Mechanisms regulating the gut-liver axis during health and disease

Naiara Beraza

Dr Naiara Beraza

Research Leader

Mechanisms regulating the gut-liver axis during health and disease

Gut-liver axis, microbiome, immunity

Research in our group centres on the links between intestinal inflammatory conditions (such as IBD) and chronic liver disease characterised by loss of cell function leading to cirrhosis, and ultimately to cancer.

There is increasing evidence of the close association between chronic liver disease and intestinal dysfunction. Our aim is to understand the fundamental mechanisms of communication between the gut and the liver, and use this knowledge to improve health. We are currently focusing on the metabolic regulators of these processes, with a view to being able to propose therapeutic strategies targeting these metabolic pathways as a new way to counter liver disease. This may also lead to new therapeutics for inflammatory conditions of the gut, which are closely associated with liver disease. We are also interested in understanding how these metabolic regulators impact on interactions between the host and the microbiota, and how this affects health.

The multidisciplinary research conducted in our group combines the use of basic molecular biology with high throughput analysis techniques such as next generation sequencing, proteomics and metabolomics including HPLC-Mass spectrophotometry and NMR as well as other cutting edge methodologies including bioenergetic metabolism analysis by Seahorse technology.

We also perform a wide variety of imaging techniques including histopathological analysis, immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence, as well as the characterisation of the different immune cell populations by flow cytometry analysis.

Our pre-clinical research uses established in vivo experimental models in combination with in vitro models, mainly using primary cells isolated from transgenic animals. As part of the translational nature of our work, we also perform analysis of human tissue samples.

Berazza group

Our Targets

Targeting IBD

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Targeting liver disease

Liver/lipid disease

Targeting cancer


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