David A. Rudnick, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
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Washington University in St. Louis (WU)
Our laboratory is interested in elucidating the molecular signaling mechanisms of liver regeneration. In addition to liver mass being precisely regulated in proportion to body mass, this organ is also able to regenerate the anatomic and functional deficits incurred by many forms of injury or disease (e.g. toxin exposure, trauma, infection). We use rodent partial hepatectomy and other models to investigate the mechanisms responsible for this remarkable regenerative potential, and have focused our recent efforts on defining and investigating the functional relevance of extrahepatic signals that influence regulation of liver mass and regeneration. In addition, we began a translational line of investigation in which lessons learned about liver regeneration in this basic model are applied to analyses of human liver diseases. Such studies led us to identify a novel metabolomic marker of liver regeneration and evaluate its utility in predicting clinical outcomes in pediatric acute liver failure.