The USC Research Center for Liver Disease (RCLD), which was founded in 1995, is dedicated to fostering and facilitating the collaborative research of its 57 current members and the career development of junior faculty through provision of research technologies and fora for scientific exchange. Thirty-seven members contribute to a stable research base in excess of ten million dollars annually with a growing translational emphasis.
The Specific Aims of the USC Research Center for Liver Disease are: 1) To provide the essential services offered by Biomedical Core facilities to facilitate the research of the membership to advance our understanding of the pathogenesis and treatment of liver and digestive disease; 2) To foster collaboration between Center members through the use of Cores, the enrichment program, and the Special Interest group; 3) To foster career development through availability of Biomedical Cores, enrichment program, and pilot/feasibility support and attract the talents of established investigators from other fields to apply their expertise to liver and digestive disease research and to collaborate with Center members; 4) Facilitate the technological training and scientific development of postdoctoral fellows, K awardees and junior faculty through the services of the scientific cores, the enrichment program and pilot funding. The RCLD serves as the focal point for the interaction of a large number of faculty conducting research to advance our understating of the pathogenesis, prevention and treatment of liver diseases. The Center focuses on research in Liver Disease with 4 major themes: 1) viral hepatitis and liver cancer, 2) steatohepatitis and fibrosis, 3) hepatotoxicity and mitochondrial pathobiology, 4) repair, regenerative medicine and developmental biology. The Center supports an Administrative Core, the hub for all Center activities, includes the Center Director [Kaplowitz], Associate Director [DeLeve], and Assistant Director [Ookhtens], Administrator [Vidrio], who constitute the Operations Committee, as well as an Executive Committee and External Scientific Advisory Board. The Enrichment Program sponsors seminars, an annual symposium and research mini-symposia. The Pilot/Feasibility Project Program preferentially funds innovative new projects of young investigators which are relevant to the Center's themes. The Center has four scientific Cores: 1) Cell and Tissue Imaging (advanced microscopy), 2) Liver Histology (routine, special stains and immunohistochemistry), 3) Cell Separation and Culture (fluorescent cell sorting and liver cell culture), 4) Analytical (HPLC services), Metabolic (mitochondrial function), Instrumentation (shared central core equipment), and Proteomics Core (mass spectrometry).
Acute and chronic liver diseases due to viral hepatitis and alcoholic and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis represents a major public health problem with serious outcomes such as acute liver failure, cirrhosis, and liver cancer leading to major economic costs and loss of life. The USC Research Center for Liver Disease has the goal of facilitating and fostering cutting edge science and its clinical translation to advance the diagnosis and treatment of liver diseases
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