Angel Baldan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biochemistry, was featured in Newslink in July for his continuing research on the microRNA, miR-33. Their most recent research focuses on the way that miR-33, which is induced by statins, can decrease bile production in the gallbladder, affecting the digestion of dietary lipids, which causes cholestasis and can lead to liver damage. Treatment with anti-miR-33 reversed the toxic side effects of statins in an animal model.
These important findings could lead to better statins to help control cholesterol levels, by reducing the liver damage that can be a side effect of these drugs. Their research could also help treat some genetic disorders that cause a similar defect in bile transporters and ultimately lead to liver damage through cholestasis.
Dr. Baldan’s research was recently published in EMBO Molecular Medicine.