Division of Gastroenterology

Rohit Loomba Laboratory

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UC San Diego Medical Center

About Dr. Rohit Loomba 

Rohit Loomba, MD, MHSc

Dr. Rohit Loomba is Professor of Medicine (with tenure)  in the Division of Gastroenterology, and Adjunct Professor in the Division of Epidemiology at University of California, San Diego. He is a leading expert in translational research and innovative clinical trial design in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and steatohepatitis (NASH).

Dr. Loomba is the founding director of the UCSD NAFLD Translational Research Unit where his team is conducting cutting edge research in all aspects of NAFLD including non-invasive biomarkers, genetics, epidemiology, clinical trial design, imaging end-points, and integrated OMICs using microbiome, metabolome and lipidome. This integrated approach has led to several innovative applications such as establishment of MRI-PDFF as a non-invasive biomarker of treatment response in early phase trials in NASH, and first prospective study of MRE in patients with biopsy-proven NAFLD, and MOZART Trial being the first trial in NASH with comprehensive MRI and 2D and 3D MRE assessment paired with liver biopsies in NASH. He follows one of the largest cohort of well-characterized patients with NAFLD and applies evidence-based medicine to answer clinically relevant questions to improve management of patients with chronic liver disease.

He is the founder and principal investigator of the San Diego Integrated NAFLD Research Consortium (SINC). His research is funded by the National Institutes of Health, American Gastroenterology Association, National Science Foundation as well as several investigator initiated research projects funded by the industry. He is the Principal Investigator for adult hepatology for the NIDDK-sponsored NASH Clinical Research Network (2009-19) and is a member of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Dr. Loomba is an elected member of the board of directors of the American Liver Foundation. He serves as the co-chair of the Research Award Panel for the American Liver Foundation. In addition, he serves on various committees of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). He is also an elected member of the steering committee of the Steatosis and Steatohepatitis Special Interest Group of the AASLD. He serves on the editorial board of several leading journals, and is the Associate Editor for Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, a leading journal in the field of Gastroenterology.

The types of research conducted includes patient-oriented clinical research based upon patients seen in the liver clinic, clinical trials, population-based cohort studies, twin studies, and clinical decision making by utilizing meta-analytic approaches. He continues to work in close collaboration with his colleagues at the National Institutes of Health, where he received his clinical and research training in advanced hepatology.

He leads a multidisciplinary team of trainees, nurses, clinicians and scientists in conducting cutting edge translational research in liver disease. Dr. Loomba and his collaborators are leading a major effort into non-invasive biomarkers especially imaging modalities for assessment of fat, inflammation, cell injury and fibrosis in patients with chronic liver diseases, and developing therapies for the treatment of NASH and NASH related fibrosis.

The central goal of his research program is to reverse NASH and fibrosis, and stop progression of liver disease in patients with NAFLD. 

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News & Events 

May 16, 2016 - Dr. Loomba presents UC San Diego Progress in the Science of Medicine (PRISM) Lecture, "Innovative Study Design and Novel Imaging in Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis," 12 - 1 p.m., Garren Auditorium, Biomedical Sciences Building

May 12, 2016 - Diabetes Drug Found No Better Than Placebo at Treating NAFLD - But randomized, double-blind clinical trial suggests better way to conduct future trials - Dr. Loomba is senior author on the report in the Journal of Hepatology

April 5, 2016 - UC San Diego NAFLD Research Center Finds Novel 3D Imaging Tool Provides Accurate, Less Invasive Method for Diagnosing Advanced Fibrosis in Liver - Dr. Loomba is first author on the report in The American Journal of Gastroenterology

February 2016 - UC San Diego Launches New Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Research Center Directed by Dr. Loomba

October 23, 2015 - Dr. Loomba listed as GI Physician Leader to Know in Becker's GI & Endoscopy

October 1, 2015 - Dr. Loomba and Coworkers Find Fatty Liver Disease and Scarring Have Strong Genetic Component

May 2015 - Dr. Loomba and UC San Diego colleague Claude B. Sirlin, MD, receive five-year R01 research grant from NIDDK to fund their study, "Quantitative Ultrasound (QUS) Technology for Diagnosis and Grading of Hepatic Steatosis in NAFLD."

March 2, 2015 - Dr. Loomba is quoted in the Washington Post article, "Heavy drinking is not the only cause of serious liver trouble."