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Investigating the sex-dependent effects of macrophage insulin resistance on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease


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  Dr M Gage, Dr C Pellet-Many  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

MRes Project

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a spectrum of liver diseases in part driven by macrophages. Premenopausal females exhibit protection from NAFLD and macrophages express estrogen receptors which have been shown to augment and dampen innate immune signalling pathways. Risk factors for the development of NAFLD include obesity and insulin resistance however, the relationship between NAFLD, insulin resistance and macrophage function are unclear.

The aim of this MRes will be to explore the sex-dependent effects of insulin resistance in macrophages and how in turn this may impact NAFLD. The work proposed in this MRes will support an ongoing project within the Gage group.

Approach: This project will involve samples from mice, cell lines, and possibly human samples and incorporate a range of techniques including but not limited to: cell line and primary cell culture, PCR, genotyping, immunohistochemistry, histology, RT-qPCR, RNA Sequencing data analysis, Western blotting, in vitro functional assays.

Funding Notes

Partially funded MRes project: The lab will be covering the project costs, the MRes student will be expected to meet the course fees and their living expenses.
International applicants are welcome to apply but must be able to fund the difference between "Home" and "Overseas" tuition fees.
Please see website for more details.


1. Liver macrophages and inflammation in physiology and physiopathology of non-alcoholic fatty liver
disease. Thibaut R, Gage MC, Pineda-Torra I, Chabrier G, Venteclef N, Alzaid F. FEBS J. 2021 Apr 15. doi:
2. Impaired LXRα Phosphorylation Attenuates Progression of Fatty Liver Disease. Becares N, Gage MC, Voisin M,
Shrestha E, Martin-Gutierrez L, Liang N, Louie R, Pourcet B, Pello OM, Luong TV, Goñi S, Pichardo-Almarza C,
Røberg-Larsen H, Diaz-Zuccarini V, Steffensen KR, O'Brien A, Garabedian MJ, Rombouts K, Treuter E, PinedaTorra I. Cell Rep. 2019 Jan 22;26(4):984-995.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.12.094.
3. Disrupting LXRα phosphorylation promotes FoxM1 expression and modulates atherosclerosis by inducing
macrophage proliferation Gage, M C; Bécares, N; Louie, R; Waddington, K E; Zhang, Y; Tittanegro, T H;
Rodríguez-Lorenzo, S; Jathanna, A; Pourcet, B; Pello, O M; De la Rosa, J. V.; Castrillo, A; Pineda-Torra, I,
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2018
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