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Pediatric Liver Center »  Research

Amar Nijagal, M.D.

We study how immune cells may regulate the development and repair of fetal organs. Our research is currently focused on the development of the liver and bile ducts as the fetal liver is ripe with interactions between developing hepatocytes/cholangiocytes and the hematopoietic system. We are interested in identifying key relationships and interactions between immune cells and developing tissues in both the steady state and during fetal injury. Using advanced surgical techniques in mouse models, we are able to manipulate and induce injury in fetal organs. We have also employed “discovery” approaches to identify novel cell types and pathways that may serve as a link between the immune system and fetal development. 

Philip Rosenthal, M.D.

Philip Rosenthal, M.D., is an internationally renowned children's liver disease specialist. Dr. Rosenthal is the Director of Pediatric Hepatology, Director of Pediatric Clinical Research, Director of Pediatric Hepatology and Liver Transplant Research and a Professor of Pediatrics and Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco. He is board certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Gastroenterology and has a certificate of added qualification in Transplant Hepatology. Dr. Rosenthal completed his medical training at Downstate Medical Center and the Albert Einstein Medical Center in New York. He then completed a fellowship in pediatric gastroenterology at UCSF. He joined the UCSF faculty in 1995 after serving as Professor of Pediatrics at University of California, Los Angeles. His current research includes several NIH funded studies (CHiLDReN, NASH CRN, HBV CRN, PALF-Triumph, iWITH) and several industry sponsored hepatitis B and C research trials.  Dr. Rosenthal is a prolific author and a recipient of a number of professional honors and awards and is committed to clinical service, research and education. 

Emily Perito, M.D.

Dr. Perito is a pediatric hepatologist and clinical researcher who specializes in pediatric liver disease and liver transplant, as well as pancreatic disease. Her research and clinical care focus on optimizing long-term outcomes for children with liver and pancreatic diseases.

Dr. Perito leads epidemiologic research focused on improving access to transplant, organ allocation, and waitlist outcomes for children awaiting liver transplant. She recently completed a study on the impact of obesity and metabolic syndrome on children after liver transplant, in which she identified immunosuppression and other risk factors for these long-term complications. She leads UCSF’s participation in multi-center studies including the iMALT trial of medication adherence interventions for teenagers after liver transplant and in the SharePeds initiative on building the evidence base for improving children’s access to liver transplant. She works with the Starzl Network for Excellence in Pediatric Transplantation on improving the efficacy and reducing the burden of immunosuppression for children after liver transplant.

Dr. Perito also advocates for children nationally as a Regional Representative on UNOS' Pediatric Transplantation Committee, Vice-Chair of the Society for Pediatric Liver Transplant's Advocacy Committee, and as a Steering Committee member of the AASLD’s Pediatric Special Interest Group Steering Committee.

Soo-JinCho, M.D., Ph.D.

Soo-JinCho, MD, PhD, is pathologist with board certification in Anatomic Pathology and Pediatric Pathology with additional fellowship training in Surgical Pathology and Gastrointestinal-Hepatobiliary Pathology. Her research is primarily focused on pediatric tumors and medical diseases, with particular interest in pediatric liver tumors (including hepatoblastoma and other hepatocellular neoplasms), pediatric liver transplant, and pediatric inflammatory bowel disease.

Sweet-Cordero Laboratory

The Sweet-Cordero laboratory is interested in integrative genomic analysis of pediatric liver cancers.  We perform whole-genome sequencing and parallel RNA sequencing as tools to identify oncogenic pathways relevant to disease progression and metastasis in liver cancers and other advanced pediatric solid tumors. We collaborate closely with the leader of our pediatric liver cancer program Dr. Arun Rangaswami. Our laboratory is also interested in establishing preclinical models (patient derived xenograft models) for pediatric liver cancers.

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