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Our research group has a long-term interest in bile acid-signaling and liver diseases including nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)/nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), alcoholic fatty liver disease (ALD), cholestatic liver disease and cholangiocarcinoma (CCA). We first identified that conjugated bile acid-mediated activation of sphingosine-1 phosphate receptor 2 (S1PR2) and sphingosine kinase 2 (SphK2) not only plays a critical role in hepatic lipid metabolism but also contributes to cholangiocyte growth and proliferation.  In addition, we are also interested in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in drug-induced liver injury. Our goal is to identify the potential therapeutic targets for NAFLD/NASH, ALD, cholestatic liver diseases, CCA, and drug-induced liver injury.  The primary interests of our ongoing projects are as following:

  1. Conjugated bile acid-mediated activation of S1PR2 in cholestatic liver injury

  2. The long non-coding RNA H19 (LnRNAH19) in cholestatic liver diseases

  3. Bile acids and S1PR2/SphK2 in NAFLD

  4. The role of SphK2 in ALD

  5. Bile acids and S1P signaling in cholangiocarcinoma

  6. Gut-Liver axis in liver diseases

  7. The therapeutic effect of Berberine on NAFLD/NASH

  8. ER stress in alcohol and HIV protease inhibitor-induced liver injury

Huiping Zhou, Ph.D., AGAF, FAASLD


Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Medical College of Virginia

Virginia Commonwealth University 

Research Career Scientist

McGuire VA Medical Center

Richmond, VA




Kontos Medical Sciences Building

Room 534, 511, 515

1217 E Marshall Street

Richmond, VA 23298​

Tel:804-827-1556 or 804-828-2332

McGuire VA Medical Center


1201 Broad Rock Blvd

Richmond, VA 23249-0001



Molecular Medicine Research Building

Room 5-044

1220 E Broad Street, Richmond VA 23298

Tel: 804-828-6817

McGuire VA Medical Center


1201 Broad Rock Blvd

Richmond, VA 23249-0001

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