Hellmut G. Augustin

Hellmut G. Augustin is Professor of Vascular Biology at the Medical Faculty Mannheim of Heidelberg University and Head of the Division for Vascular Oncology and Metastasis Research at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, Germany, since 2006. Trained as a Veterinary Pathologist at the School of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Germany (1987) and as PhD in Experimental Pathology at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA (1992), he worked previously as Assistant Professor at the University of Göttingen, Germany (1993-2000) and as Departmant Head at the Tumor Biology Center in Freiburg, Germany (2001-2006). 

His laboratory (www.angiolab.de) studies 1.) the molecular mechanisms of physiological blood vessel formation, assembly, and maturation focusing on angiogenesis regulating receptor tyrosine kinases, most notably on the Angiopoietin-Tie ligand-receptor system as well as on other selected novel candidate molecules, 2.) the mechanisms of organotypic vascular differentiation and angiocrine signaling studying the lung and liver vasculature as prototypic vascular beds, 3.) the molecular mechanisms of tumor progression focusing on tumor-vessel interactions during metastasis, and 4.) translational tumor angiogenesis experiments aimed at defining the therapeutic window of stromal targeted therapies.

Title of presentation :  Mechanisms of angiocrine signaling in the liver

Laurie DeLeve


Dr. Laurie DeLeve calls herself an LSEC (liver sinusoidal endothelial cell) biologist.

She received her MD from Erasmus University of Rotterdam in the Netherlands and her PhD from the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada. Dr. DeLeve then completed her Internal Medicine residency at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and her Gastroenterology Fellowship at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). She has been on the faculty at the University of Southern California since 1990 and is currently Professor of Medicine and Senior Associate Chair for Scientific Affairs.

Her laboratory has demonstrated the role of LSEC injury in models of drug induced liver injury, discovered intrahepatic and bone marrow sinusoidal endothelial cell progenitor cells (“sprocs”), uncovered that bone marrow sprocs are the major source of LSEC repair after LSEC injury, described the signaling that recruits bone marrow sprocs to the liver, showed that recruitment of bone marrow sprocs is essential for normal liver regeneration, and elucidated the role of LSECs in hepatic fibrosis. Dr. DeLeve has served on and chaired many AASLD committees and groups and will serve as Associate Editor on the incoming editorial board for HEPATOLOGY. She is proud to be a member of the ISHSR, the only society devoted to studying cells of the hepatic sinusoid.

Laurie DeLeve, MD PhD, Professor of Medicine, Keck Medicine of USC, Div of Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseases.

Title of presentation : Liver Sinusoidal Endothelial Cells- the scrappy underdogs of Hepatology.

Eiji Hara

Eiji Hara obtained his Ph.D. at the Tokyo University of Science in 1993 and moved to the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, University of California (Berkeley, USA) as a Postdoctoral Fellow to work with Dr. Judith Campisi on cellular senescence.  In 1995, he joined the Imperial Cancer Research Fund laboratories (London, UK) as a Postdoctoral Fellow to work with Dr. Gordon Peters on cell cycle control, and then became a Group Leader at the Cancer Research UK-Manchester Institute (formerly called :Paterson Institute for Cancer Research) (Manchester, UK) in 1998. 

In 2003, he returned to Japan as a Professor at the University of Tokushima (Tokushima, Japan) and moved to the Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research (Tokyo, Japan) as a Division Chief in 2008. In 2015, he moved to Osaka University (Osaka, Japan) as a Professor.

Title of presentation: The roles and mechanisms of SASP in Senescent Hepatic Stellate Cells

George K. Michalopoulos

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George K. Michalopoulos is Professor and Chairman of the department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Michalopoulos led the studies associated with the discovery of HGF (Hepatocyte Growth Factor) and its receptor (c-Met). His research covers molecular events involving growth factor and biomatrix signaling leading to initiation and termination of liver regeneration; the capacity of hepatocytes and cholangiocytes to function as facultative stem cells for each other when regeneration is compromised; genomic alterations associated with hepatocellular carcinomas and their relation to signaling involved in termination of liver regeneration. Awards and distinctions include a Merit Award from NIH; Chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors of NIH/ NIAAA; induction as fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; Rous-Whipple Award in Experimental Pathology; Distinguished Research Award by the American Liver Foundation; Distinguished Alumnus award from the University of Wisconsin (Madison); Honorary Doctorate degree from the University of Athens, Greece; Distinguished research Professor, University of Pittsburgh. He is a member of AASLD since 1985 and became an inaugural fellow of AASLD in 2014. He is associate editor of Lab Investigation, Human Pathology, J. Cell. Physiology and has been conducting multiple reviews on areas of his expertise for Hepatology, Gastroenterology, J. of Hepatology, Science, Nature, Cell, etc.

Title of presentation:  Liver Regeneration: Healing acute injury and exacerbating chronic disease.

Antonio Moschetta

Born in 1973 Antonio Moschetta, after receiving his MD with honors in Internal Medicine from the University of Bari in 1997, he received the PhD in Hepatology and Gastroenterology at the University Medical Center of Utrecht in the Netherlands in 2001. He completed his postdoctoral training as Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Fellow at UT Southwestern in USA. In 2005 at the age of 32, returned to Italy and started his own independent laboratory at the Fondazione Mario Negri Sud in Santa Maria Imbaro and he served as first as Assistant, then as Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition at the University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy. 

He also chaired as Scientific Director in 2014 the National Cancer Center Istituto Tumori "Giovanni Paolo II" of Bari. Since September 2005, Moschetta’s laboratory has had a major impact in the field of nuclear receptors, with a special relevance and emphasis in gastrointestinal biology and pathophysiology. At the moment Antonio Moschetta is a Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Bari (Italy) and he is the Dean of the Medical Degree Course at the University of Bari. 

Title of presentation: The Gut-Liver axis: role of nuclear receptor FXR and the enterokine FGF19

Bernd Schnabl

Dr. Schnabl is a trained gastroenterologist and physician-scientist. He received his MD degree from the University Freiburg in Germany. After finishing his residency in internal medicine, he completed a gastroenterology fellowship at Columbia University in New York City.  He joined the Division of Gastroenterology at UC San Diego in 2008 and he is currently an Associate Professor in Residence. His lab is particularly interested in the contribution of the gut microbiome to the onset and progression of liver disease. He is using system biology approaches to better understand the interaction between the intestinal microbiome and the liver during chronic liver disease.

.Dr. Schnabl is the principal investigator of a VA Merit Award and several NIH grants. He serves as Associate Editor for Digestive Diseases and Sciences, which is the oldest continuously published GI journal in North America.

Title of presentation:  Host-Microbiome Interactions in Alcoholic Liver Disease.


Robert Schwabe

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Following medical school at the University of Heidelberg and LMU Munich, and residency ub internal medicine at the University of Heidelberg, Dr. Schwabe joined the Brenner lab at UNC Chapel Hill for a postdoctoral fellowship. In 2003, Dr. Schwabe was recruited to Columbia University where he currently works as Associate Professor in the Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases. Dr. Schwabe’s lab finvestigates mechanisms by which chronic liver injury promotes the development of liver fibrosis and liver cancer. A particular focus of his lab is understanding the role of damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) in stellate cell activation as well as the role of hepatic stellate cells in the development of liver cancer.

Title of presentation: How liver injury promotes fibrosis and cancer.

Fergus Shanahan

Fergus Shanahan is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Medicine and Director of the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre at University College Cork (UCC), National University of Ireland.  He attended medical school at UCD, and after internship and residency in internal medicine at the Mater hospital, Dublin, he completed fellowships in clinical immunology at McMaster University, Canada, and in gastroenterology at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), after which he rose to the rank of Associate Professor at UCLA before returning to Ireland in 1993. 

Title of presentation: Translating microbiome science.

Eddie Wisse


Eddie Wisse was born in The Hague, The Netherlands and studied biology at Leiden University. In 1963 he joined the Laboratory for Electron Microscopy (Medical School) where he started the study of sinusoidal cells. Endothelial fenestrae, the distinction between endothelial and Kupffer cells and the new pit cells were the result of applying perfusion fixation to rat liver. After his PhD he became full professor at the Laboratory for Cell Biology and Histology at the University of Brussels (VUB), Belgium. The team published over 25 papers on sinusoidal cells in Hepatology and more in other journals. He organized three Kupffer Cell Symposia and produced 10 Proceedings (4.900 pages).

After retirement he works at Maastricht University, Nanoscopy Division. The present focus is on the ultrastructure of sinusoidal cells in NASH and fibrosis in needle and wedge biopsies of intact human liver, fixed by new methods preserving the sinusoids and their cells.

Title of presentation:  Cells of the hepatic sinusoid - then and now.