The theme of the Comprehensive Liver Research Center at UCLA is 'Total MASLD,' to understand every aspect of this disease cluster so as to improve health outcomes in our diverse community riddled with this disease spectrum. To accomplish this goal, the center will focus on its five key tenets; diversity, outreach, basic-clinical integration, career development and comprehensive biobanking.

It is critical to understand the impact of genetic and ethnic variation on the MASLD spectrum since mechanisms of onset and rates of progression of chronic liver disease of metabolic origin are significantly impacted by race, ethnicity and sex, and our communities are one of the most diverse within the U.S. 

One of the challenges towards understanding why certain populations are at the greatest risk of MASLD and its progression is poor engagement with/and recruitment of individuals from underrepresented backgrounds. The center provides for a robust Outreach Program whose mission is to target research efforts amongst diverse populations with unmet needs around the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of MASLD and ensure a patient-centered approach to recruitment and retention of underrepresented individuals for research.

Basic-Clinical Integration
A complete understanding of MASLD is not possible without interactions between basic scientists, clinicians and community-engaging researchers. The center stimulates close collaborations between these groups not only through its Enrichment Program and Pilot and Feasibility Program but also by leveraging its comprehensive biobanking initiative to capitalize on every opportunity to prospectively bank and widely dispense biospecimens and their clinical correlates from a diverse population of MASLD spectrum patients. These efforts have galvanized basic researchers and clinicians, allowing us to join forces to comprehensively tackle the MASLD problem. 

Career Development
A key focus of the center is to recruit, mentor and develop the next generation of liver researchers and clinicians. The center utilizes its various enrichment activities and seed funding opportunities to attract and mentor early career investigators and scientists and help them develop their independent liver research programs.