Research Funding

  • 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/NIDDK, 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/NIAAA, Sponsor Award ID: R01AA026578
  • September 1, 2016 - July 31, 2021 - Building a functional biliary system from hepatocytes, Co-Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NIDDK, Sponsor Award ID: R01DK107553
  • September 20, 2018 - July 31, 2020 - Microphysiological systems to interrogate the Islet-Liver-Adipose Axis in normal physiology and Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus, Co-Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NIDDK, Sponsor Award ID: UG3DK120004


Medical University, Lübeck, Germany, MD, 1996, Medicine
Medical University, Lübeck, Germany, PhD, 1999, Genetics

Honors & Awards

  • 2006-2009
    Liver Scholar Award of the American Liver Foundation (ALF) and the American Society of Transplantation (AST)
  • 2008-2013
    California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) New Faculty Award

Selected Publications

  1. Duwaerts CC, Le Guillou D, Her CL, Phillips NJ, Willenbring H, Mattis AN, Maher JJ iPSC-derived hepatocytes from patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease display a disease-specific gene expression profile.  View on PubMed
  2. Kurial SNT, Willenbring H Emerging cell therapy for biliary diseases.  View on PubMed
  3. Kurial SNT, Willenbring H Transcriptomic Traces of Adult Human Liver Progenitor Cells.  View on PubMed
  4. 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.  View on PubMed
  5. 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.  View on PubMed
  6. 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 TGFß-mediated hepatocyte transdifferentiation.  View on PubMed
  7. Holger Willenbring Postnatal Organogenesis by Transdifferentiation.  View on PubMed
  8. 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.  View on PubMed
  9. 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.  View on PubMed
  10. Rezvani M, Grimm AA, Willenbring H Assessing the therapeutic potential of lab-made hepatocytes.  View on PubMed
  11. 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.  View on PubMed
  12. 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.  View on PubMed
  13. 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.  View on PubMed
  14. 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.  View on PubMed
  15. 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.  View on PubMed
  16. Espejel S, Eckardt S, Harbell J, Roll GR, McLaughlin KJ, Willenbring H Brief report: Parthenogenetic embryonic stem cells are an effective cell source for therapeutic liver repopulation.  View on PubMed
  17. Lee RH, Roll G, Nguyen V, Willenbring H, Tang Q, Kang SM, Stock PG Failure to achieve normal metabolic response in non-obese diabetic mice and streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice after transplantation of primary murine hepatocytes electroporated with the human proinsulin gene (p3MTChins).  View on PubMed
  18. Ng R, Wu H, Xiao H, Chen X, Willenbring H, Steer CJ, Song G Inhibition of microRNA-24 expression in liver prevents hepatic lipid accumulation and hyperlipidemia.  View on PubMed
  19. Zhu S, Rezvani M, Harbell J, Mattis AN, Wolfe AR, Benet LZ, Willenbring H, Ding S Mouse liver repopulation with hepatocytes generated from human fibroblasts.  View on PubMed
  20. Mitchell C, Willenbring H Addendum: A reproducible and well-tolerated method for 2/3 partial hepatectomy in mice.  View on PubMed

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