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Directors & Core Directors

Center Directors

Bernd Schnabl, MD Dr. Bernd Schnabl, Professor of Medicine in the UCSD Division of Gastroenterology, serves as Co-Director of the Center. He is a nationally and internationally known physician-scientist with 20 years of experience studying liver diseases. Dr. Schnabl’s scientific focus is to understand the complex multi-directional interactions that occur between the gut microbiota and the liver. He has experience not only in basic and translational aspects of liver research but also has participated in clinical trials in the past. He serves as the Principal Investigator on multiple grants. Dr. Schnabl has received many awards and was recently elected as a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians.

Lars Eckmann, MD Dr. Lars Eckmann, Professor of Medicine in the UCSD Division of Gastroenterology with more than 30 years of experience in microbial pathogenesis and mucosal immunology, serves as the other Co-Director of the Center. He has a long-standing research interest in the pathogenesis and treatment of intestinal infections, mucosal immunology, epithelial cell biology, and regulation of inflammatory responses in the intestinal tract. He established the UCSD Gnotobiotic Animal Facility as its Scientific Director over the last several years.

Core Directors

Human Translational Core

Rohit Loomba, MD Dr. Rohit Loomba, Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology at UCSD, has experience in running a human biorepository and serves as Director of the Human Translational Core. Dr. Loomba is a leading expert in translational research and innovative clinical trial design in Metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD) and MASH. Dr. Loomba is the adult site PI of the MASH CRN at UCSD. He is the founding director of the UCSD MASLD Translational Research Unit, where his team is conducting cutting-edge research in all aspects of MASLD, including non-invasive biomarkers, genetics, epidemiology, clinical trial design, imaging end-points, and integrated OMICs using microbiomics, metabolomics, and lipidomics. Dr. Brigid Boland serves as the Core’s Co-Director.

Preclinical Models Core

Tatiana Kisseleva, MD, PhD Dr. Tatiana Kisseleva, Associate Professor of Surgery, has extensive experience in utilizing animal models of liver disease and is applying state-of-the-art techniques to the characterization of disease in these models. Dr. Kisseleva has a strong background in transgenic mouse technologies by generating several mutant and chimeric mice. She has extensive experience in generating and characterizing murine models of liver disease, including surgical, toxin-induced, and dietary models. Her studies have involved labeling experiments for cell trafficking studies in live animals, imaging with different radiological modalities, and qualitative and quantitative histological analyses.

Microbiomics and Functional Genomics Core

David Pride, MD, PhD Dr. David Pride, Professor of Pathology and Medicine, serves as the Core Director. Dr. Pride’s research focuses on microbes in the human gastrointestinal tract. His lab has developed bioinformatics tools to characterize communities of viruses and bacteria from the human microbiome with a special emphasis on longitudinal studies. He has characterized the microbiome of the built environment in response to perturbations and the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Dr. Pride is the Director of the Clinical Molecular Microbiology Laboratory at UCSD Medical Center and Director of the Center for Innovative Phage Applications and Therapeutics (IPATH) at UCSD. Dr. Sven Heinz serves as the Core’s Co-Director.