Professor Ludovic Vallier, Professor of Regenerative Medicine, has been awarded an ERC Advanced Grant to develop new therapies for liver disease. The Advanced Grants, which fall under the ‘Excellent Science’ pillar of the EU’s Horizon 2020, are awarded to top researchers in Europe to allow them to realise their most creative ideas for major impact on science, society and the economy.
The liver can be affected by a diverse group of diseases which carry high morbidity and mortality, while the only treatment for end stage disease is liver transplantation. Professor Vallier intends to investigate the cellular and functional diversity of the liver by taking advantage of recent developments in single cell transcriptomic analyses. He hopes to generate and to characterize for the first time a renewable source of liver cells from human induced pluripotent stem cells. The resulting cells will be used to model liver diseases in vitro and to create a new platform for drug target identification. Furthermore, the potential of these in vitro generated liver cells for regenerative medicine applications will be explored with a series of transplantation studies.