Liver Pathobiology and Gene Therapy Research Core Center : NIDDK

Liver Pathobiology and Gene Therapy Research Core Center

Albert Einstein Medical Center, Bronx, NY

Director: David Shafritz, M.D.
Associate Director: Allan W. Wolkoff, M.D.
Administrator: Claudia Ruggiero

Center Focus

An interdisciplinary Liver Research Center was established at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (AECOM) in 1974 with support from NIDDK. Currently, 38 faculty investigators, 1 emeritus investigator, and 2 provisional investigators in 12 departments at the medical school, together with 17 consultant/collaborators, and 4 supporting staff faculty at AECOM, constitute the Liver Research Center. The major objective is to understand fundamental mechanisms of normal liver function, as well as alterations in these functions resulting from diseases caused by metabolic, drug, metal, inheritable, and viral agents.

Specific areas under study include transport processes, membrane receptor biology, and structural-functional relationships; molecular biology, somatic gene transfer and gene therapy, hepatic fibrosis and mechanisms of hepatic carcinogenesis; hepatic cell transplantation, liver cell metabolism, heavy metal metabolism, mechanisms of liver injury, and organelle pathology. By bringing excellent basic scientists into disease-related research, together with hepatologists interested in fundamental mechanisms of hepatic dysfunction, we believe that imaginative approaches to basic cell biology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of liver disease will emerge.

The Center is the focus of an active research-oriented education program (research seminars, visiting scientists, pathobiology sessions, and work-in-progress discussion groups), and has extensive collaborative studies with investigators in other institutions. Core facilities, listed below, efficiently facilitate interdisciplinary research projects.

Facilities include 38 well-equipped laboratories for major investigators; the four core facilities; an Animal Institute; and all institutional support services (library, machine shop, engineering, computer center, etc.). The available clinical facilities include a 1,100-bed general hospital (Bronx Municipal Hospital Center), Montefiore Hospital (729 beds), and the Jack D. Weiler Hospital of Albert Einstein College of Medicine (375). A large and diverse population provides many patients with viral, alcoholic, and parasitic liver disease, as well as various inheritable disorders of the liver. The Center is directed by the Principal Investigator (Sr. David Shafritz) and Associate Director (Dr. Allan W. Wolkoff), governed by an Executive Committee, advised and reviewed by a Scientific Advisory Committee, and functions through several school-wide committees. The Center was officially chartered by the medical school in 1977 as a free standing, extra- and supra-departmental entity. The importance of the Liver Research Center to the College of Medicine has been reconfirmed by extensive renovation of existing facilities, updating of equipment, an endowment fund, and recruitment of new faculty with resources provided by the Dean.


Core Facilities

  • Molecular Biology and Genetics
  • Cell Culture and Genetic Engineering
  • Imaging and Cell Structure
  • Special Animal

Page last updated: November 25, 2008

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