Jerzy Kupiec-Weglinski, MD, PhD

Professor, Departments of Surgery and Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Dr Kupiec-Weglinski is Professor of Surgery, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, as well as Vice-Chairman, Department of Surgery (Basic Research).. He holds the Joan S. and Ralph N. Goldwyn Endowed Chair in Immunobiology and Transplantation Research. He is developing a novel approach for combating liver damage induced by ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI), a common insult in removing liver for transplantation,. by locally inducing heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) that protects against the severity of oxidative stress. Dr Kupiec-Weglinski has also shown the role of innate immunity in liver IRI. Indeed, by utilizing a non-transplant mouse warm liver IRI model, Dr Kupiec has demonstrated that: (i) TLR4 activation mediates liver inflammation via IRF-3 pathway; (ii) CXCL10 regulates liver innate immune responses; (iii) Type-I IFN mediates synergy between Kupffer cells and hepatocytes, and (iv) endogenous TLR ligands are crucial in TLR4 activation-induced "sensoring" and IRI.  He is exploring the hypothesis that cross talk between the opposing pathways, i.e., HO-1 in the donor organ, and TLR4 in the recipients is instrumental in the mechanism of liver IRI. An additional hypothesis is that Nrf2, a bZIP transcriptional factor that regulates stress response/regulates cell redox balance, controls dysregulated HO-1-TLR4 signaling during IRI.