The liver pathobiology laboratory of Gregory J. Gores, M.D., is focused on the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which dysregulation of cellular apoptosis — programmed cell death — results in the development of disease. In particular, the laboratory studies the underlying mechanisms that result in liver cell apoptosis.
Signaling cascades involving death receptors, mitochondrial dysfunction and lysosomal permeabilization are intense subjects of investigation. Indeed, Dr. Gores' lab has been a pioneer in the role of lysosomal permeabilization in mediating cellular apoptosis and has also provided mechanistic insight into how lipoapoptosis occurs in liver cells.
In addition to elucidating processes fundamental in cell biology, the laboratory also explores mechanisms by which apoptosis modulates whole organ function. The role of apoptosis in mediating liver injury and in particular, fibrosis, remains an ongoing research effort.
Dr. Gores and his team are also studying the mechanisms by which chronic inflammation results in dysregulation of apoptosis, promoting carcinogenesis of the biliary tree. They are interested in the cellular processes by which inflammatory cytokines help cells evade apoptosis, permitting the accumulation of mutations and fostering malignant transformation. Ongoing efforts are focused on mechanisms to restore apoptosis sensitivity in these cells to aid in therapeutic strategies and endeavors.
Dr. Gores' laboratory, which is supported by three National Institutes of Health grants, encompasses approximately 1,400 square feet and is extremely well equipped. The laboratory has expertise in confocal microscopy, real-time polymerase chain reaction, cell-free systems and protein interactions. Individuals interested in pursuing research in the liver pathobiology laboratory are encouraged to contact Dr. Gores directly.