Rohit Kohli, MBBS, MS

Chief, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
Associate Director, The Saban Research Institute (Training and Education)
Associates’ Chair in Liver and Intestinal Research
Clinical Scholar and Professor of Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of USC

Dr. Kohli received his medical degree from the Armed Forces Medical College, India in 1999 and his MS in clinical investigation from Northwestern University in 2006. While at Northwestern he first spent three years as a pediatric gastroenterology and hepatology fellow and then subsequently as a transplant hepatology trainee before relocating to the University of Cincinnati in 2007.

His research work has focused on the pathogenesis of obesity related fatty liver disease (NAFLD). In particular, he has focused upon the role of bile acid signaling as a mechanism for NAFLD resolution after weight loss surgery. His work has also shed light on reactive oxygen stress in the generation and regulation of the extreme stage of this disease; nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). He has published many peer-reviewed articles including articles in Nature, Nature Reviews, The Journal of Biological Chemistry, Hepatology, Journal of Pediatrics, and The American Journal of Physiology. He is the author of many book chapters and review articles. He also is the recipient of the 2007 George Ferry Young Investigator Award from the Children's Digestive Health and Nutrition Foundation, a Fellowship award from the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, Takeda Research Innovation Award from the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Foundation.


Medical School

Armed Forces Medical College, Pune University, India,1993-1999

Graduate School

Clinical Investigation, School of Public Health, Northwestern University, IL, 2004-2006


Metropolitan Hospital, New York Medical College, NY, 2000-2003


Gastroenterology: Children's Memorial Hospital, Northwestern University, IL, 2003-2006

Transplant Hepatology: Children's Memorial Hospital, Northwestern University, IL, 2006-2007



Pediatrics, 2004
Transplant Hepatology, 2010
Gastroenterology, 2009

Professional Memberships

American Pediatric Society


PubMed Link

Recent Publications:

1: Africa JA, Behling CA, Brunt EM, Zhang N, Luo Y, Wells A, Hou J, Belt PH, Kohil R, Lavine JE, Molleston JP, Newton KP, Whitington PF, Schwimmer JB; Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Clinical Research Network. In Children With Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, Zone 1 Steatosis Is Associated With Advanced Fibrosis. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2017 Mar 7. pii: S1542-3565(17)30261-6. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2017.02.030. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28286193.

2: Patton A, Khan FH, Kohli R. Impact of Fibroblast Growth Factors 19 and 21 in Bariatric Metabolism. Dig Dis. 2017;35(3):191-196. doi: 10.1159/000450910. Epub 2017 Mar 1. PubMed PMID: 28249286.

3: Vos MB, Abrams SH, Barlow SE, Caprio S, Daniels SR, Kohli R, Mouzaki M, Sathya P, Schwimmer JB, Sundaram SS, Xanthakos SA. NASPGHAN Clinical Practice Guideline for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Children: Recommendations from the Expert Committee on NAFLD (ECON) and the North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition NASPGHAN). J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2017 Feb;64(2):319-334. doi:10.1097/MPG.0000000000001482. PubMed PMID: 28107283.

4: Saubermann LJ, Deneau M, Falcone RA, Murray KF, Ali S, Kohli R, Ekong UD, Valentino PL, Grossman AB, Rand EB, Jonas MM, Saeed SA, Kamath BM. Hepatic Issues and Complications Associated With Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Clinical Report From the NASPGHAN Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Hepatology Committees. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2017 Apr;64(4):639-652. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0000000000001492. PubMed PMID: 27984347.

5: Khan FH, Shaw L, Zhang W, Salazar Gonzalez RM, Mowery S, Oehrle M, Zhao X, Jenkins T, Setchell KD, Inge TH, Kohli R. Fibroblast growth factor 21 correlates with weight loss after vertical sleeve gastrectomy in adolescents. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2016 Nov;24(11):2377-2383. doi: 10.1002/oby.21658. Epub 2016 Sep 12. PubMed PMID: 27615057.

6: Averin K, Bucuvalas J, Alonso MH, Kohli R, Heubi JE, Johnson ND, Goldstein BH. Treatment of Inferior Vena Cava Obstruction Following Pediatric Liver Transplantation: Novel Use of a Customized Endovascular Stent. J Pediatr. 2017 Jan;180:256-260. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2016.09.051. Epub 2016 Oct 25. PubMed PMID: 27793336.

7: Schwimmer JB, Lavine JE, Wilson LA, Neuschwander-Tetri BA, Xanthakos SA, Kohli R, Barlow SE, Vos MB, Karpen SJ, Molleston JP, Whitington PF, Rosenthal P, Jain AK, Murray KF, Brunt EM, Kleiner DE, Van Natta ML, Clark JM, Tonascia J, Doo E; NASH CRN. In Children With Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, Cysteamine Bitartrate Delayed Release Improves Liver Enzymes but Does Not Reduce Disease Activity Scores. Gastroenterology. 2016 Dec;151(6):1141-1154.e9. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2016.08.027. Epub 2016 Aug 26. PubMed PMID: 27569726; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5124386.

8: Trout AT, Dillman JR, Xanthakos S, Kohli R, Sprague G, Serai S, Mahley AD, Podberesky DJ. Prospective Assessment of Correlation between US Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse and MR Elastography in a Pediatric Population: Dispersion of US Shear-Wave Speed Measurement Matters. Radiology. 2016 Nov;281(2):544-552. Epub 2016 May 26. PubMed PMID: 27228332.

9: Samuel EM, Bernstein K, Xanthakos SA, Kohli R. Alpha 1-antitrypsin levels can differentiate allelic phenotypes. Dig Liver Dis. 2016 Dec;48(12):1510-1511. doi:  10.1016/j.dld.2016.09.011. Epub 2016 Sep 23. PubMed PMID: 27720697.

10: Himes RW, Barlow SE, Bove K, Quintanilla NM, Sheridan R, Kohli R. Lysosomal Acid Lipase Deficiency Unmasked in Two Children With Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Pediatrics. 2016 Oct;138(4). pii: e20160214. Epub 2016 Sep 13. PubMed PMID: 27624512.

11: Kelly D, Johnson N, Veldtman G, Kocoshis S, Kohli R. "Twin" Biliary Trees in a Patient with Heterotaxy Syndrome. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2016 Aug 6. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 27504813.

12: Khan FH, Kohli R. Bariatric Surgery: The Rise and Fall of Bile Acids. Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2016 May;12(4):770-1. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2015.12.027. Epub 2015 Dec 22. PubMed PMID: 26965154.

13: Kohli R, Sunduram S, Mouzaki M, Ali S, Sathya P, Abrams S, Xanthakos SA, Vos M, Schwimmer JB. Pediatric Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Report from the Expert Committee on Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (ECON). J Pediatr. 2016 May;172:9-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2015.12.016. Epub 2016 Jan 1. PubMed PMID:26749112; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4846502.


Dr. Kohli and his team of scientists have focused their work on obesity-related fatty liver disease (NASH).  One key advance was when back in 2010, when Dr. Kohli’s laboratory highlighted the role of fructose, such as that present in food containing high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), in triggering injury and scarring within the liver.

Dr. Kohli’s team has developed a surgical model in mice that is now used by researchers around the world to better understand how weight loss surgeries improve obesity and its associated morbidities, such as NASH. The understanding as to how weight loss surgery such as the vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) works was previously thought to be based on the dogmas of restriction and malabsorption. We have shown that bile acid signaling is critical to the success of these surgical procedures. Now we use the VSG surgical technique on diet-induced obese mice, and try to further understand the role of bile acids and bile acid signaling targets such as the farnesoid X receptor (FXR) pathway to better understand the specific mechanism behind the success of these surgical procedures.

Visit the Kohli Laboratory.

PubMed Link