Nature’s Scientific Reports has published HemoShear’s unprecedented research into the molecular drivers of liver disease. The paper, “Gene Expression Predicts Histological Severity and Reveals Distinct Molecular Profiles of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease,” demonstrates that disease severity can be inferred from the expression of a small number of genes. This research leverages HemoShear’s computational expertise to make accurate predictions about biological systems and lays the groundwork for a personalized medicine approach. Scientific Reports, an open access journal publishing original research from across natural and clinical sciences, is the 11th most cited journal in the world.
HemoShear collaborated with Arun Sanyal, MD, a widely respected clinician-researcher in liver diseases and Professor of Internal Medicine at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine to conduct this research. Dr. Sanyal collected liver biopsies from 78 patients with a full spectrum of liver disease activity and fibrosis, and provided the data for HemoShear’s analysis.
HemoShear’s team, led by Steve Hoang, Ph.D., Head of Computational Biology, measured and analyzed gene responses of these samples to determine which genes are expressed at various stages of disease progression.
“We took Dr. Sanyal’s gene expression data and conducted a comprehensive analysis of molecular changes across the spectrum of disease severity,” said Dr. Hoang. “This enabled us to identify specific pathways that are regulated at various stages of disease. This information, as well as the methodology we developed, may help determine how and where to intervene in the process of developing NASH and other diseases.”
Dr. Sanyal and his team plan to further validate this study by assessing long-term outcomes. “Our next step will be to evaluate gene expression in a longitudinal study so we can see how the genetic response evolves over time,” said Dr. Sanyal. “The insights we are generating are the first step toward precision medicine approaches for NASH. We are identifying which pathways are driving disease in individual patients so that we can develop drugs that are superior to current options in reducing disease activity and scarring of the liver and to eventually prevent cirrhosis.”
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