The inception of the Pittsburgh Liver Research Center (PLRC) in 2016 was the result of high enthusiasm of the leadership, which came with strong institutional support and commitment in the form of resources from both the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and the University of Pittsburgh (UP). PLRC truly represents a successful partnership between UPMC, a pioneer in healthcare delivery and the UP, a renowned leader in research, discovery, education, and innovation. With the centralized mission of promoting the understanding of the cellular and molecular basis of hepatobiliary injury and repair, the PLRC has brought together a very strong group of investigators and clinicians engaged in basic and translational liver research and in the delivery of clinical care to liver patients. Over the last 2 years, PLRC has brought together the membership composed of 80 investigators and clinicians (49 full members) representing multiple departments and institutions within the UP and UPMC, as one community. This was facilitated by regular networking, physician-basic scientist roundtables, seminars and workshops, to enrich the environment making it conducive to strengthening existing collaborations and initiating new partnerships. PLRC has organized itself into 3 highly functional scientific interest groups (SIGs)?Regenerative Medicine, Chronic Liver Diseases, and Liver Tumorigenesis?with overlapping membership and regularly scheduled interactions facilitating a scientifically fertile environment for dialogue through a rather novel Enrichment program. SIG roundtables allow recurring dialogue between physicians and scientists on carefully selected topics and foster collaborations and more meaningful research. To enable pioneering and impactful science in the labs of PLRC investigators, we have established 3 highly integrated biomedical research cores and a clinical component that provide state-of-the-art and innovative services to enable cutting- edge research and translation from bench to bedside. Likewise, PLRC identifies new investigators and, through Pilot and Feasibility programs, supports their research and development as independent investigators through longitudinal mentorship and offering career and professional development activities in addition to scientific support. Special awards via institutional support allow funding of team science projects that promote physician and basic scientist interactions, technology development and commercialization. All of the above services and functions that are aimed at discerning complex tribulations in hepatic health and disease via research in the area of hepatobiliary injury and repair through promoting innovative, collaborative inter-, trans and multi-disciplinary research, to make a sustainable impact on human health, are ensured by a strong leadership and organization provided under the aegis of an Administrative Core. In fact, the PLRC leadership has leveraged many existing strengths of the institute like CTSI, Innovation Institute and the Coulter program as well as formed alliances with existing institutes like the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Starzl Transplant Institute and the McGowan Institute of Regenerative Medicine to expand services and benefits provided by the PLRC to all its members and eventually better their science, translation and commercialization. Thus, eventually, through their integrated services and programs, the long-term objective of the PLRC is to promote impactful science in the area of hepatobiliary pathophysiology and improve the hepatic health and care, both locally and globally.
Elucidating the cellular and molecular basis of hepatobiliary injury and repair will yield novel and innovative cures to practically any hepatic disease. At the Pittsburgh Liver Research Center (PLRC), we enable this line of investigation through: services provided by the integrated biomedical research cores; clinical component that advises on meaningful research while allowing translation; by identifying, funding and mentoring early stage investigators; while providing enrichment through educational sessions and promoting interactions between physicians and scientists across desprtments.