The research lab led by Rory L. Smoot, M.D., is interested in understanding the mechanisms of altered liver regeneration, as well as those underlying the progression and development of cholangiocarcinoma. Dr. Smoot's team uses several techniques and models to understand these processes including next-generation sequencing and advanced proteomic analysis.
- Molecular mechanisms of oncogenesis, tumor progression and resistance to therapy in cholangiocarcinoma. Dr. Smoot and colleagues are focused on activation of the yes-associated protein (YAP) transcriptional coactivator and cross-regulatory pathways that can be targeted therapeutically.
- Altered liver regeneration. Work in Dr. Smoot's lab focuses on activating pathways and signaling molecules, including YAP, in models of liver regeneration with the hope of accelerating or rescuing this process in the setting of liver resection.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Smoot's research has two main potentially translational benefits. First, understanding the regulatory mechanisms driving tumor development, progression and response to therapy in cholangiocarcinoma can help identify new single-agent and combinatorial therapeutic approaches. This is especially important because cholangiocarcinoma is a notoriously difficult cancer to treat and currently has limited survival. Second, by using small molecules to target and accelerate liver regeneration, Dr. Smoot hopes to provide a therapeutic approach for patients who have poor liver regeneration and function after liver surgery.
- Recipient, Discovery Science Award, “Activating the Hipp Pathway Effector YAP to Augment Liver Regeneration,” Regenerative Medicine Minnesota, 2020-2022