Research Group

  • Dr Angus W. Thomson, Principal Investigator
  • Dr Zhiliang Wang, Co-Investigator
  • Dr Daisuke Tokita, Research Associate
  • Dr Giorgio Raimondi, Research Associate
  • Mr Alan Zahorchak, Research Associate
  • Dr Gerald Krystal, Collaborator


  • University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, USA


  • Regulation of Immune Responses in the Liver and Following Liver Transplantation

The liver appears to have special/distinctive properties that allow liver transplants to be accepted more readily than other types of organ graft. Improved understanding of the mechanisms that underlie this liver ‘tolerogenicity’ may lead to the design of novel and more effective means of safely suppressing transplant rejection and improving long-term outcomes. We will study cells within the liver (dendritic cells and macrophages) that present foreign molecules (antigens) to the host’s immune system and regulate the transplant rejection response. We will elucidate, in molecular terms, why these cells, because of their location, are comparatively poor stimulators of host immune responses and which molecular pathways are involved in regulating their function. In addition, we will use a small animal liver transplant model and donor or recipient animals with deficiency in or absence of these key molecules (that we hypothesize are involved in regulation of liver antigen-presenting function) to verify their role in vivo. Our results will aid in the rational design of novel strategies to improve transplant outcome, minimize dependence on conventional anti-rejection drugs and promote the state of transplant tolerance.

Progress Report (I)

Progress Report (II)

Final Report