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Nirmala Mavila, PhD

Assistant Professor, Medicine

Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine

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Nirmala Mavila, PhD

Assistant Professor, Medicine

Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine

The research focus of Nirmala Mavila, PhD group focuses on understanding the mechanism of liver regeneration during acute and chronic injury. We are particularly interested in investigating the role of adult liver stem/progenitor cells and cross talk between WNT and other growth factor signaling in liver regeneration, cancer and biliary fibrosis. When liver is injured beyond its ability to regenerate itself, stem/progenitor cells known to expand. However, role of adult liver stem/progenitor cells in liver regeneration is still a controversy. An optimal balance between stem/progenitor cell activation, cell proliferation and its differentiation is essential for proper regeneration. Highly organized and locally-acting intercellular signals play an important role in this balance. Her previous work has been demonstrated that TGF beta mediated fibrotic differentiation of Prominin1 expressing progenitor cells is associated with biliary fibrosis of cholestatic liver disease, biliary atresia. Sustained and deregulated regenerative response without proper differentiation of progenitor cells could lead to diseases such as cancer and fibrosis. How liver regeneration is regulated at the cellular and molecular level in vivo during acute and chronic injury is far from clear and is the subject of studies in her lab.

  • Doctorate: Mysore University, India, 2002
  • Post Doctorate: Purdue University, 2007
  • Post Doctorate: Children's Hospital Los Angeles, 2014
  • Young Investigator Travel Award, World Congress of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Montreal, Canada, 2016
  • Distinguished Poster, World Congress of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Montreal, Canada, 2016
  • Young Investigator Travel Award, NASPGHAN Annual Meeting, Washington DC, 2015
  • NASPGHAN Young Investigator, George Ferry Award, 2014-16
  • Training and Travel Grant, Provost office of Post-Doctoral Affairs, University of Southern California, 2013
  • Best Poster Award in Basic Sciences, Annual Research Retreat, Saban Research Institute, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, California, 2012
  • Presidential distinguished poster, American Association for Study of Liver diseases (AASLD) Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California, 2011
  • Senior Graduate Research Fellowship, CSIR, India, 1998-2001
  • Junior Graduate Research Fellowship, CSIR, India, 1996-98

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Click here for a list of peer-reviewed publications.

  • Ramani K, Mavila N, Ko KS, Mato JM, Lu SC. Prohibitin 1 Regulates the H19-Igf2 Axis and Proliferation in Hepatocytes. J Biol Chem. 2016 Nov 11;291(46):24148-24159.
  • Mavila N, Trecartin A, Spurrier R, Xiao Y, Hou X, James D, Fu X, Truong B, Wang C, Lipshutz GS, et al. Functional Human and Murine Tissue-Engineered Liver Is Generated From Adult Stem/Progenitor Cells. Stem Cells Transl Med. 2016 Aug 30.
  • Mavila N, James D, Shivakumar P, Nguyen MV, Utley S, Mak K, Wu A, Zhou S, Wang L, Vendyres C, et al. Expansion of prominin-1-expressing cells in association with fibrosis of biliary atresia. Hepatology. 2014 Sep;60(3):941-953.
  • Utley S, James D, Mavila N, Nguyen MV, Vendryes C, Salisbury SM, Phan J, Wang KS. Fibroblast growth factor signaling regulates the expansion of A6-expressing hepatocytes in association with AKT-dependent β-catenin activation. J Hepatol. 2014 May;60(5):1002-1009.
  • Mavila N, James D, Utley S, Cu N, Coblens O, Mak K, Rountree CB, Kahn M, Wang KS. Fibroblast growth factor receptor-mediated activation of AKT-β-catenin-CBP pathway regulates survival and proliferation of murine hepatoblasts and hepatic tumor initiating stem cells. PLoS One. 2012;7(11):e50401.
  • Shin MH, Mavila N, Wang WH, Vega Alvarez S, Hall MC, Andrisani OM. Time-dependent activation of Phox2a by the cyclic AMP pathway modulates onset and duration of p27Kip1 transcription. Mol Cell Biol. 2009 Sep;29(18):4878-4890.

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