Fibrosis Research Center

A unique program, under the direction of Dr. Scott Friedman, the Division Director of Liver Diseases and world authority on liver fibrosis, has been established to facilitate the development of novel diagnostic methods and treatments of liver fibrosis. This program is supported through the generosity of the estate of Eva and Morris Feld. In partnership with key pharmaceutical companies, Dr. Friedman and his group monitor the development and testing of potential antifibrotic compounds in cultured cells, in animal models of hepatic fibrosis, and ultimately in clinical trials of patients with chronic liver disease. Continued growth of this center will maintain Mount Sinai at the forefront of clinical testing for new antifibrotic compounds. In addition, Dr. Friedman and his colleagues are developing new methods for diagnosing fibrosis without the need to perform a liver biopsy, a relatively invasive procedure. Dr. Friedman has recently patented one such method, which is currently undergoing testing in animal models.

Hepatic fibrosis, or scarring of the liver, is increasingly recognized as a final common pathway for all forms of chronic liver that culminate in cirrhosis.  Foundational studies of fibrosis mechanisms and hepatic stellate cell biology performed in the Mount Sinai fibrosis research laboratory over the past 15 years have laid the groundwork for active efforts to develop novel fibrosis diagnostics and therapeutics that will benefit millions of patients worldwide.  The fibrosis research laboratory is internationally recognized for outstanding basic, translational, and clinical studies that are advancing the field, while providing a unique training environment for talented students, physicians, and PhD scientists. Ongoing studies led by faculty in the program are transforming the prospects for patients with fibrotic liver disease.  We are proud of our unique accomplishments, and excited about the prospects for a new era of innovative noninvasive diagnostics and novel therapies.

Scott L. Friedman, MD, is the Director of the Fibrosis Research Center, the Irene and Dr. Arthur M. Fishberg Professor of Medicine, Dean for Therapeutic Discovery and the Chief of the Division of Liver Diseases.  

Mount Sinai and Hepatic Fibrosis

All chronic liver diseases can cause fibrosis, or scarring. Fibrosis is the reason patients with liver disease develop liver failure and may need transplantation. Thus, efforts to stop fibrosis may prevent complications of all chronic liver diseases including HCV, thereby avoiding the need for transplantation. Currently over 4 million people in the US have HCV, and many will develop severe fibrosis and liver failure over the next two decades.

There are currently no approved antifibrotic treatments for patients with liver disease. Interest in such therapies is increasing in the pharmaceutical community, but there is an urgent need for an academic center that integrates basic science discoveries with antifibrotic drug development and testing.

Mount Sinai is the ideal home for an antifibrotic research center. Mount Sinai is at the forefront of Liver Fibrosis research. Dr. Scott Friedman has assembled a world-class team of 18 individuals including students, postdoctoral fellows, technicians and physicians who are together exploring the fundamental mechanisms underlying liver fibrosis or scarring. From these basic investigations have begun to emerge major new insights into how this fibrosis can be stopped.

Mount Sinai is synonymous with excellence in liver disease. In particular, the Division of Liver Diseases and the Recanati-Miller Transplant Institute are among the largest, most productive, and widely respected liver programs in the world. The Division of Liver Diseases and the Recanati-Miller Transplant Institute have embarked on a unique partnership that will solidify Mount Sinai's pre-eminence in all aspects of liver disease, from understanding its basic causes to the pioneering of new treatments. In particular, a growing clinical trials unit has been assembled to rapidly translate basic science discoveries into new treatments for those with liver disease.

Original Articles:

Zhang DY, Goossens N, Guo J, Tsai M-C, Chou HI, Altunkaynak C, Sangiovanni A, Ivarone M, Colombo M, Kobayashi M, Kumada H, Villanueva A, Llovet JM, Hoshida Y, and Friedman SL.  A hepatic stellate cell gene expression signature associated with outcomes in hepatitis C cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma after curative resection.  Gut, 2015, in press. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2015-309655.

Kocabayoglu K, Zhang DY, Kojima K, Hoshida Y, Friedman SL. Induction and contribution of b-PDGFR signaling by hepatic stellate cells to liver regeneration following partial hepatectomy in mice. Liver International, 2016, in press.

Saiman Y, Jiao J, Fiel MI, Friedman SL, Aloman C, Bansal MB. Inhibition of the CXCL12/CXCR4 chemokine axis with AMD3100, a CXCR4 small molecule inhibitor, worsens murine hepatic injury. Hepatol Res. 45(7):794-803, 2015.

King LY, Canasto-Chibuque C, Johnson K, Yip S, Chen X, Kojima K, Deshmukh M, Venkatesh A, Tan PS, Sun X, Villanueva A, Sangiovanni A, Nair V, Mahajan M,  Kobayashi M, Kumada H, Iavarone M, Colombo M, Fiel MI, Friedman SL, Llovet JM, Chung RT, Hoshida Y. A genomic and clinical prognostic index for hepatitis C-related early-stage cirrhosis that predicts clinical deterioration. Gut, 64:1296-1302, 2015.

Kocabayoglu P, Lade A, Dragomir A-C, Lee YA, Sun X, Fiel MI, Thung S, Aloman C, Soriano P, Hoshida Y, Friedman SL. β-PDGF receptor expressed by hepatic stellate cells regulates fibrosis in murine liver injury, but not carcinogenesis.  Journal of Hepatology, 63(1):141-7, 2015

Review articles: 

Lee YM, Wallace MC, and Friedman SL.   Pathobiology of liver fibrosis, a translational success story. Gut, 64:830-841, 2015.

Friedman SL.  Master’s Perspective; Principles on the Path to a Hepatologist’s Enlightenment.  Hepatology, 62(1):8-12, 2015

Wallace MC, Friedman SL and Mann DA. Emerging and disease-specific mechanisms of hepatic stellate cell activation.  Seminars in Liver Disease, 35(2):107-18, 2015.

Torok N, Dranoff JA, Schuppan D and Friedman SL.  Strategies and endpoints of antifibrotic drug trials; summary and recommendations from the AASLD emerging trends conference. Hepatology, 62(2):627-34, 2015.

Scott L. Friedman, MD
Director, Liver Cancer Program
Dean for Therapeutic Discovery
Chief, Division of Liver Diseases
Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics
Friedman Laboratory

Meena Bansal, MD 
Associate Professor, Medicine, Liver Diseases
Bansal Laboratory

Andrea Branch, PhD
Professor, Medicine, Liver Diseases
Branch Laboratory

Amaya Lujambio Goizueta, PhD
Assistant Professor, Medicine, Liver Diseases
Lujambio Laboratory

Yujin Hoshida, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Medicine, Liver Diseases
Hoshida Laboratory

Augusto Villanueva, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Medicine, Liver Diseases
Villanueva Laboratory

To find our clinical trials please go here: http://icahn.mssm.edu/research/clinical-trials