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Dr. Gupta, a leading expert on liver processes and gastroenterology, explains both the science behind how the liver works and the latest efforts towards treating liver diseases. He discusses: 

  • The types of damage that preclude liver regeneration, such as Tylenol overdoses, and why doctors then turn to liver transplants,
  • How liver transplants work across different liver damage scenarios, and 
  • Additional new treatments and research such as tissue engineering, liver regeneration through drug-based approaches, and therapy through cell transplants.

Dr. Gupta is a professor of medicine specializing in gastroenterology and liver diseases at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and serves as the Eleazar and Feige Reicher Chair in Translational Medicine. In this podcast, he answers questions about how the liver works, what makes it stop working, and the many ways doctors can then approach medical treatments. 

He explains that understanding how the liver is divided, from lobes and sub-compartments to drainage ducts and blood vessels, is important in how a successful transplant and then regeneration can move forward for both the donor and the patient with the damaged liver in cases of liver diseases. But he also explains the immense variety of approaches therein, such as some patients having a “temporary liver” implanted for use until their native liver has more time to regenerate and heal. 

Dr. Gupta also explains how the gastroenterology system initiates liver regeneration in conditions of liver diseases. He describes the two pathways toward self-regeneration: hepatocyte division and stem cell or progenitor cell activation. But he also explains how these pathways are connected to liver cancers alongside additional risk factors.

Finally, Dr. Gupta comments that researchers can learn from how the liver functions and apply this activity to cures for other organ diseases such as diabetes when the cells stop making insulin. There’s hope that the liver regeneration system can lead to the successful regeneration of the insulin-making cells. He finishes the conversation by discussing recent breakthroughs in treating liver diseases such as drug-based therapies to enhance liver regeneration. 

For more, including links to his papers, see his web page at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine: http://www.einstein.yu.edu/faculty/8041/sanjeev-gupta/

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