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Kate O'Brien

Cooperating Doctoral Program: Pharmacology and Toxicology

EITS Track: Biomedical Toxicology

Education: B.S. Chemistry, Bethel University

Research Interests:
Cholestasis is the disruption of bile flow from the liver resulting in hepatocellular injury, inflammation, and fibrosis. The mechanism of inflammation in cholestasic liver disease is unknown. It has been shown that Interleukin-17A (IL-17A) contributes to chronic inflammation. Recent studies have shown that IL-17A activates MAPKs and the AKT/PI3K pathways in other models of chronic inflammation. We are interested in determining the pathways regulated by Il-17A in cholestasis. We have data suggesting that IL-17A contributes to hepatocellular injury and inflammation during bile duct ligation, a model of obstructive cholestasis. My dissertation project is to elucidate the signaling pathways activated by IL-17A and the contribution of IL-17A in our model of obstructive cholestasis.

Major Professor: Bryan Copple, Pharmacology and Toxicology