We want to understand the mechanisms for tissue repair and liver regeneration in order to develop new therapeutic strategies for liver disease
In advanced liver diseases tissue repair and liver regeneration are compromised, resulting in organ dysfunction and, ultimately, in liver failure.
Which factors compromise liver tissue repair? How is liver regeneration regulated? How are cells maintaining their characteristics and function? These are some of the questions that the group wants to answer in order to be able to develop new therapeutic strategies enabling improved regeneration and liver function in chronic liver disease.
Based on human samples, experimental models of liver disease, and in vitro systems with primary cells and stem cells, the group seeks to identify the factors responsible for impaired regeneration of the liver and the mechanisms that alter tissue repair. Within this context, the group is particularly interested in studying cellular plasticity and identity in response to injury, as well as the mechanisms that promote hepatic inflammation and fibrosis.
The group has described key mechanisms involved in the progression of chronic liver disease and identified potential new therapeutic targets. One of the main findings of the group has been the association of impaired liver regeneration and proliferation of immature cells with an increase in liver inflammation and a poor outcome of the patients. In addition, the group has described the methodology to obtain hepatic stellate cells from pluripotent stem cells and showed their potential for disease modelling.