Clinical and Research Interests: I am the Director of the University of Pittsburgh Drug Discovery Institute (UPDDI) where we have three major activities: 1) drug discovery programs applying quantitative systems pharmacology (QSP) to liver diseases, metastatic breast cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases; 2) drug discovery projects with collaborators where we apply whatever technology is optimal to the specific project and 3) technology development projects to extend the capabilities in drug discovery, development, and companion diagnostics. We have developed and are applying a human liver-on-a-chip microphysiology platform for exploring the biology of liver diseases, drug discovery and toxicology. I am also interested in detecting and measuring the heterogeneity in biological systems; especially in the drug discovery process and computational pathology.
Ongoing Liver-Related Research Studies:
1. Collaboration with Drs. Larry Vernetti and Albert Gough on the development and application of the human liver-on-a-chip for liver disease experimental models and toxicology.
2. Collaboration with Drs. Alan Wells, Adrian Lee, Andy Stern, and Albert Gough on using the human liver-on-a-chip to investigate the process of extravasation and dormancy in metatastatic breast cancer.
3. Collaboration with Drs. Chakra Chennubhotla, Jeffrey Fine, Adrian Lee, Albert Gough and Tim Lezon in the development and application of computational pathology to metastatic breast cancer.
4. Collaboration with Drs. Alex Soto-Gutierrez, Robert Squires, James Squires, Charleen Chu and Amy Goldstein on using the human liver-a-chip as part of a broad investigation of rare childhood liver diseases.
5. Collaboration with Dr. Alex Soto-Gutierrez on the maturation of human iPSC-derived hepatocytes for drug discovery and efficacy testing in liver diseases.
6. Collaboration with Dr. Paul Monga on applying QSP and the human liver-on-a-chip to explore the mechanisms of hepatocarcinoma disease progression.
7. Collaboration with Dr. Jai Behari to apply QSP to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Research Collaborations: The UPDDI collaborates with faculty interested in including drug discovery, development, and computational pathology to their research programs.
Allegheny Foundation Professor of Computational and Systems Biology
Director, University of Pittsburgh Drug Discovery Institute
Team Leader, Tumorigenesis SIG