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About the Yale Liver Center


The Yale Liver Center's mission is to enhance knowledge of the etiology, diagnosis and treatment of liver diseases and other related disorders of the digestive system, thereby advancing the nation's public health. It does so by simulating both basic and clinical research in this discipline at the University and by establishing core research facilities for use by multiple investigators.


The major goals of the Center continue to be:

  1. To stimulate multi-disciplinary interactions
  2. To provide an exciting in-depth training environment for pre- and post-doctoral candidates
  3. To efficiently organize time consuming or costly techniques and procedures in Core Facilities for multiple users
  4. To stimulate basic scientists to direct their talents and technology to specific areas of research interests in the Center
  5. To promote important new research and training opportunities through pilot feasibility projects
  6. To stimulate translational research from the bench to clinical application at the bedside
  7. To create an intellectual environment within the institution and to foster collaborative efforts with individuals within as well as beyond the institution whose expertise enhances our progress

To accomplish these goals the Center has:

  • Organized costly techniques and procedures in Core Facilities for multiple investigator use
  • Used small pilot feasibility grants to enhance new avenues of investigation both for senior trainees as well as for established investigators when these efforts represented a departure from their current focus of investigation
  • Pursued an active scientific enrichment program with weekly to monthly seminars often given by invited outside scientists whose work was of particular interest to the Center membership. Center retreats and symposia have augmented this enrichment program

History and Evolution

The Liver Center was established in 1984 and was constructed around six Core Facilities, which at that time included:

  1. An Administrative Core
  2. A Hepatocyte Isolation and Cell Culture Core
  3. A Liver and Splanchnic Organ Perfusion Core
  4. A Membrane Isolation Core
  5. A Morphology Core
  6. A Clinical Core.
With successive competitive renewals, the Center has undergone several periods of reorganization as the science of the Center and the needs of our members has evolved, and guided by the recommendations of our External Advisory Board and suggestions from previous NIH review groups.

The Liver Center now consists of four Core Facilities:

  1. An Administrative Core
  2. A Cellular and Molecular Physiology Core
  3. A Morphology Core
  4. A Clinical-Translational Core.

The evolution of the Liver Center is reflected in the evolution of each of these cores. For example, the perfusion and cell isolation and culture components were combined into a single Cellular Molecular Core in 1996-1997 as fewer isolated perfused liver preparations were requested while the use of the cell isolation and culture component of the Core increased significantly. On the other hand, services in this Core now include the isolation of sinusoidal endothelial, Kupffer, and stellate cells and intrahepatic lymphocytes as well as previously established procedures for isolating hepatocytes and bile duct epithelial cells. Similarly, electron microscopy initially was the principal imaging technology offered through the Morphology Core, but this has become progressively de-emphasized while newer, cutting edge confocal and multiphoton microscopy techniques have been made available to Center members. When the NIH guidelines were changed to encourage inclusion of a Clinical Core Component, a Clinical-Translational Core was organized to function as a Clinical Resource. This Core now provides biostatistical assistance, plus personnel to assist investigators in time-consuming tasks of maintaining compliance requirements for human investigation protocols that require annual renewal.


The Yale Liver Center is built on a tradition established by the late Gerald Klatskin, one of the country's founders of the discipline of Hepatology and a member of Yale's faculty for over 50 years

James Boyer, MD, FACP