Photo: Jorge A. Bezerra, MD
Jorge A. Bezerra, MD
Year elected: 2005
Current membership category: Senior
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
3333 Burnet Avenue, MLC 2010
Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039
United States of America
Phone: 513-636-3008
Facsimile: 513-636-5581

Biographical statement

Dr. Bezerra’s research program investigates two areas of liver cell biology. First, he uses unique animal models to study how the plasminogen system regulates liver repair. His experiments have identified a central role of plasminogen in the proteolytic clearance of necrotic cells and matrix remodeling during the reparative response of the liver an injury. Further, in a series of mechanistic experiments, he demonstrated that this proteolytic role is independent of fibrin degradation, and that plasminogen activators work synergistically to drive tissue proteolysis. More recently, he found that fully differentiated liver cells undergo transcriptional reprogramming toward a pancreatic phenotype during repair in the absence of plasminogen. In this system, liver cells express pancreatic products while maintaining normal metabolic function, underscoring the inter-tissue plasticity among the organs of the digestive system. Second, Dr. Bezerra performs translational research on biliary atresia, the most common cause of chronic liver disease in children. In initial experiments, he applied functional genomics to search for pathogenic mechanisms in livers of affected children. He found a unique Th1-like, pro-inflammatory activation of lymphocytes in early phases of disease development. Then, to directly test whether this process is critical to disease pathogeneis, he used a mouse model of neonatal biliary injury and found that interferon-gamma controls lymphocyte targeting and obstruction of bile ducts in experimental biliary atresia. His current studies are dissecting the inflammatory signals that regulate onset and progression of disease, and exploring pre-clinical trials to develop novel treatment strategies to stop progression of disease.

Institutional affiliations

University of Cincinnati College of Medicine (Primary)
Francis X McCormack, MD is the representative at this institution.
Cincinnati Children's Hospital (Secondary)

Specialties

Pediatrics

Positions held

Professor