Satdarshan (Paul) Singh Monga
Company: Pittsburgh Liver Research Center, University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine
Job title: Director
Dr. Paul Monga completed his medical training and internship in India. He did his post-doctoral training in Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Molecular Biology, first at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Washington D.C, first affiliated with Georgetown University, Wahington D.C, and, then with the Fels Cancer Institute, Temple University, Philadelphia. For almost 25 years, he has been involved in fundamental research, with a focus on cellular and molecular mechanisms of liver health and disease. As an academic physician, his lab is interested in the cellular and molecular underpinnings of liver development, regeneration, injury, fibrosis and cancer. He has been consistently funded by NIH, foundations and corporate research agreements with pharmaceutical companies. He currently serves as the Professor of Pathology (Division of Experimental Pathology) and Medicine (Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition). He is the Vice Chair and Chief of the Division of Experimental Pathology and is an Endowed Chair for Experimental Pathology. In addition, he is the founding director of the Pittsburgh Liver Research Center, serves as the Assistant Dean and co-Director for the Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and is also the director of the Cellular Approaches to Tissue Engineering and Regeneration (CATER) Predoctoral training program, also funded by the NIH.
Dr. Monga’s lab has a longstanding interest in understanding the role of cellular and molecular signaling in liver development, regeneration, inflammation, injury, fibrosis and tumorigenesis. Using GEMM models, AAV systems, lipid nanoparticles, imaging modalities and others, his lab has been elucidated important roles of pathways such as Wnt, HGF, PDGF, Yap and others in both hepatic physiology and pathology. Because of liver’s regenerative potential, there are innovative opportunities to develop therapies for end stage liver disease (ESLD). Ongoing research is focusing on innovations in surgery, stem cell biology, cellular reprogramming, cell therapy, and hepatic tissue engineering, broadly categorized under the Hepatic Regenerative Medicine. The Monga lab has focused on elucidating role and regulation of complex cell-molecule circuitry of the highly relevant pathways such as Wnt/-catenin in liver physiology especially in metabolic zonation and regeneration, which the lab believes will be prudent for the continued success of hepatic regenerative medicine and expected to yield better therapies for patients with chronic liver disease, cirrhosis and ESLD. The crosstalk between various cell in the liver during liver injury has also resulted in improved understanding of disease progression offering newer targets for therapy. Lastly, a major focus of the lab is to understand the basis of liver tumors especially hepatocellular cancer (HCC) and cholangiocarcinoma (CCA). This is being done by better representative disease modeling of the subsets of human HCC and CCA Using human tumor molecular characterization via RNA-seq, exome sequencing and other high throughput analysis, the key aberrations are expressed in mouse livers through innovative technologies which yields tumors with high concordance in gene expression between mouse and human tumors. These models are then used to study tumorigenesis, tumor biology, metabolism, immunology and test therapeutics. Such strategy is expected to have high therapeutic relevance. therapeutics for translation into patients. The eventual goal of the lab to improve diagnosis and therapeutics for various hepatic diseases and improve clinical outcomes.