- Tien S. Dong, MD, PhD
Precision health and the gut-liver axis
The Dong Laboratory is focused on the advancement of the clinical care of hepatology through translational research. In line with this goal, the lab conducts multidisciplinary studies at UCLA and at the West Los Angeles Veteran's Affair hospital in all aspects dealing with the gut-liver axis. The goal of the lab is to advance the understanding of the pathogenesis of obesity and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease while at the same time creating new platforms to advance the field of precision health.
Current research projects
- Advancing precision health through the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithm in the field of hepatology
- Understanding the interplay between the gut microbiome and adipocytes in the setting of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
- Using microbial biomarkers as a way to stratify HCC patients on immunotherapy
Funding and support
- NIH T32 Grant - Department of Veterans Affairs
- GI Fellowship Seed Grant - UCLA Vatche & Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases
In the news
- UCLA study finds discriminatory experiences affect health of brain, body (2023)
- "Discrimination is not just an issue for a person. It is not just an issue for a community or a racial or ethnic group. It is a public health issue.” Dr. Arpana Gupta is the co-director of the Goodman-Luskin Microbiome Center and Dr. Tien S. Dong is a health sciences assistant clinical professor of medicine.
- Everyday experiences of racism can impact your brain-gut mcirobiome. Arpana Gupta, PhD, and Tien S. Dong, MD, PhD, interviewed by MSNBC (2023)
- How does racism make you sick? Arpana Gupta, PhD, and Tien S. Dong, MD, PhD, publish new research in Biological Psychiatry on how stress, racism and discrimination impact biology. (2022)
- Medscape interviewed Dr. Dong on the link between liver injury and clotting disorders for COVID-19 patients. (2020)
Will earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology at The University of Chicago. Following graduation, Will worked as a laboratory technician under Dr. Stephanie Dulawa for The University of Chicago and later the University of California, San Diego. His research, while in the Dulawa Lab, focused on epistatic modifiers of the BTBD3 gene and its role in obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
Nicole Prause, PhD
Dr. Prause specializes in time series analysis, including biosignal processing and cognitive models. She will be working with Dr. Jihane N. Benhammou, Dr. Tien S. Dong and Dr. Arpan A. Patel on a number of clinical, translational and health services research projects in hepatology.
Publications (peer-reviewed) - Full list on PubMed
- Dong TS, Katzka W, Yang JC, Chang C, Arias-Jayo N, Lagishetty V, Balioulova A, Chen Y, Dutson E, Li Z, Mayer EA, Pisegna JR, Sanmiguel C, Jacobs JP. Microbial changes from bariatric surgery alters glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide and prevents fatty liver disease. Gut Microbes. Volume 15, 2023.
- Dong TS, Guan M, Mayer EA, Stains J, Liu C, Vora P, Jacobs JP, Lagishetty V, Chang L, Barry RL, Gupta A. Obesity is associated with a distinct brain-gut microbiome signature that connects prevotella and bacteroides to the brain’s reward center. Gut Microbes, 2022. In press
- Hussain SK, Dong TS, Agopian V, Pisegna JR, Durazo FA, Enayati P, Sundaram V, Benhammou J, Noureddin M, Choi G, Ayoub W, Lagishetty V, Elashoff EM, Goodman MT, Jacobs JP. Dietary protein, fiber and coffee are associated with small intestine microbiome composition and diversity in patients with liver cirrhosis. In press. April 2020. Nutrients
- Dong TS, Mayer EA, Osadchiy V, Chang C, Katzka W, Lagishetty V, Gonzalez K, Kalani A, Stains J, Jacobs JP, Longo V, Gupta A. A distinct brain-gut-microbiome profile exists for females with obesity and food addiction. In press. Obesity
- Dong TS, Katzka W, Lagishetty V, Luu K, Hauer M, Pisegna J, Jacobs JP. A microbial signature identifies advanced fibrosis in patients with chronic liver disease mainly due to NAFLD. Sci Rep. 2020 Feb 17;10(1):2771. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-59535-w. PubMed PMID: 32066758; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7026172
- Basak SK, Bera A, Yoon AJ, Morselli M, Jeong C, Tosevska A, Dong TS, Eklund M, Russ E, Nasser H, Lagishetty V, Guo R, Sajed D, Mudgal S, Mehta P, Avila L, Srivastava M, Faull K, Jacobs J, Pellegrini M, Shin DS, Srivatsan ES, Wang MB. A randomized, phase 1, placebo-controlled trial of APG-157 in oral cancer demonstrates systemic absorption and an inhibitory effect on cytokines and tumor-associated microbes. Cancer. 2020 Feb 5;. doi: 10.1002/cncr.32644. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 32022261
- Dong TS, Hui-Hua Chang, Meg Hauer, et al. Metformin Alters the Duodenal Microbiome and Decreases the Incidence of Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Promoted by Diet-Induced Obesity. AJP-GI. 2019 Sep 23. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00170.2019
- Dong TS, Vu JP, Oh S, Sanford D, Pisegna JR, Germano P. Intraperitoneal Treatment of Kisspeptin Suppresses Appetite and Energy Expenditure and Alters Gastrointestinal Hormones in Mice. Dig Dis Sci. 2019 Nov 15;. doi: 10.1007/s10620-019-05950-7. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31729619
- Hakimian J, Dong TS, et al. Dietary Supplementation with Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Reduces Opioid-Seeking Behaviors and Alters the Gut Microbiome. Nutrients. Aug 14;11(8). pii: E1900
- Dong TS, Jacobs J, Hussain S. Microbial Profiles of Cirrhosis in the Human Small Intestine. Current Gastroenterology Reports. 2019 Aug 23;21(10):50
- Dong TS, Jacobs JP. Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and the Gut Microbiome: Are Bacteria Responsible for Fatty Liver? Exp Biol Med. 2019 Apr;244(6):408-418
- Dong TS, Kalani A, Aby E, et al. Machine Learning-Based Development and Validation of a Scoring System for Screening High-Risk Esophageal Varices. CGH. 2019 Jan 29. pii: S1542-3565(19)30072-2. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2019.01.025
- Dong TS, Gupta A. Influence of Early Life, Diet and the Environment on the Microbiome. CGH. May 2018. DOI: 10.1016/j.cgh.2018.08.067
- Jacobs, J, Dong T, et al. Microbiome and Bile Acid Profiles in Duodenal Aspirates from Cirrhotics: The Microbiome, Microbial Markers and Liver Disease Study. Hepatol Res. 2018 Jun 20. doi: 10.1111/hepr.13207
- Benhammou J, Dong T, et al. Race Affects SVR12 in a Large and Ethnically Diverse Hepatitis C Infected Patient Population Following Treatment with Direct Acting Antivirals: Analysis of a Single Center Department of Veterans Affairs Cohort. Pharmacol Res Perspect. 2018 Feb 22;6(2):e00379
- Dong T, et al. Metabolic Syndrome Does Not Affect Sustained Virological Response of Direct-Acting Antivirals While Hepatitis C Clearance Improves Hemoglobin A1c. World J Hepatol. 2018 Sep 27;10(9):612-621
- Dong T, et al. Rifaximin Decreases the Incidence and Severity of Acute Kidney Injury and Hepatorenal Syndrome in Cirrhosis. Dig Dis Sci. 2016 Dec;61(12):3621-3626
- Hu S, Dong TS, Dalal SR, Wu F, Bissonnette M, et al. The Microbe-Derived Short Chain Fatty Acid Butyrate Targets miRNA-Dependent p21 Gene Expression in Human Colon Cancer. PLoS ONE. 2011. 6(1): e16221. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016221 [Shared co-first authorship]
About Dr. Dong
Dr. Dong graduated with distinction from Stanford University with a BS in biological sciences. He subsequently received his MD from the University of Chicago. He completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Chicago, where he stayed on as faculty for an additional year as a liver hospitalist. While at the University of Chicago, he trained in the laboratory of Dr. Eugene Chang where he investigated the role of the gut microbiome on microRNAs and colon cancer. He then joined UCLA as a gastroenterology fellow in 2016 and continued his research training at UCLA through the Specialty Training and Advanced Research (STAR) program under the mentorship of Dr. Joseph Pisegna and Dr. Jonathan P. Jacobs. He finished his PhD in molecular, cellular and integrative physiology in 2020. Dr. Dong is board certified in internal medicine and in gastroenterology.
Dr. Dong's research interest involves machine learning and how the intestinal microbiome influences the development of obesity, metabolic syndrome, chronic liver disease, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. His clinical interests include cirrhosis, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, alcoholic liver disease, autoimmune hepatitis and other chronic liver diseases.