? UCSF LIVER CENTER The Liver Center of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is an interdisciplinary consortium of 59 basic and clinical scientists dedicated to understanding liver biology and contributing new knowledge about the pathophysiology and treatment of liver diseases. The overarching theme of the center is ?translating science to benefit patients with liver disease.? The Center's research base is made up of 40 individuals: these investigators receive $21 million dollars in liver-related research funds annually (direct costs). The research base of the Center is evenly split between practicing physicians and non-physicians. Their research is categorized into three focus areas. One focus area is entitled Liver Injury, Repair & Transplantation: this group includes scientists who study liver immunology as well as clinician-investigators who study the epidemiology, management and outcomes of chronic liver disease. Second is Liver Cell Biology, Plasticity & Transformation: this area is home to scientists who study cellular responses to liver injury such as toxicity and fibrosis, as well as cell growth in contexts ranging from developmental biology to cancer. Third is Hepatic Metabolism & Metabolic Derangements: members in this category study basic aspects of nutrient and xenobiotic metabolism as well as the mechanisms, diagnosis and outcomes of fatty liver disease. Across all focus areas, research spans bench to bedside. More than 75% of Center members perform research directly with human subjects or human materials. A major goal of the Liver Center is to promote research excellence and accelerate research progress in hepatology. As it continues in 2018-2023, the Center will accomplish this goal by supporting three Biomedical Research Cores: (1) Cell Biology, (2) Liver Immunology & Cell Analysis and (3) Pathology & Imaging. The Center also operates a separate Clinical Component, which offers biostatistics services and is being expanded to include support for biospecimen procurement, storage and retrieval. A second goal of the Liver Center is to foster a vibrant community of liver researchers at UCSF. In this case the strategy will be to stimulate scientific exchange through an Enrichment Program that features seminars by local and visiting scientists, mini-symposia highlighting specific member constituencies, and an annual 1-day symposium featuring the progress of the entire group. Throughout the year the Center's Administrative Core will maintain member connections and keep them informed of new developments through newsletters and a comprehensive website. A third goal of the Center is to sustain a trajectory of growth in liver research by developing promising new investigators. Several means will be used to achieve this end. First, the Center will continue its Pilot/Feasibility Program, which provides seed money to junior investigators and scientists new to investigative hepatology. This award program is an important recruitment vehicle and gives priority to junior scientists. Second, the Center will continue a popular mini-symposium dedicated to junior faculty and trainees, providing a forum for open discussion and offering advice to those in transition to independent careers. Third, through personal mentorship from the Internal Executive Committee with grant applications and priority access to research support, the Center will aim to provide every benefit possible to those at the beginning of their careers. The Center is fortunate to have strong support from the university leadership to continue its mission. It also has solid partnerships with 2 other NIDDK P30 Centers at UCSF (Diabetes Research Center, Nutrition & Obesity Research Center). With renewed focus after a restructuring effort in 2013-2018, the Center is positioned to innovate and make important contributions to basic and clinical science as it relates to liver disease.

Public Health Relevance

? UCSF LIVER CENTER The scientists who make up the Liver Center are focusing their attention on topics with great relevance to public health. Some are examining how hepatitis viruses replicate in human liver cells; this work can lead to the identification of new targets for therapy. Others are studying how to reverse liver fibrosis (scarring), which is the leading cause of liver-related death, either through antibody-based treatments or novel approaches designed to reprogram the fibrotic behavior of liver cells inside the body. Still others are examining whether patients with liver transplants can come to ?tolerate? their new organs sufficiently to stop taking anti-rejection medications. These and other important lines of research are all being supported by Liver Center (a) core facilities, which enable the research; (b) enrichment programs, which provide a forum for discussion; and (c) pilot grants, which ensure that research will continue for years to come.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDK1)
Program Officer
Perrin, Peter J
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University of California San Francisco
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
San Francisco
United States
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