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The liver is an important part of the digestive system; it works to filter toxins and wastes from the body.
The liver is resilient and can even regenerate itself, but certain diseases and disorders can disrupt this functioning and cause the liver to perform poorly, such as:
- Injury from excessive medication or alcohol
- Viral infections
- Immunological and metabolic disorders
Our pathology researchers study how the liver works and how it regenerates itself. We're also researching how to apply this knowledge to the creation of bioartificial liver tissue.
Our Experts in Liver Disease Research
- Aaron Bell, PhD: Dr. Bell's research explores how gene expression helps the hepatocyte maintain its identity during growth and disease. Learn more about Dr. Bell’s research and publications.
- Marie DeFrances, MD: Dr. DeFrances' research group studies how signaling through the PI3K pathway alters liver repair and cancer. Learn more about Dr. DeFrances’ research and publications.
- Jake Demetris, MD: Dr. Demetris' research team focuses on the mechanism of normal biliary epithelial cell biology and liver immune function in the setting of transplantation and disease. Learn more about Dr. Demetris’ research and publications.
- Eric Lagasse, MD: Dr. Lagasse and his colleagues direct their research efforts toward understanding stem cell biology, particularly with regard to normal liver function and to cancer growth and metastasis. Learn more about Dr. Lagasse’s research and publications.
- Wendy Mars, PhD: Dr. Mars' laboratory studies how enzymes, such as plasminogen activators, can alter growth of liver and cancer cells. Learn more about Dr. Mars' research and publications.
- George Michalopoulos, MD: Dr. Michalopoulos is Chairman of the Department of Pathology at UPMC. He and his team are world leaders in the area of liver regeneration, a process whereby the liver cells regrow after injury or surgery, and are now applying this knowledge to the development of bioartificial livers. Learn more about Dr. Michalopoulos’ research and publications.
- Paul Monga, MD: Dr. Monga's research focuses on unraveling how the beta-catenin signaling pathway contributes to normal and diseased liver growth and development. Learn more about Dr. Monga’s research and publications.
- Reza Zarnegar, PhD: Dr. Zarnegar's laboratory is involved in determining the mechanisms of liver cancer and disease. Learn more about Dr. Zarnegar’s research and publications.
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