Research Funding

  • September 30, 2021 - June 30, 2026 - Next-generation human liver gene therapy , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: DP1DK130689
  • September 20, 2018 - July 31, 2023 - Microphysiological systems to interrogate the Islet-Liver-Adipose Axis in normal physiology and Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus , Co-Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: UH3DK120004
  • September 1, 2018 - May 31, 2023 - Targeting AAV vectors to cell types involved in alcohol-induced liver injury , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R01AA026578
  • September 1, 2016 - July 31, 2021 - Building a functional biliary system from hepatocytes , Co-Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R01DK107553



Medical University Lübeck, Germany, MD, 1996
Medical University Lübeck, Germany, PhD, 1999
University of Münster, Germany, pediatrics residency, 2001
Oregon Health & Science University, postdoctoral fellowship, 2005

Honors & Awards

  • 2006
    Liver Scholar Award of the American Liver Foundation (ALF) and the American Society of Transplantation (AST)
  • 2008
    California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) New Faculty Award
  • 2021
    National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) Catalyst Award

Selected Publications

  1. Groeger M, Matsuo K, Heidary Arash E, Pereira A, Le Guillou D, Pino C, Telles-Silva KA, Maher JJ, Hsiao EC, Willenbring H. Modeling and therapeutic targeting of inflammation-induced hepatic insulin resistance using human iPSC-derived hepatocytes and macrophages. Nat Commun. 2023 07 03; 14(1):3902.  View on PubMed
  2. Qi L, Matsuo K, Pereira A, Lee YT, Zhong F, He Y, Zushin PH, Gröger M, Sharma A, Willenbring H, Hsiao EC, Stahl A. Human iPSC-Derived Proinflammatory Macrophages cause Insulin Resistance in an Isogenic White Adipose Tissue Microphysiological System. Small. 2023 Aug; 19(34):e2203725.  View on PubMed
  3. Laemmle A, Häberle J, Willenbring H. Reply. Hepatology. 2022 04; 75(4):1059-1060.  View on PubMed
  4. Laemmle A, Poms M, Hsu B, Borsuk M, Rüfenacht V, Robinson J, Sadowski MC, Nuoffer JM, Häberle J, Willenbring H. Aquaporin 9 induction in human iPSC-derived hepatocytes facilitates modeling of ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency. Hepatology. 2022 09; 76(3):646-659.  View on PubMed
  5. Lee-Montiel FT, Laemmle A, Charwat V, Dumont L, Lee CS, Huebsch N, Okochi H, Hancock MJ, Siemons B, Boggess SC, Goswami I, Miller EW, Willenbring H, Healy KE. Integrated Isogenic Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Based Liver and Heart Microphysiological Systems Predict Unsafe Drug-Drug Interaction. Front Pharmacol. 2021; 12:667010.  View on PubMed
  6. Duwaerts CC, Le Guillou D, Her CL, Phillips NJ, Willenbring H, Mattis AN, Maher JJ. Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-derived Hepatocytes From Patients With Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Display a Disease-specific Gene Expression Profile. Gastroenterology. 2021 06; 160(7):2591-2594.e6.  View on PubMed
  7. Kurial SNT, Willenbring H. Emerging cell therapy for biliary diseases. Science. 2021 02 19; 371(6531):786-787.  View on PubMed
  8. Kurial SNT, Willenbring H. Transcriptomic Traces of Adult Human Liver Progenitor Cells. Hepatology. 2020 04; 71(4):1504-1507.  View on PubMed
  9. Chen F, Jimenez RJ, Sharma K, Luu HY, Hsu BY, Ravindranathan A, Stohr BA, Willenbring H. Broad Distribution of Hepatocyte Proliferation in Liver Homeostasis and Regeneration. Cell Stem Cell. 2020 01 02; 26(1):27-33.e4.  View on PubMed
  10. Huck I, Gunewardena S, Espanol-Suner R, Willenbring H, Apte U. Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 4 Alpha Activation Is Essential for Termination of Liver Regeneration in Mice. Hepatology. 2019 08; 70(2):666-681.  View on PubMed
  11. Schaub JR, Huppert KA, Kurial SNT, Hsu BY, Cast AE, Donnelly B, Karns RA, Chen F, Rezvani M, Luu HY, Mattis AN, Rougemont AL, Rosenthal P, Huppert SS, Willenbring H. De novo formation of the biliary system by TGFβ-mediated hepatocyte transdifferentiation. Nature. 2018 05; 557(7704):247-251.  View on PubMed
  12. Holger Willenbring. Postnatal Organogenesis by Transdifferentiation. The FASEB Journal. 2018 Apr 1; 32:240.3-240.3.  View on PubMed
  13. Abou-Alfa GK, Andersen JB, Chapman W, Choti M, Forbes SJ, Gores GJ, Hong TS, Harding JJ, Vander Heiden MG, Javle M, Kelley RK, Kwong LN, Lowery M, Merrell A, Miyabe K, Rhim A, Saha S, Sia D, Tanasanvimon S, Venook A, Valle JW, Walesky C, Whetstine J, Willenbring H, Zhu AX, Mayer D, Stanger BZ. Advances in cholangiocarcinoma research: report from the third Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation Annual Conference. J Gastrointest Oncol. 2016 Dec; 7(6):819-827.  View on PubMed
  14. Rezvani M, Español-Suñer R, Malato Y, Dumont L, Grimm AA, Kienle E, Bindman JG, Wiedtke E, Hsu BY, Naqvi SJ, Schwabe RF, Corvera CU, Grimm D, Willenbring H. In Vivo Hepatic Reprogramming of Myofibroblasts with AAV Vectors as a Therapeutic Strategy for Liver Fibrosis. Cell Stem Cell. 2016 06 02; 18(6):809-816.  View on PubMed
  15. Rezvani M, Grimm AA, Willenbring H. Assessing the therapeutic potential of lab-made hepatocytes. Hepatology. 2016 07; 64(1):287-94.  View on PubMed
  16. Desai SS, Tung JC, Zhou VX, Grenert JP, Malato Y, Rezvani M, Español-Suñer R, Willenbring H, Weaver VM, Chang TT. Physiological ranges of matrix rigidity modulate primary mouse hepatocyte function in part through hepatocyte nuclear factor 4 alpha. Hepatology. 2016 07; 64(1):261-75.  View on PubMed
  17. Mattis AN, Song G, Hitchner K, Kim RY, Lee AY, Sharma AD, Malato Y, McManus MT, Esau CC, Koller E, Koliwad S, Lim LP, Maher JJ, Raffai RL, Willenbring H. A screen in mice uncovers repression of lipoprotein lipase by microRNA-29a as a mechanism for lipid distribution away from the liver. Hepatology. 2015 Jan; 61(1):141-52.  View on PubMed
  18. Hentzschel F, Hammerschmidt-Kamper C, Börner K, Heiss K, Knapp B, Sattler JM, Kaderali L, Castoldi M, Bindman JG, Malato Y, Willenbring H, Mueller AK, Grimm D. AAV8-mediated in vivo overexpression of miR-155 enhances the protective capacity of genetically attenuated malarial parasites. Mol Ther. 2014 12; 22(12):2130-2141.  View on PubMed
  19. Johanna R. Schaub, Yann Malato, Coralie Gormond, Holger Willenbring. Evidence against a Stem Cell Origin of New Hepatocytes in a Common Mouse Model of Chronic Liver Injury. Cell Reports. 2014 Sep 1; 8(5):1607.  View on PubMed
  20. Schaub JR, Malato Y, Gormond C, Willenbring H. Evidence against a stem cell origin of new hepatocytes in a common mouse model of chronic liver injury. Cell Rep. 2014 Aug 21; 8(4):933-9.  View on PubMed

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