New IUPUI Biology Professor Receives 5-Year, $1.5 Million NIH Grant Award

Release Date: 
Sep 15 2009

Grant Used to Study Liver Regeneration at Center for Regenerative Biology & Medicine

Indianapolis, IN, Sept. 16, 2009 ˜ Assistant professor of biology at the School of Science at IUPUI, Guoli Dai, was recently awarded a five-year, $1.5 million grant from the The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the role of a transcription factor in liver regeneration. Dai is new to the School of Science from the University of Kansas Medical Center. He plans to use the grant to blend his research to better understand the molecular mechanisms governing hepatocyte proliferation in response to liver injury.

Guoli Dai

Various insults including drug toxicity and viral infection cause acute or chronic liver injury. However, the liver has an extraordinary ability to regenerate, replacing damaged tissue and restoring original structures and functions. Hepatocytes, as the main structural and functional cells in the liver, are extremely capable of replicating during liver tissue repair process.

"Understanding the regulation of hepatocyte proliferation will help in the development of pharmacological approaches to advance tissue repair for prevention and treatment of liver injury," said Dai. "I am very excited for the opportunity to be exposed to various resources in biology, medicine and regenerative biology at IUPUI."

For the past 20 years, Dai's research in the area of reproductive endocrinology and liver biology have been published and presented among researchers and scientists throughout the world. Specifically, his work has focused on molecular mechanisms governing hepatocyte proliferation and liver regeneration as well as the molecular and cellular mechanisms controlling maternal hepatic growth response to pregnancy.

"Guoli Dai is a great addition to the research we are conducting at the School of Science and Center for Regenerative Biology and Medicine," said Bart Ng, Dean of the School of Science at IUPUI. "Dr. Dai's research will not only advance science and medicine in this arena, but also enhance the university's profile in the areas of biology and regenerative biology."

Dai earned his Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology from the College of Agricultural and Animal Sciences at Jilin University as well as his masters in molecular and cellular biology from Changchun Veterinary University in China. Dai has held various research and teaching positions at universities and medical centers throughout the U.S.