Medicine (Division of Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease)
Keck School of Medicine
- Liver injury
- Stem cell biology
- Hepatic fibrosis
- Liver microcirculation
Research OverviewResearch Description
My research focus has been on liver sinusoidal endothelial cell (LSEC) biology and pathobiology. In the last few years our research has uncovered major findings that have shifted our focus within this field. We have identified two pools of LSEC stem/progenitor cells. The resident (i.e. intrahepatic) LSEC progenitor cell, a.k.a. the resident sproc, plays a smaller role in repair of acute injury to LSEC, but we speculate that it may be the source of LSECs in normal turnover. The bone marrow sproc repairs LSECs in acute and chronic liver injury. Our current studies of bone marrow sprocs focus on (1) regulation of bone marrow sproc recruitment in normal liver and dysregulation of recruitment in liver disease; (2) defective maturation of engrafted sprocs in liver disease; and (3) approaches to enhance recruitment and engraftment of sprocs in acute injury. We also plan to study the resident sprocs to determine whether they are indeed the source of normal LSEC turnover and whether changes of the resident sproc may be the source of changes in LSECs seen in chronic disease.