Dr Naiara Beraza

Research Leader



Research Areas

Gut Health

My research aims to understand the fundamental mechanisms underlying the liver-gut interaction to ensure life-long health. My work focuses on the role of Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1), a key metabolic regulator, in this process.

SIRT1 is a NAD+ histone III deacetylase that links the energy status of the cell with the regulation of essential metabolic pathways, cell protection and the inflammatory response among other vital processes that preserve whole-body homeostasis. SIRT1 mediates healthy aging and protects the liver against dietary-induced metabolic damage.  However, pro-inflammatory and pro-tumorigenic functions have also been identified for SIRT1. These divergent roles reflect the complexity of SIRT1 signalling and highlight the importance of defining specificity of SIRT1 function in different cellular contexts.

Evidence pointing to the relevance of the communication between the liver and the gut in preserving liver homeostasis and in the onset of chronic disease is increasing.  Our work aims to define the molecular mechanisms underpinning the role of SIRT1 in regulating the gut-liver axis responses in both of these contexts.

Another key goal of our work is to dissect the liver- and gut- specific functions of SIRT1. We anticipate that our results will open a wide range of interventional opportunities aiming to maintain and/or restore gut and liver homeostasis, this preserving/promoting life-long health.

Our multidisciplinary work involves the use of diverse scientific techniques including molecular biology, immunology and high-throughput technologies for the in-depth analysis of samples obtained from in vitro, in vivo (from transgenic animals conventionally raised or in germ-free conditions) and ultimately in human specimens.

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