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 and 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 and 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.