U of Washington establishes $9 million center to study hepatitis-induced liver disease

December 02, 2002

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded a $9 million grant to the University of Washington to support the newly formed Center for Functional Genomics and Hepatitis C Virus-Associated Liver Disease. This center is applying modern genomics, protein studies and computational technologies to study hepatitis C virus (HCV)-associated liver disease. The objective is to gain a detailed understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the progression from chronic HCV infection to end-stage liver disease, including cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Hepatitis C has emerged as the most important cause of advanced liver disease, cirrhosis and cancer of the liver in the United States.

"One of the fundamental unanswered questions about this disease is why some individuals develop progressive scarring of the liver resulting in cirrhosis whereas others are infected with the virus for years but experience no significant liver injury," said Dr. Robert Carithers, professor of medicine and director of the hepatology section in the UW School of Medicine. "This grant is a unique collaboration between clinicians and basic scientists that will address the underlying causes for these differences in outcomes of patients with hepatitis C using the most sophisticated tools available to study gene and protein expression in liver cells."

The center, directed by Dr. Michael Katze, UW professor of microbiology, includes a diverse group of NIH-funded investigators, including experts from the UW, the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) and other institutions.

"A distinctive aspect of this center is that we have gathered many of the world's experts in viral hepatitis, liver disease and transplantation, global gene expression analysis, proteomics, and advanced information technologies in one center to study liver disease," Katze said. "The collaboration with the UW transplant team provides access to HCV-infected liver samples that will allow us to study the disease in patient tissues. Historically, HCV has been difficult to culture in a laboratory setting, so patient samples will provide a wealth of information that cannot be obtained any other way."

The center is one of several collaborations between the University of Washington and ISB. Dr. Ruedi Aebersold, UW affiliate professor and member of the institute, specializes in the development of high-throughput technology to study proteins.

"We are excited about the successful funding of the program because it is the first time that we will be able to apply high-throughput proteomic technologies and computational tools developed here to an acute clinical problem, liver disease caused by HCV," Aebersold said. "This innovative program will also enable us to further formalize and expand the research collaborations between the University of Washington and the ISB."
-end-
The Institute for Systems Biology was founded by Drs. Leroy Hood, Aebersold and Alan Aderem in 2000. For more information on the institute, visit http://www.systemsbiology.org

University of Washington

Related Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

New blood cancer treatment works by selectively interfering with cancer cell signalling
University of Alberta scientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published in Nature Communications.

UCI researchers uncover cancer cell vulnerabilities; may lead to better cancer therapies
A new University of California, Irvine-led study reveals a protein responsible for genetic changes resulting in a variety of cancers, may also be the key to more effective, targeted cancer therapy.

Breast cancer treatment costs highest among young women with metastic cancer
In a fight for their lives, young women, age 18-44, spend double the amount of older women to survive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large statewide study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.

More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.

New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.

American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.

Read More: Cancer News and Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.