Faculty & Staff Directory

Jessica Ferrell, Ph.D.

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Contact
Phone: 330.325.6468
Email: jfrancl@neomed.edu

Publications

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Academic Title(s)

  • Research Assistant Professor of Integrative Medical Sciences

Bio

Dr. Ferrell joined NEOMED first as a postdoc in 2011 and then as a research assistant professor in 2015. Dr. Ferrell’s long-term research focus pertains to 1) the regulation of metabolic circadian rhythms in the liver with respect to bile acid homeostasis and 2) the contribution of rhythm disruption to the development of symptoms of metabolic syndrome, including obesity and diabetes. Circadian rhythm disruption (for example, shift work, sleep deprivation, and even chronic jet lag) is increasingly associated with negative impacts on human health in general and in the liver and gut, specifically. Dr. Ferrell’s current work involves utilizing environmental or behavioral manipulation (sleep deprivation and restricted feeding) in mice to introduce disruption to the peripheral circadian system; this disruption is then reflected in the hepatobiliary system in the form of altered bile acid homeostasis, dyslipidemia and metabolic syndrome.

Area of Expertise/Research Interests

My long-term research goals are to 1) examine the regulation of metabolic circadian rhythms in the liver with respect to bile acid homeostasis and 2) study the contribution of rhythm disruption to the development of symptoms of metabolic syndrome, including obesity, diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). As a postdoc, I successfully competed for NIH research support, under the direction of Dr. John Chiang (NEOMED), to determine the effects of sleep deprivation and perturbed peripheral rhythms on bile acid and hepatic metabolism. We discovered that very short-term circadian disruption introduces significant deleterious effects to the hepatobiliary system, and these effects are compounded by Western high fat diet-feeding. We intend to further study the contribution of circadian disruption to the development of fibrosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. Physiology (Neuroscience), Kent State University, 2010
  • M.S. Zoology, The University of Akron, 2005
  • B.S. Biology, Kent State University, 2003

Courses

  • Molecules to Cells
  • Molecular Cloning and Genetic Engineering

Academic & Professional Activities

  • The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD)
  • Society for Research on Biological Rhythms (SRBR)

Awards

  • Invited speaker, Brain Awareness Week, Lakeland Community College, Kirtland, OH.
  • Primary research article featured in “Your Liver Doesn’t Know It’s the Holidays”, by Yin, Steph. The New York Times, 22 December, 2016.
  • Presidential Poster of Distinction, American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, Boston, MA.
  • Invited speaker, Ohio Physiological Society, Rootstown, OH.
  • Research Merit Award, Society for Research on Biological Rhythms, Sandestin, FL.

Distinctions

  • Research Assistant Professor, Dr. John Y.L. Chiang, 2015-Present
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Dr. John Y.L. Chiang, 2011-2015
  • Graduate Research Assistant, Dr. J. David Glass, 2006-2010
  • Graduate Research Assistant, Dr. Qin Liu, 2005

Presentations

  • Liver rhythms and bile acid metabolism in mice fed chronic alcohol + binge; Ferrell JM, Donepudi A, Simeone A, Chiang JYL. Presented at: American Association for the Study of Liver Disease, Washington, D.C. October 2017.
  • Sleep deprivation alters hepatic metabolism and the peripheral clock; Ferrell JM, Boehme S, Chiang JYL. Presented at: Great Lakes Nuclear Receptor Conference, Cleveland, OH. October 2016.
  • Chronic alcohol + binge: Liver rhythms and bile acid metabolism in mice; Ferrell JM, Donepudi A, Simeone A, Chiang JYL. Presented at: Society for Research on Biological Rhythms, Tampa, FL. May 2016.
  • Short-term sleep deprivation alters the circadian rhythms of CYP7A1, hepatic clock genes, and lipid metabolism; Ferrell JM, Boehme S, Chiang JYL. Presented at: American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, Boston, MA. November 2014.
  • Sleep deprivation alters hepatic metabolism and the peripheral clock;Ferrell JM, Boehme S, Chiang JYL. Presented at: Society for Research on Biological Rhythms, Big Sky, MT. June 2014.

Publications

  • Pathak P, Xie C, Nichols RG, Ferrell JM, Boehme S, Krausz KW, Patterson AD, Gonzalez FG, Chiang JYL. Intestine-restricted farnesoid X receptor agonist shapes the gut microbiota to activate G protein bile acid receptor-1 signaling and improve hepatic metabolism (in press). Hepatology. doi: 10.1002/hep.29857.
  • Donepudi A, Ferrell JM, Boehme S, Choi HS, Chiang JYL. Deficiency of cholesterol 7α hydroxylase (Cyp7a1) in bile acid synthesis exacerbates alcohol-induced liver injury in mice. 2018. Hepatol. Commun. 2; 99-112.
  • Chiang JYL, Pathak P, Liu H, Donepudi A, Ferrell JM, Boehme S. Intestinal farnesoid-x-receptor and Takeda G protein-coupled receptor 5 signaling in metabolic regulation. Dig. Dis. 2017. 35: 241-245.
  • Ferrell JM, Boehme S, Li F, Chiang JYL. Cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase-deficient mice are protected from high fat/high cholesterol diet-induced metabolic disorders. J. Lipid Res. 2016. 57: 1144-1154.
  • Ferrell JM, Chiang JYL. Short-term circadian disruption impairs bile acid and lipid homeostasis in mice. Cell Mol. Gastroenterol. Hepatol. 2015. 1: 664-677.