Liver regeneration is critical for health. We focus on physiology of liver regeneration during development, early childhood and adulthood to inform mechanistic disruptions in diseases. The latter ranges from acute liver failure, effects of drugs, toxins, alcohol, virus hepatitis, obesity-related metabolic (or nonalcoholic) liver disease, chronic hepatitis, e.g., Wilson disease with copper toxicosis, and allograft rejection. The mechanisms concerning DNA damage response directed by ATM gene and downstream partners are of considerable interest to us.
These aspects are joined with study of cell type-specific contributions as well as aspects of stem cell biology for liver regeneration. We apply cell transplantation approaches to better understand the biology and regenerative potential of various cell types. Expression of therapeutic constructs and transplantation of those cells is another area of investigative interest. We address the role of endogenous stem/progenitor cells in therapeutic development. Tissue engineering to generate auxiliary liver has potential in these areas and is also advancing liver regenerartion in experimental models.
We use a variety of methods, including microarrays or deep sequencing for gene expression, cell and molecular biology methods, and multiple small and large animal models. The findings are integrated with analyses of human tissue and blood samples.
Unique aspects of our work include use of established drugs for mechanistic interrogations and therapeutic applications, and an uncommon depth and breadth of multidisciplinary tools. We collaborate with leading investigators at Einstein or elsewhere as appropriate.