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Jonathan Peterson, in the Department of Health Sciences, has received a Research Development Grant to explore the potential role of C1q TNF-Related Protein 3 (CTRP3) as a therapeutic target to treat or prevent alcoholic fatty liver disease. Cirrhosis of the liver is one of the leading cause of death in the United States with approximately half of all cases attributed to alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Despite the prevalence of alcoholic fatty liver disease, there are no currently approved treatments for this condition. Previous work conducted by Dr. Peterson and his colleagues has identified CTRP3 as a potent inhibitor of fatty liver caused by a high fat diet. The current research will determine if CTRP3 has a similar role in the much more serious alcoholic fatty liver disease. This work will attempt to determine if CTRP3 can prevent alcohol-induced liver fat accumulation. If this is successful, this research could provide insight into the potential role of CTRP3 in treating or preventing alcoholic fatty liver disease. The CTRPs, in general, are a novel family of proteins secreted by the body, often from adipose tissue, though sometimes by other tissues, including muscle.
Dr. Peterson received his PhD in Exercise Physiology from the University of West Virginia School of Medicine and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Physiology at Johns Hopkins University. His research focuses on identifying and studying clinical biomarkers related to obesity and lipid metabolism, specifically on understanding the function of proteins like the CTRPs.