Peter Lucas, MD, PhD
5123 Rangos Research Building
4401 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
Clinical and Research Interests: I am a physician scientist, directing a laboratory that focuses, in part, on the relationship between chronic inflammatory signaling and the development of metabolic and neoplastic diseases of the liver. Specifically, our lab studies the role of an NF-κB signaling pathway that is controlled by the “CBM signalosome,” a complex of three proteins (CARMA3, Bcl10, and MALT1). Our lab has shown that this pathway can be activated by specific GPCRs on hepatocytes (e.g., the Angiotensin II receptor, AGTR1) and by saturated free fatty acids such as palmitate. Signaling through this pathway mediates insulin resistance and appears to contribute to both NASH and subsequent development of hepatocellular carcinoma. My clinical responsibilities are in the division of Molecular and Genomic Pathology (MGP), where we use next-generation sequencing approaches to uncover driver mutations in a variety of solid tumors, including hepatocellular carcinoma.
Ongoing Research Studies:
- Delineation of the molecular signaling pathways in hepatocytes that drive pro-inflammatory NF-κB in response to mediators of the metabolic syndrome (e.g., Angiotensin II, free fatty acids).
- Development and characterization of mouse models of hepatic insulin resistance and hepatocellular carcinoma: focus on hepatic knock-out/knock-down models that reduce inflammatory signaling and the impact on disease progression.
- Developing collaboration with Dr. Alan Wells to explore liver-on-chip bioreactor system for evaluating inflammatory signaling in hepatocytes.
Department of Pathology