Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease - the most common chronic liver disease - encompasses a histological spectrum ranging from simple steatosis to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Over the next decade, NASH is projected to be the most common indication for liver transplantation. The absence of an effective pharmacological therapy for NASH is a major incentive for research into novel therapeutic approaches for this condition. The current focus areas for research include the modulation of nuclear transcription factors; agents that target lipotoxicity and oxidative stress; and the modulation of cellular energy homeostasis, metabolism and the inflammatory response. Strategies to enhance resolution of inflammation and fibrosis also show promise to reverse the advanced stages of liver disease.