GASL award 2019 for Ahmed Ghallab

The German Association for the Study of the Liver (GASL) has honored Dr. Ahmed Ghallab with the GASL award of the YAEL foundation 2019. The award is donated annually with 3.000 euro. The best scientific publication of the previous year is chosen by the board and programme committee of the GASL. Ahmed Ghallab is working as a scientific junior group leader at Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors (IfADo). 

Dr. Ahmed Ghallab. Foto: IfADo
Dr. Ahmed Ghallab. Foto: IfADo

The German Association for the Study of Liver (GASL) has selected Ahmed Ghallab’s paper ‘Bile Micro-infarcts in Cholestasis Are Initiated by Rupture of the Apical Hepatocyte Membrane and Cause Shunting of Bile to Sinusoidal Blood’ to be distinguished by the GASL award of the YAEL foundation 2019. The awarded paper was published in the US journal ‘Hepatology’. Together with international experts Ghallab was able to show in the two-photon microscope, that the liver uses a trick to survive in case of acute cholestasis.

As consequence of this liver disease, bile, one of the most toxic body fluids, can accumulate. In the acute stage, this coincides with damage of the liver parenchyma, which is called bile infarct. However, the link between bile accumulation in the biliary tree and bile infarct formation in the liver parenchyma was previously unclear. In this study, Ghallab and his team could show that acute cholestasis leads to rupture of the apical membranes of some hepatocytes, leading to flooding of the cell with bile salts and subsequent cell death. These dead cells shunt bile to sinusoidal blood and thereby protect the liver from bile salt overloading. This limited number of dead cells can be efficiently regenerated by the liver when the critical stage is subsided.

In this video Ahmed Ghallab explains the central results of the awarded paper:

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Since 2009 Ahmed Ghallab is working at IfADo. He holds a PhD in veterinary medicine (2013) and leads a BMBF (German Federal Ministry of Education and Research) funded junior research team focusing on systems modeling of hepatic metabolism in liver diseases. Recently, he has been awarded an associate professor ship at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the South Valley University (Egypt).

Ghallab, A., Hofmann, U., Sezgin, S., Vartak, N., Hassan, R., Zaza, A., Godoy, P., Schneider, K., Guenther, G., Ahmed, Y., Abbas, A., Keitel, V., Kuepfer, L., Dooley, S., Lammert, F., Trautwein, C., Spiteller, M., Drasdo, D., Hofmann, A., Jansen, P., Hengstler, J., Reif, R.: Bile micro-infarcts in cholestasis are initiated by rupture of the apical hepatocyte membrane and cause shunting of bile to sinusoidal blood. Hepatology, 69 (2), 2019.

The study was funded by the research initiative ‘Research Network System Medicine of the Liver – LiSyM (Liver Systems Medicine)’, founded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, and other funding from the BMBF and the EU.

Dr. Ahmed Ghallab
Research Fellow „Systems toxicology”
Phone: + 49 231 1084-356