NIH awards $4 million to research environmental connection to liver disease
A researcher at the University of Louisville has received $4.01 million grant distributed over eight years by the NIH’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to develop research on whether environmental chemicals may be contributing to liver disease, according to a press release.
The grant will allow Matthew Cave, MD, associate professor of medicine in gastroenterology at University of Louisville School of Medicine, to study the long-term effects of environmental chemicals on the liver.
“In environmental health, the study of liver disease is relatively new, particularly in the field of endocrine disrupting chemicals,” Cave said in the release. “These chemicals, such as bisphenol-A (BPA), found in plastic drink bottles, may cause endocrine and metabolic diseases like diabetes and obesity, or make them worse.”
Cave will examine how endocrine disrupting chemicals contribute to fatty liver disease, according to the release. The grant, known as the Revolutionizing Innovative, Visionary Environmental Health Research (RIVER) Outstanding Investigator Award, will also enable Cave to explore new directions of research in environmental liver disease.
Cave’s initial work will focus on exposures to two compounds that cause liver damage: polychlorinated biphenyls, chemical compounds that do not readily break down and can remain in the environment; and vinyl chloride, used in the production of a chemical from which plastic pipes and other construction materials are formed, per the release. Using a multi-tiered research approach, he will begin his research with cell cultures and animal models and then in humans.
Disclosure: Healio.com/Hepatology was unable to confirm any relevant financial disclosures at the time of publication.
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.