Naga P. Chalasani

Naga P. Chalasani, MD

Associate Dean for Clinical Research


Dr. Chalasani is considered an authority in the fields of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and drug induced liver injury (DILI), two highly significant public health problems.  In a series of translational studies, he has characterized the role of leptin, adiponectin, cytochrome P450 2E1, GPI-PLD and FADS1 in human nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Dr. Chalasani was the first to observe that individuals with NAFLD are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease and it is now evident that cardiovascular disease is the single most common cause of death in patients with NAFLD. He developed an Ossabaw swine model for NASH which is the only large animal model currently available to test novel therapeutics. As a testament to his numerous important contributions to the field, he was chosen by three major GI scientific societies (AGA, AASLD, and ACG) to lead the multisociety practice guideline task force for the diagnosis and management of NAFLD which was published simultaneously in 3 journals in June 2012 ( 1400 combined citations to date). He is a prolific contributor to the field of drug induced liver injury and is considered an authority in liver safety. He published a practice-changing study in 2004 which established the safety of statins in individuals with elevated liver tests and NAFLD. Considering that patients with NAFLD are at high risk for cardiovascular disease, his observations made it possible for patients with NAFLD to receive statins with no restrictions. In a series of studies, he observed that compound characteristics such as daily dose, hepatic metabolism, and BDDCS class are important risk factors for DILI, and there by providing clear cut guidance to Pharma for developing medications without serious liver toxicity. He is the lead author on a recently published practice guideline on DILI commissioned by the American College of Gastroenterology.  He published over 180 original papers, 2 Practice Guidelines, 37 book chapters/review articles, 31 editorials/commentaries, 10 symposium proceedings, and more than 225 abstracts. He has co-edited a text book with Prof. Gyongyi Szabo titled ‘Alcoholic & Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease – Bench to bedside (Springer 2015).  He has been continuously funded by the NIH since 1999 and is currently the PI for two NIH U01 awards and one NIH K24 award, Co-PI for one NIH U01, and co-investigator for one NIH R01 awards.  He leads a top ranked GI division consisting of 50 faculty physicians, 3 psychologists, 16 subspecialty fellows, and over 100 staff members. He has mentored over 50 trainees and junior faculty members with 19 of his former mentees in faculty positions at major academic centers and 12 are current or former recipients of federal funding.    


(317) 278-0414 

Rotary Building, Suite 225 702 Rotary Cir
Indianapolis, IN 46202-5175


Titles & Appointments

  • David W. Crabb Professor of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
  • Professor of Medicine
  • Adjunct Professor of Anatomy, Cell Biology & Physiology
  • Chief, Gastroenterology/Hepatology Division