Getachew Debas Belew

ESR 4 - "Relationship between intestinal short-chain fatty acid production and hepatic bioenergetic status in NAFLD"


Getachew Debas is an ESR fellow in ETN FOIE GRAS project at the University of Coimbra, Portugal. He has graduated his second MSc in BioHealth Computing Erasmus Mundus Master Program (Molecular Biotechnology track) from Joseph Fourier University (UJF), France in August, 2013. Before that, he has received MSc in Biology from Bahir Dar University in March, 2010 and BSc in Applied Biology from University of Gondar, Ethiopia in July, 2007 with very great distinctions. He has done his second MSc internship on one of the genetic metabolic disease of liver, Glycogen Storage Disease type One α (GSD1α) at Molecular Biotechnology Center (MBC), Turin, Italy. The overall aim of his research was to develop a therapeutic approach based on hepatocytes derived from germline cell-derived pluripotent stem cells (GPSCs) to treat GSD1a in preclinical experimental models. Since April 2014, he has been working as a lecturer in the Biotechnology Department of Addis Ababa Science and Technology University, Ethiopia. Prior to that, he has also worked at the Department of Biology, Arba Minch University (Ethiopia) as Graduate assistant and lecturer for more than five years.

Summary of ESR Project

This project will focus on the clear identification of clinical, metabolic and molecular abnormalities associated with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), such as early changes in mitochondrial function, biogenesis and oxidative stress, and its regulation in animal models for NAFLD in different stages of the disease. Research will include methodologies for evaluating the biological activity in isolated liver mitochondria, and mouse primary hepatocytes during lipotoxicity insults and in one rodent model of NAFLD. At the end they can be used to prevent or minimize mitochondrial dysfunction in both in vitro and in vivo models.


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