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Hyam Leffert, M.D.

Professor of Pharmacology


Research Interests

We are investigating two related areas of biomedical science. First, we are studying the control of animal cell proliferation and differentiation, specifically hepatocytes and liver progenitor cells, and the role(s) played by genes associated with inflammation and the immune system that are expressed etopically by specialized hepatocytes. Second, we are interested in the genetic mechanisms of chemical hepatocarcinogenesis, and the roles that liver stem cells and the immune system might have in stimulating and inhibiting hepatocarcinogenesis. Primary hepatocyte cultures, liver regeneration and chemical carcinogenesis models are used to explore these different avenues of research.


Selected Publications

H L Leffert, J N Baptist, L I Gidez.  Meningitis and bacteremia after ventriculoatrial shunt-revision: isolation of a lecithinase-producing Bacillus cereus.  J Infect Dis. 1970 Dec;122(6):547-52. doi: 10.1093/infdis/122.6.547.

H L Leffert, D Paul. Studies on primary cultures of differentiated fetal liver cells. J. Cell Biol. 1972 Mar;52(3):559-68. doi: 10.1083/jcb.52.3.559.

H L Leffert, T Moran, R Boorstein, K S Koch Procarcinogen activation and hormonal control of cell proliferation in differentiated primary adult rat liver cell cultures. Nature 1977 May 5;267(5606):58-61. doi: 10.1038/267058a0.

H Leffert, T Moran, S Sell, H Skelly, K Ibsen, M Mueller, I Arias. Growth state-dependent phenotypes of adult hepatocytes in primary monolayer culture. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1978 Apr;75(4):1834-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.75.4.1834.

K S Koch, H L Leffert. Increased sodium ion influx is necessary to initiate rat hepatocyte proliferation. Cell. 1979 Sep;18(1):153-63. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(79)90364-7.

Lu, X.P., K.S. Koch, D.J. Lew, V. Dulic, J. Pines, S.I.Reed, T. Hunter, and H.L. Leffert. Induction of cyclin mRNA and cyclin-associated histone H1 kinase during liver regeneration. J. Biol. Chem. 1992,  267:2841-2844  PMID: 1310673.

T Aoki 1, K S Koch, H L Leffert. Attenuation of gene expression by a trinucleotide repeat-rich tract from the terminal exon of the rat hepatic polymeric immunoglobulin receptor gene. J Mol Biol. 1997 Mar 28;267(2):229-36. doi: 10.1006/jmbi.1997.0890.

Koch KS, Leffert HL. “Basic Science of Liver cancer stem cells and hepatocarcinogenesis,” in Principles of Stem Cell Biology and Cancer: Future Applications and Therapeutics, First Edition (edited by Tarik Regad, Thomas Sayers and Robert C Rees), © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. pp. 273-304 (2015).

Koch KS, Moran T, Shier WT, Leffert HL. N-Acetyl-2-Aminofluorene (AAF) Processing in Adult Rat Hepatocytes in Primary Culture Occurs by High-Affinity Low-Velocity and Low-Affinity High-Velocity AAF Metabolite-Forming Systems. Toxicological Sciences, Volume 163, Issue 1, 1 May 2018, pp. 26–34. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfy006.

Koch KS, Moran T, Shier WT, Leffert HL. High-Affinity Low-Capacity and Low-Affinity High-Capacity N-Acetyl-2-Aminofluorene (AAF) Macromolecular Binding Sites Are Revealed During the Growth Cycle of Adult Rat Hepatocytes in Primary Culture. Toxicological Sciences, Volume 163, Issue 1, 1 May 2018, pp. 35–44 (2018). doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfy007.



Cancer Biology
Cardiovascular & Metabolic Diseases


Signaling & Molecular Pharmacology


(858) 534-2354

(619) 981 6024



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