The Liver Center of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is an interdisciplinary consortium of 82 basic and clinical scientists dedicated to understanding the biology and pathobiology of the liver and the treatment of liver diseases. Research by Center members is categorized under three basic biological themes: (1) Liver Injury and Repair, (2) Progenitor Cells, Growth and Development and (3) Hepatic Physiology and Metabolism. Across all themes, research spans bench to bedside, with approximately half of Center members being directly involved in clinical and translational studies. From 2008-2013 the Center will support three Biomedical Research Cores: (1) Cell Biology, (2) Liver Immunology &Cell Analysis and (3) Pathology. A Clinical Component, which offers biostatistical support to supplement the services offered by the UCSF Clinical and Translational Science Institute, is part of the Administrative Core. Also within the Administrative Core is the Tool &Technology Program;this is a "user-defined" or "a la carte" core designed to support member use of core services at UCSF not provided directly by the Center. The goals of the Center are to provide research support, technical training, a venue for new collaborations and an entry point for new members. The Center also fosters scientific exchange through an Enrichment Program that features seminars by local and visiting scientists, quarterly mini-symposia highlighting each research theme, and an annual 1-day symposium with a lively poster session. A vital component of the Center is its Pilot/Feasibility Program, which provides seed money to junior investigators and scientists new to investigative hepatology. This award program, like the cores, is an important recruitment vehicle. The Center continues to expand its support of member science through strategic partnerships with the Gladstone Institutes and affiliations, with other organized research units at UCSF. The funding base of the Center continues to grow, and support from the institution is sustained and strong. Opportunities for basic biologic discovery and the application of basic science to clinical liver disease are numerous;the Center is poised to catalyze achievements in these areas.
The UCSF Liver Center provides a valuable research infrastructure and a scientific home to scientists who study liver biology and disease. The Center's core facilities offer high-quality, liver-focused services;the consortium creates a platform for exchange of ideas. Overall the environment of a Center accelerates scientific discovery and enhances the productivity and fulfillment of its members.
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