Liver Center Research

Joseph R. Bloomer, MD
Dr. Bloomer has received NIH research support since 1976, including a MERIT Award from 1994-2006, to investigate the pathogenesis of clinical and biochemical features in the porphyrias. His laboratory was the first to define the enzyme defects in two of these eight human genetic disorders, erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP) and variegate porphyria, and the first to show that liver disease in EPP is caused by the toxic effect of protoporphyrin on liver structure and function. Most recently, his laboratory has demonstrated that symptomatic disease in EPP is associated with a mutation in one ferrochelatase allele that causes a detrimental alteration in enzyme structure, together with a polymorphism in the other allele that causes low gene expression. Further studies are being done to evaluate other genetic factors that may affect phenotype. Dr. Bloomer also has clinical trials underway in the study of efficacy of therapy for Hepatitis B.

Brendan M. McGuire, MD 
Dr. McGuire’s research focus is in the clinical management of complications in patients with end-stage liver disease. He has been involved in industry sponsored multi-center studies using two liver assist devices for treating acute and chronic liver disease. He is the primary investigator at UAB of the acute liver failure study group, which is an NIH funded RO1 including 27 U.S. adult liver programs. He is also the primary investigator of a pilot study looking at the prevalence of kidney pathology in patients with hepatitis C cirrhosis undergoing liver transplantation at UAB.

Omar Massoud, MD
Dr. Massoud’s current research interests include non-invasive markers for acute cellular rejection in liver transplantation, hepatitis C, and recurrent hepatitis C in liver transplant patients.