Jessica Ferrell, Ph.D.
- Assistant Professor, Integrative Medical Sciences
Dr. Ferrell is an Assistant Professor at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) in Rootstown, Ohio. She earned her M.S. from The University of Akron and her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Kent State University. She joined NEOMED as a postdoc in 2011, then as a Research Assistant Professor in 2015 and tenure-track Assistant Professor in 2022.
Area of Expertise/Research Interests
My long-term research goals are to study bile acid physiology and signaling within the context of alcoholic and metabolic liver disease.
Bile acid synthesis is controlled by FXR-mediated feedback in the liver and intestine and circadian rhythms originating from the brain & periphery, while bile acid-activated TGR5 mediates inflammatory pathways in the gut and brain. This liver-gut-brain axis ensures the liver adapts appropriately to changes in nutrient status and time of day as well as pathological stimuli (high fat diets, dysbiosis, and ethanol consumption, etc.). Continued insults to these mechanisms can result in non-alcoholic or alcoholic fatty liver disease, dyslipidemia, Type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
My goals are to study:
- how non-alcoholic and alcoholic liver disease affect biliary metabolism, and
- how dietary and/or circadian disruptions to the hepatobiliary system contribute to the pathogenesis of alcoholic liver disease and metabolic syndrome.
- Ph.D. Physiology (Neuroscience), Kent State University, 2010
- M.S. Zoology, The University of Akron, 2005
- B.S. Biology, Kent State University, 2003
- Gastro-Repro-Endo (GRE)
- Physician, Patient & Community (PPC)
Academic & Professional Activities
- Society for Research on Biological Rhythms
- American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases Research Society on Alcoholism
- ASBMB 2022 Early Career Faculty Award.
- Invited speaker, Brain Awareness Week 2017, Lakeland Community College, Kirtland, OH.
- Primary research article featured in “Your Liver Doesn’t Know It’s the Holidays”, The New York Times, 2016.
- Presidential Poster of Distinction, American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases 2014, Boston, MA.
- Invited speaker, Ohio Physiological Society 2013, Rootstown, OH.
- Ferrell JM, Dilts M, Stahl Z, Pokhrel S, Boehme S, Chiang JYL. The bile acid receptor Tgr5 and high fat, high sugar-induced liver injury. Presented at: Experimental Biology (ASBMB), Philadelphia PA, April 2022.
- Ferrell JM, Dilts M, Stahl Z, Boehme S, Dey S, Chiang JYL. The bile acid receptor TGR5 and diet-induced liver injury. Presented at: American Association for the Study of Liver Disease, Digital Experience. November 2021.
- Ferrell JM, Boehme SB, Gilliland T, Lin L, Dengler-Crish CM, Takahashi S, Gonzalez FJ, Chiang JYL. The role of the bile acid receptor TGR5 in Alzheimer’s disease. Presented at: American Association for the Study of Liver Disease, Digital Experience. November 2020.
- Ferrell JM, Boehme S, Gilliand T, Chiang JYL. Bile acid receptors FXR and TGR in liver fibrosis and inflammation: study of FXR/TGR5 double knockout mice. Presented at: American Association for the Study of Liver Disease, Boston, MA. November 2019.
- Ferrell JM, Pathak P, Boehme S, Chiang JYL. FXR and TGR5 double knockout mice: a mouse model for liver fibrosis. Presented at: American Association for the Study of Liver Disease, San Francisco, CA. November 2018.
- Ferrell JM and Chiang JYL. Bile acid receptors and signaling crosstalk in the liver, gut and brain. Liver Res. 2021. 5: 105-118.
- Ferrell JM, Pathak P, Boehme S, Gilliland T, Chiang JYL. Deficiency of both farnesoid X receptor and Takeda G protein-coupled receptor 5 exacerbated liver fibrosis in mice. Hepatology. 2019. 70: 955-970.
- Donepudi AC, Ferrell JM, Boehme S, Choi HS, Chiang JYL. Deficiency of cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase in bile acid synthesis exacerbates alcohol-induced liver injury in mice. Hepatol. Commun. 2018. 2; 99-112.
- 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.