Medical Field: Gastroenterology
Award: Winner
Country: Austria
Year: 2021
Research Work: Alpha-1 antitrypsin governs alcohol-related liver disease in mice and humans
Published in: Gut


The recognition of scientific work is always a privilege.


One of the finalists in the field of Gastroenterology is Christoph Grander, MD, PhD, a resident physician in the Department of Internal Medicine at the Medical University of Innsbruck in Austria. He feels honoured and privileged by the recognition of his work in the field of liver diseases. He believes that the nomination also means that his work will receive international attention and can also help patients abroad.

Alcohol-related liver disease is a major health problem with limited treatment options, so new therapeutic options are needed. Alpha-1-antitrypsin (AAT) is a naturally occurring protein in the bloodstream with anti-inflammatory properties. In the article, we show that circulating AAT concentrations of less than 120 mg/dL are associated with poor survival in patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis. Furthermore, mice genetically engineered to produce human AAT exhibited significantly less liver damage when fed an ethanol-containing diet.

The study shows that AAT could serve as a new therapeutic agent for alcohol-related liver disease in the future.