- Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh 6130 Faculty Pavilion, 4401 Penn Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15224
- (412) 692-6693
IRA J. FOX, MD
Director, Center for Innovative Regenerative Therapies, Professor of Surgery and Pediatric Transplantation
AB, Harvard University; MD, Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons
Experimental therapies for liver disease
Major research interests involve the study of experimental therapies for liver disease, including liver assist devices, liver cell transplantation, and liver stem cells. Dr. Fox’s laboratory examines the biologic and immunologic barriers to successful transplantation of primary and xenogeneic hepatocytes in rodents and primates. He has developed a model of acute liver failure that mimics the clinical entity in non-human primates, and a model of end-stage liver failure resulting from cirrhosis in rodents. With these models he is able to assess the mechanisms responsible for liver failure in these two entities and studies various strategies for hepatic regeneration. His laboratory also generates pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) from normal individuals and patients with various liver diseases, and differentiates these human iPS and embryonic stem cells into liver cells to model diseases such as alpha-1-antitrypin deficiency and familial intrahepatic cholestasis, to study drug metabolism, and to develop source cells for hepatocyte transplantation. He has initiated clinical trials involving extracorporeal liver perfusion to treat patients with acute liver failure, and has demonstrated successful correction of liver-based metabolic deficiencies in newborns and young children by transplantation of isolated liver cells. A new FDA approved clinical trial of hepatocyte transplantation for treatment of patients with liver-bases metabolic deficiencies is underway that involves a conditioning regimen that is meant to selectively induce donor cell expansion.