12 Apr 2016

PhD student Dr Geraldine Ooi is investigating fatty liver disease

Dr Geraldine Ooi is a General Surgical trainee undertaking a PhD, supervised by Professor Wendy Brown in the Central Clinical School in Monash University and with the Bariatric Surgical Unit, looking at non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in obesity.  She is supported by an NHMRC scholarship.

Her prospective study will examine both clinical and pathophysiological aspects of NAFLD, which has an 80-90% prevalence in those with a BMI>30kg/m2. A liver biopsy, which is the current gold standard for diagnosing NAFLD, will be collected during bariatric surgical procedures and one year after surgery, when patients have typically lost 40-50% of their excess weight. This will be used to examine the effects of substantial weight loss on NAFLD, and determine if this improves the disease. The project will also assess non-invasive tests such as Fibroscan and novel MRI techniques, and the cellular and molecular changes in the liver associated with NAFLD and obesity.

This study ultimately aims to increase our understanding of NAFLD, its interactions with obesity, and how we can better diagnose and treat this increasingly prevalent disease.

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