Dr. Maher is Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology at San Francisco General Hospital and Director of the UCSF Liver Center. Research in her laboratory focuses on the pathogenesis of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Her studies in mice have implicated dietary sugar as an important inducer of fatty liver disease, through conversion to toxic saturated fatty acids. Ongoing work in her group concentrates on the mechanism by which metabolic stresses kill liver cells. She is also using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from patients with NAFLD to study the disorder directly in humans. Her research team has recently found that NAFLD iPSCs, when converted in the laboratory to hepatocytes (iPSC-Heps), display characteristics of NAFLD. The group is currently expanding their work with NAFLD iPSC-Heps to encompass larger populations from a variety of ethnic backgrounds.