Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Tony Kim L&S Biological Sciences

Developing a New Cell Line Model for Studying Ketogenesis

Fatty liver disease is a global burden for public health, and is commonly associated with obesity and type-2 diabetes. Fatty liver mainly results from an impaired lipid metabolism in livers, showing reduced fatty acid oxidation and ketogenesis. However, the exact mechanism behind this phenomenon is not well understood. Our body begins producing ketone bodies by breaking down fatty acids during extended fasting, which are used as a substitute for glucose. However, one problem with studying ketogenesis is that ketogenesis is not well observed in hepatocytes isolated from an organism. A hepatocyte cell line that could mimic a ketogenic environment is crucial since it is difficult to observe a detailed mechanism of ketogenesis in fatty livers that are not isolated from an organism. Developing a ketogenic hepatocyte cellular model will be a cornerstone for a better mechanistic understanding of the ketogenic pathway, its regulators, and how it gets dysfunctional in fatty livers.

Message To Sponsor

Thank you for showing your support for my project, geared towards fighting against fatty liver disease. As it is a condition that affects a quarter of American adults, I believe it is crucial for scientists to extend the frontiers of the knowledge on fatty liver diseases. I am very excited to dive in to see what lies ahead of me. Thank you again, for your gracious support!
Major: Molecular and Cell Biology
Mentor: Ana Arruda
Sponsor: Leadership Fund
Back to Listings
Back to Donor Reports