Research Group: Liver Failure

There are multiple diseases and events which can induce severe liver injury leading to a potential life threatening loss of organ function. For most of these patients liver transplantation is the only lifesaving therapeutic option.

The research group “Liver Failure” is exploring the underlying mechanisms to identify novel diagnostic and therapeutic target and to improve patients’ outcome.

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Liver Failure

There are multiple diseases and events which can induce severe liver injury leading to a potential life threatening loss of organ function. For most of these patients liver transplantation is the only lifesaving therapeutic option.

The acute liver failure develops in patients with previously healthy liver, frequently caused by intoxications, e.g. with paracetamol or autoimmune diseases.

Patients with acute-on-chronic liver failure have a pre-existing liver cirrhosis caused by chronic liver diseases. Certain events such as bacterial infections, alcohol binge or bleeding lead to a rapid decline of organ function, not only the liver but also other organs like kidneys, brain, coagulation, lungs and cardiocirculatory system.

There are three mechanisms which determine disease development and course:

  1. Inflammation
  2. Cell death/tissue injury
  3. Lack of regeneration and cellular senescence

The research group “Liver Failure” explores disease mechanisms and new targets for diagnostic and therapeutic interventions in order to improve outcome of patients with liver failure.

Scientific questions

  1. Which cellular and molecular mechanisms regulate regeneration and senescence in liver failure?
  2. Which factors determine and modulate liver sensitivity towards damaging events and agents?
  3. What is the role of stem and immune cells in modulating cell death, regeneration and senescence?
  4. Can we enhance liver regeneration as a therapeutic option for liver failure?
  5. To evaluate biomarkers which reliably predict disease.