Webinar: Effects of Dietary Fructose on Development and Progression of NAFLD

Date: Thursday, October 27, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm (EDT)
Presenters: Samir Softic, MD | Michael Karin, PhD
Moderator: Petra Hirsova, PharmD, PhD

Patients with NAFLD consume twice as many calories from dietary sugar compared to the controls and fructose metabolism correlates positively with the severity of liver fibrosis. This basic science webinar focuses on exploring the mechanistic links governing fructose-mediated development and progression of NAFLD. Initially, we will discuss how the first enzyme of fructose metabolism, ketohexokinase, upregulates endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress to drive progression of NAFLD. Next, we will explore the effects of fructose-induced ER stress on development of hepatocellular carcinoma.

About the Presenters


Samir Softic, MD

Dr. Samir Softic, MD is a Physician-Scientist in Pediatric Gastroenterology at the University of Kentucky. He is the Medical Director of the Pediatric Fatty Liver Clinic at Kentucky Children’s Hospital. He completed his Post-Doctoral training at Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School in the lab of C. Ronald Kahn studying hepatic sugar metabolism and insulin resistance. His basic science laboratory studies how hepatic fructose metabolism via ketohexokinase mediates the development of insulin resistance and NAFLD. His research has been recognized by several awards including NASPGHAN Young Investigator Award, Nestle Nutrition Research Award and Pediatric Scientist Development Program Award. He has been invited speaker by the leading medical societies, such as North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN), American Diabetes Association (ADA), and European Society of Endocrinology (ESE). He serves on the editorial boards of Nutrients, Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology and other journals.


Michael Karin, PhD

Dr. Karin received his BSc in Biology from Tel Aviv University in 1975 and his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of California Los Angeles in 1979. He is currently a Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology and Pathology at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, where he has been on the faculty since 1986. Dr. Karin has received numerous awards, including the Endocrine Society Oppenheimer Award for Excellence in 1990, American Cancer Society Research Professorship in 1999, C.E.R.I.E.S. Research Award for Physiology or Biology of the Skin in 2000, Harvey Prize in Human Health in 2011, Brupbacher Prize in Cancer Research in 2013, William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic and Tumor Immunology in 2013, and an honorary Doctor of Medicine from the Technical University of Munich. He was a cofounder of Signal Pharmaceutical, which has become a part of Celgene, Inc. Dr. Karin had also served as a member of the National Advisory Council for Environmental Health Sciences. Dr. Karin was elected as a member of the US National Academy of Sciences in 2005, the National Academy of Medicine in 2011 and as an associate member of the European Molecular Biology Association in 2007. He became a fellow of the American Association for Cancer Research Academy in 2017. Dr. Karin’s current activity primarily focuses on understanding the relationship between inflammation, cancer, and metabolic disease as well as the signaling mechanisms used by receptors involved in inflammation and innate immunity. In addition to discovering some of the most important stress- and inflammation-responsive signal transduction pathways and establishing molecular links between obesity, inflammation and cancer, Dr. Karin’s work has revealed new targets for cancer prevention and therapy as well as for the treatment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and other metabolic diseases.

About the Moderator


Petra Hirsova, PharmD, PhD

Petra Hirsova, PharmD, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN. Dr. Hirsova received doctoral training from Charles University, Czech Republic, and Yale University, Connecticut. Subsequently, she became a postdoctoral fellow at Mayo Clinic, where she later rose to the rank of Assistant Professor. She currently leads an independent research program focused on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), especially as it relates to understanding the pathogenic mechanisms underlying the disease onset and progression, identifying druggable targets, and developing novel therapeutic strategies. Her research program has been supported by multiple funding mechanisms provided by the National Institute of Health (NIH), foundations, and the Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Hirsova serves as an editorial board member for HEPATOLOGY, the official journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). Dr. Hirsova has also held various leadership positions within the AASLD. She served as a member of the Inclusion and Diversity Committee. Currently, she serves on the steering committee of the NAFLD Special Interest Group (SIG), where she is responsible for educational activities and the steering committee of Liver Cell Biology SIG. Dr. Hirsova has served as a member of the AASLD Abstract Committee for NAFLD research since 2021. In addition, she is a member of the AASLD Research Award Committee. Outside of the AASLD, Dr. Hirsova reviews grants for Charles University, European Science Foundation, and NIH.

Content Contributor

Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease SIG