The liver is the second most commonly transplanted organ in the United States. However, there are an estimated 16,500 people awaiting a liver transplant at any given time and only 3,000 available organs. Most liver damage is due to the hepatitis C virus (HCV).
Our research focus is on rejuvenating the damaged liver without requiring transplantation. This approach could provide the medical community an additional treatment option for managing patients with disorders of the liver, including HCV.
Regenerative Medicine liver researchers can generate functional liver cells from pluripotent stem cells, including iPSCs. The human stem cell-derived hepatic cells have been shown to extend the survival of mice with liver damage and do not produce any adverse events, including teratoma formation. This cell therapy is translatable to clinics as an individualized patient-specific treatment.
Our research is also focusing on engineering an artificial liver using natural or synthetic scaffold materials.