The Liver Pathobiology Laboratory of Gregory J. Gores, M.D., is focused on the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which dysregulation of cellular signaling events results in the development of disease. In particular, the laboratory studies the underlying mechanisms that result in liver injury and carcinogenesis.
The laboratory has developed models of fatty liver disease and cholestasis that mimic the human disease. Using these models, deleterious signaling pathways are delineated, and therapeutic targets and approaches identified. A wide variety of approaches are used, including genetic animal models, organoids and cell culture models. State-of-the-art approaches used include proteomics, single-cell RNA sequencing and mass spectrometry (CyTOF) for immunoprofiling. Current studies are focused on how nonlethal, proapoptotic signaling pathways engender hepatic inflammation in fatty liver disease. In models of cholestasis, the role of ductular reactive cells in promoting disease pathogenesis are under exploration.
Dr. Gores and his team are also examining the mechanisms by which oncogenic hippo pathway signaling promotes carcinogenesis of the biliary tree and cancer progression. They are also exploring how the Hippo pathway via YAP dysregulation mediates tumor resistance. These studies are designed to identify therapeutic targets for the treatment of liver cancer. A current focus of the laboratory also is immunotherapy for liver cell cancer. Individuals interested in pursuing research in the Liver Pathobiology Laboratory are encouraged to contact Dr. Gores directly.