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Research at the Schnabl Lab

Our Research Focus

Our research focus is to understand the complex multi-directional interactions that occur between the gut microbiota and the liver. We pioneered the characterization of the intestinal bacterial microbiota, fungal mycobiome and virome in patients with liver disease. We discovered and mechanistically linked the bacterial virulence factor cytolysin to alcoholic hepatitis (Nature 2019), significantly broadening our concepts of the underlying disease pathogenesis.


In our laboratory, we study host factors that mediate chronic liver disease. We focus on microbial factors that change in response to liver injury and chronic liver disease and the consequences of intestinal dysbiosis on host biology. We specifically are interested in the enteric microbiome, metagenome and transcriptome associated with liver disease.

We use in vitro and in vivo technologies to study various aspects of chronic liver disease. We also use preclinical models mimicking fatty liver disease, alcoholic and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, and cholestatic models of liver disease.

In addition, a very important part of our laboratory is a translational aspect to identify targets for therapy and to generate interventions that are able to prevent or treat liver disease in patients.