Biesecker Pediatric Liver Center Research Overview
Physicians and scientists from the Fred and Suzanne Biesecker Pediatric Liver Center continue to research the causes of liver diseases and new ways to treat children with these disorders.
The center uses a bench-to-bedside approach that integrates clinical care, clinical research and basic science research. A community of physicians, nurses, surgeons, pathologists, immunologists and geneticists have come together to focus on advancing and improving the care of children with liver disease.
Clinical and collaborative studies
The clinical research initiatives pertaining to liver disease focus on the following diseases and conditions:
- Biliary atresia
- Viral hepatitis
- Liver transplantation
- Alagille syndrome
- Alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency
- Progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis
- Bile acid synthesis defects
- Mitochondrial hepatopathies
- Pediatric acute liver failure
We often collaborate with other national and international pediatric centers on these research projects. Our research is sponsored by the Biesecker Foundation, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and industry.
Basic science research
The basic science initiatives at the Fred and Suzanne Biesecker Pediatric Liver Center focus on understanding liver biology and pathology in children.
Our research programs aim to:
- Understand the mechanisms involved in the etiology and progression of pediatric liver diseases
- Understand the role of the immune system in the possible cause and ongoing damage in pediatric liver diseases
- Explore and identify issues related to transplant immunobiology, regeneration (including engineering new liver cells), and injury in pediatric recipients undergoing liver transplantation
- Identify genes implicated in pediatric liver diseases
- Identify the basis for bile duct development, proliferation and destruction in embryonic and larval zebrafish and mammals
- Identify the genetic mechanisms of liver and biliary development in mammals
- Understand the mechanisms of liver fibrosis and identify approaches to prevent and treat it
The branches of the Basic Science Research Program are: