Research Project: Preventing the Progression of Liver Fibrosis with Metformin in HCV-HIV co-infected patients with insulin resistance.

Year(s): 2013-2015

Dr. Doyle’s primary research interests lie in the the study of metabolic complications, like insulin resistance, in HIV and HCV mono and co-infected patients. Her particular research project for the postdoc program looked at preventing the progression of liver fibrosis with metformin in HCV-HIV co-infected patients with insulin resistance.

“The presence of insulin resistance among HCV-HIV co-infected individuals is well established”, says Dr. Doyle, and “is associated with poor HCV antiviral treatment response, as well as being a risk factor for progression of liver fibrosis.” However, no studies have been done to look at the effectiveness of Metformin – a common antidiabetic drug associated with improved HCV health outcomes – for HIV-HCV co-infected patients.

In addition to testing the influence of Metformin, Dr. Doyle’s study also provided counselling on lifestyle modifications.

Dr. Doyle’s research is highly important, given the evidence that insulin resistance plays a major role in predicting longterm outcomes in patients with chronic viral hepatitis and the effectiveness of antiviral therapy. Her long term goal is to combine her research findings with future development of novel, evidence-based models of care and management of endocrine disorders experienced by HIV and HCV-infected patients.

Dr. Doyle began her studies in England, later moving to Canada and receiving her Doctor of Medicine degree from McMaster University in 2005. She completed her residency at University of Ottawa’s Internal Medicine department and followed up with a certificate in Endocrinology and Metabolism, as well as a Master of Science degree in Epidemiology. Her postdoctoral supervisor is Dr. Curtis Cooper, a previous CTN postdoc fellow and co-leader of the CCD core.