In my new research project, I investigate Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This term describes a variety of conditions that are associated with fatty livers. While the early stages of this disease are not harmful, it can lead to cirrhosis (Cirrhosis is the scaring of liver tissue that prevents a liver to function properly). Ultimately, if a liver stops working it can be fatal unless treated, for example, with a liver transplant. NAFLD is the most common liver disease in developed countries and is expected to become the leading cause of liver transplant by 2020 .
The disease progresses in four stages:
- steatosis — a buildup of fat in the liver (healthy livers are almost fat-free)
- non-alcoholic steatohepatitis — an inflammation of liver tissue due to the fat
- fibrosis — a formation of scar tissue due to the inflammation
- cirrhosis — a permanent lack of functionality of the liver due to the scar tissue
Currently, no specific NAFLD medication is available. Therefore, the most successful treatment is the change of one’s lifestyle. This includes the reduction of body weight, healthier dieting, exercising, and quitting smoking. 
While there is no detailed understanding of the processes involved with NAFLD formation, the influence of obesity and insulin-resistance are likely [3,4]. In our new project, which is in collaboration with the Novo Nordisk Research Centre Oxford, we want to understand the biological pathways associated with NAFLD. To achieve this, we combine data from multiple biological experiments, including gene expression, protein interaction data, and blood measurements.
 “Management of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis: an evidence-based approach”. Clinics in Liver Disease.
 “Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)” National Health Service.
 “Systematic review: the epidemiology and natural history of non‐alcoholic fatty liver disease and non‐alcoholic steatohepatitis in adults.” Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics.
 “Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) and Its Connection with Insulin Resistance, Dyslipidemia, Atherosclerosis and Coronary Heart Disease” Nutrients.