Gregory M. Tiao, MD
Associate Professor; Surgical Director, Pediatric Liver and Intestinal Care Center
Department of Pediatrics; Division of General and Thoracic Surgery

Description of Research

Dr. Tiao’s research is focused on biliary atresia, which is the most common cause of persistent neonatal cholestasis. Surgical reconstruction of the extra-hepatic biliary tract is beneficial in a subset of patients, but most patients progress to end-stage liver disease despite surgery, requiring liver transplantation for long-term survival. As a result, biliary atresia is the number one indication for pediatric liver transplantation. His primary studies address the molecular basis of virus-induced biliary injury in an experimental murine model of biliary atresia. His ongoing studies demonstrate that the viral tropism to the bile duct epithelium depends, at least in part on molecular domains of the virus and on the expression of specific proteins on the surface of cholangiocytes. One example is the findings that the expression of integrin subunits by cholangiocytes is critical to cell injury and breach of the epithelial integrity after viral infection. Current studies are focused on intracellular signals that regulate the host response following rotavirus infection and the identification of rotavirus specific genes that govern induction of biliary injury.

Collaborations and Core Use

Dr. Tiao collaborates with Drs. Bezerra and Chougnet in studies investigating the molecular basis of virus-cholangiocyte interaction. Projection of Core use: Gene and Protein Expression, Bioinformatics, and Integrative Morphology Cores.