty liver disease develop? How does the liver communicate with other cells in the body, other organs in the body? 
  The long-term goal, of course, is identifying better ways to detect and treat fatty liver disease. And that means new tests and new drugs. 
  All this and more on TGen Talks.