DBMR Reserach Conference

Multi-engineering to create multicellular liver mimics from PSCs to model liver disease and liver toxicity

Monday, 2020/09/07, 17:00

Event organizer: Department for BioMedical Research
Speaker: Prof. Dr. Catherine Verfaillie, Head of the Stem Cell Institute Leuven (SCIL), KU Leuven, BE
Date: 2020/09/07
Time: 17:00 - 18:00
Locality: Auditorium Langhans
Institute of Pathology
Murtenstrasse 31
3008 Bern
Characteristics: open to the public
free of charge

Bio Catherine Verfaillie received her Medical degree from the KU Leuven in 1982, and trained as an internist/hematologist at the KU Leuven between 1982 and 1987. She did a postdoctoral fellowship at University of Minnesota between 1987 and 1989. She rose through the ranks at the University of Minnesota and became the first Director of the University of Minnesota’s Stem Cell Institute. In 2006, she became the director of Interdepartementeel Stamcel Instituut at the KU Leuven (SCIL). She is a stem cell biologist focusing on regulation of normal hematopoietic stem cells; as well as developing methods to differentiate embryonic/induced pluripotent stem cells to create CNS and liver disease mod-els to gain insights in mechanisms underlying disease development and for drug discovery purposes.

Abstract Predicting drug-induced liver injury (DILI) remains challenging, as in vitro cultured human liver cell models exhibit poor drug biotransformation capacity. Likewise, drug development for instance non-alcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH is hampered by lack of good human model systems. Over the last years we have used genome engineering, metabolic engineering as well as bioengineering approaches to create from human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) 3D liver models. This model encompass hepatocyte like cells with cellular metabolism and drug biotransformation properties approaching that of primary hepatocytes, including identification of DILI. In addition, the culture system contains 3 nonparenchymal liver cells (macrophages, hepatic stellate cells and endothelium) that play a role in inflammation and fibrosis in NASH patients. These long-term stable 3D models allow modeling steatosis induced inflammation and fibrosis, and identify promising candidate anti-NASH drugs.


Host: Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine (SCRM) Platform