Treating Obesity and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

“What is exciting about this study is that we feel like we are taking another small step in shedding some light on how diet and drugs can modulate bacteria and how these organisms modify their environment.” ~Andrew Patterson
Andrew Patterson. Photo by Michael Houtz

Andrew Patterson. Photo by Michael Houtz

Research Lead

Andrew Patterson
Associate Professor, Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences


A pharmaceutical combination of compounds that inhibits the nuclear receptor farnesoid X receptor and can be used to design therapeutics for treating or preventing high-fat-diet-induced obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Why it's Important

Some 34 percent of adults and 15 to 20 percent of children and adolescents in the United States are obese.


  • Heliome Biotech, Inc., a Penn State startup company
  • Developing new drugs based on the initial design
  • U.S. Provisional Patent Application (61/861,109)
  • U.S. Provisional Patent Application (62/004,436)
  • PCT Patent Application (PCT/US2014/49,460)

Technology Development Awards

  • $37,500 – RAIN Grant (2014)
  • $5,000 – Ben Franklin TechCelerator (2015)