Regenerative medicine in hepatic resections and liver transplantation

REF: PD 30
Principle investigator:
Carmen Peralta
Contact details:



Research framework

Our research is focused on pharmacological and surgical strategies (in vivo pharmacological treatments, improvements in preservation solutions and ischemic preconditioning) that protects steatotic and non-steatotic livers against the vulnerability of this type of liver to ischemia-reperfusion injury and regeneration failure associated with hepatic resections and liver transplantation (Hepatology 2008,47:461; Am J Transpl 2009,9:439; Endocrinology 2009,150:3153; J Pharmacol Exp Therap 2009,329:130; Liver Transpl 2010,16:163; J Pharmacol Exp Therap 2011,338:143; Liver Transpl 2011,17:1099; Liver Transpl 2012,doi:10.10027lt.23489).

Our research in this field has contributed to the successful application of protective strategies in clinical practice. The future research carried out by the Postdoctoral Researcher will be focused on evaluating whether cell therapy could be an useful strategy to reduce damage and to increase regeneration in hepatic resections and liver transplantation. We will prevent the potential immunosuppression and will elucidate the type of cell therapy most effective under these surgical conditions.

Experimental models of surgery and liver transplantation; cell culture techniques; biochemical, histological and immunohistochemical studies; real-time PCR, siRNA, microarrays and Western-blot will be used.

These investigations are based on previous studies on the effects of cell therapy in different liver diseases. Recent studies have described clinical improvement in hepatocyte- transplanted patients but poor final outcome, possibly related to immunosuppression and inadequate number of transplanted cells.

Xenotransplantation of human mononuclear cells from umbilical cord blood in liver diseases reduced damage but the number of human cells in rat liver parenchyma was small. Liver-cell transplantation is at an early stage and numerous approaches to isolate stem cells of hepatic or extrahepatic origin, are being developed.


Liver transplantation, hepatic resection, ischemia-reperfusion, regeneration, cell therapy, marginal donors

Main Challenges

The desirable achievements and outcomes in research of the candidate include the application of cell therapy in experimental models of liver surgery associated with hepatic resections and liver transplantation. Optimal professional development in molecular, biochemical and immunohistochemical techniques are desirable. The selected candidate will work with the principle investigator and the rest of the team in the present and related projects.

The described research requires abilities and knowledge to perform experimental design, analyze the obtained results, and write up data for presentations and publications. This allows the opportunity to acquire leadership skills and gain expertise in the field

Team strategic objective in IDIBAPS

The team “Experimental Liver Surgery and Liver Transplantation” investigates the mechanisms responsible for the vulnerability that show marginal livers to damage and regenerative failure in hepatic resections and liver transplantation. All of this to improve the postsurgical outcome in liver surgery and contribute to a better use of organs for transplantation, reducing thus the waiting-lists for liver transplantation.

(Read eligibility criteria)