Anna Mae Diehl, MD

Professor of Medicine
Florence McAlister Professor of Medicine, in the School of Medicine
Professor in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Member of the Duke Cancer Institute
Affiliate of the Regeneration Next Initiative
Campus mail Duke Box 3256, 905 S. Lasalle Street, GSRB 1, Durham, NC 27710
Phone (919) 684-2366
Email address

Our lab has a long standing interest in liver injury and repair. To learn more about the mechanisms that regulate this process, we study cultured cells, animal models of acute and chronic liver damage and samples from patients with various types of liver disease. Our group also conducts clinical trials in patients with chronic liver disease. We are particularly interested in fatty liver diseases, such as alcoholic fatty liver disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Research by our group has advanced understanding in two main areas: 1) immune system regulation of liver injury and regeneration and 2)the role of fetal morphogens, such as the hedgehog pathway, in regulating fibrotic responses to liver damage. Our basic research programs have been enjoyed continuous NIH support since 1989. We welcome students, post-doctoral fellows and visiting scientists who have interests in this research area to contact us about training opportunities and potential collaborations.

Since 2001 we have also been an active participant in the NIDDK-funded Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Clinical Research Network (NASH CRN), a national consortium comprised of 8 university medical centers selected to generate a national registry for patients with NAFLD and to conduct multicenter treatment trials for this disorder. We are actively recruiting patients for this program, as well as a number of other industry-supported NAFLD studies.

In Their Words

Education and Training

  • Fellow in Gastroenterology, Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, 1981 - 1984
  • Medical Resident, Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, 1978 - 1981
  • M.D., Georgetown University, 1978


Machado, M. V., G. A. Michelotti, M. L. Jewell, T. A. Pereira, G. Xie, R. T. Premont, and A. M. Diehl. “Caspase-2 promotes obesity, the metabolic syndrome and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease..” Cell Death Dis 7 (February 18, 2016).

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Machado, Mariana Verdelho, Leandi Kruger, Mark L. Jewell, Gregory Alexander Michelotti, Thiago de Almeida Pereira, Guanhua Xie, Cynthia A. Moylan, and Anna Mae Diehl. “Vitamin B5 and N-Acetylcysteine in Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis: A Preclinical Study in a Dietary Mouse Model..” Dig Dis Sci 61, no. 1 (January 2016): 137–48.

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Coombes, Jason D., Steve S. Choi, Marzena Swiderska-Syn, Paul Manka, Danielle T. Reid, Elena Palma, Marco A. Briones-Orta, et al. “Osteopontin is a proximal effector of leptin-mediated non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) fibrosis..” Biochim Biophys Acta 1862, no. 1 (January 2016): 135–44.

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Shea, P. R., A. Sanyal, S. Harrison, V. Ratziu, R. Loomba, S. Caldwell, A. M. Diehl, et al. “PNPLA3 Variants Confer an Increased Risk of Advanced Fibrosis Due to Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis.” In Journal of Hepatology, 64:S493–S493. Elsevier BV, 2016.

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Sanyal, A., Z. Goodman, S. Harrison, D. C. Rockey, A. M. Diehl, S. Caldwell, M. L. Shiffman, et al. “Correlation between the Hepatic Venous Pressure Gradient and Alpha-Smooth Muscle Actin (SMA) Expression in Patients with Compensated Cirrhosis Due to Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis.” In Journal of Hepatology, 64:S251–S251. Elsevier BV, 2016.

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Shea, P. R., A. Sanyal, D. C. Rockey, R. Loomba, A. M. Diehl, S. E. Kleinstein, R. P. Myers, et al. “Genome-Wide Association Study of Clinically Significant Portal Hypertension in Patients with Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis and Advanced Fibrosis.” In Journal of Hepatology, 64:S280–S280. Elsevier BV, 2016.

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Coombes, J. D., P. P. Manka, M. Swiderska-Syn, D. Reid, A. Riva, L. C. Claridge, L. Dolle, et al. “Osteopontin Promotes Cholangiocyte Chemokine Secretion and Macrophage Accumulation in Murine Liver Fibrosis.” In Journal of Hepatology, 64:S514–15. Elsevier BV, 2016.

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Chandrashekaran, Varun, Suvarthi Das, Ratanesh Kumar Seth, Diptadip Dattaroy, Firas Alhasson, Gregory Michelotti, Mitzi Nagarkatti, Prakash Nagarkatti, Anna Mae Diehl, and Saurabh Chatterjee. “Purinergic receptor X7 mediates leptin induced GLUT4 function in stellate cells in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis..” Biochim Biophys Acta 1862, no. 1 (January 2016): 32–45.

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Zhou, Qing, Dipali Patel, Timothy Kwa, Amranul Haque, Zimple Matharu, Gulnaz Stybayeva, Yandong Gao, Anna Mae Diehl, and Alexander Revzin. “Liver injury-on-a-chip: microfluidic co-cultures with integrated biosensors for monitoring liver cell signaling during injury..” Lab Chip 15, no. 23 (December 7, 2015): 4467–78.

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