penn surgery
penn surgery home penn surgery clinical penn surgery education penn surgery research penn surgery administration
Division of
Transplant Surgical Research

Kim M. Olthoff, M.D.

Dr. Olthoff's current laboratory research involves both basic science studies and human translational research and focuses on liver regeneration in the transplant setting and ischemia/reperfusion injury as outlined below. These lines of investigation are funded by multiple NIH grants and the Biesecker Center for Pediatric Liver Disease. The research is carried out in the Stemmler laboratories, collaborative Biesecker Liver Center research space in Abramson, and with the clinical research staff on 2 Dulles. We have strong collaborations with Dr. Jason Christie (CCEB), Dr. Wayne Hancock (CHOP), and Dr. Daniel Salomon (Scripps Research Institute). The laboratory personnel have published in top-ranked journals such as Nature Medicine, Hepatology, American Journal of Transplantation, Liver Transplantation and Transplantation.

Animal Studies

  1. Early gene expression in the liver graft in murine models of partial hepatectomy, lobar ischemia and resection, and bile duct ligation.
    1. Use of cDNA microarray, RNA protection assays, multimeric RT-PCR technology, immunopathology, small molecule and antibody therapy.
  2. Murine whole and partial liver grafts and tolerance for ischemic injury
    1. Determining minimal liver volume and molecular events in the development of “small-for-size” syndrome.
  3. Critical factors in liver regeneration and the interplay between hepatic growth and metabolism
    1. Role of IL-6, PPAR-? signaling, and growth factors in liver regeneration in the transplant setting
Human Translational Studies
  1. Regeneration and assessment of liver function in donors and recipients following partial hepatectomy and living donor transplantation.
    1. Differential gene expression in liver biopsies and peripheral blood obtained post reperfusion, determining prognostic indicators of graft function.
    2. Utilization of other molecular techniques, such as microRNA, Luminex, and RT-PCR.
    3. Funded as part of an ancillary study to the NIH A2ALL multicenter consortium studying outcomes in living donor liver transplantation.
Clinical Research
  1. Liver regeneration after LD transplantation by volumetric imaging
  2. Impact of pretransplant locoregional therapy for HCC on post-transplant outcomes
  3. Outcome of liver transplantation in older recipients
Research Grants
NIH/NIDDK U01-DK-062494 (Olthoff, PI)
Adult to Adult Living Donor Liver Transplant Cohort Study (A2ALL)
Penn is one of 9 centers in this multi-center trial with the primary goal of providing information on the outcomes of adult to adult living donor liver transplantation in donors and recipients.

NIH/NIDDK RO1-DK073192 (Olthoff, PI)
Regeneration in the Transplant Setting: An Ancillary Study to the A2ALL
This study is within the cooperative, multi-site A2ALL consortium, examining the mechanisms occurring in the early post-transplantation period that drive molecular networks for liver regeneration and tissue repair required for graft and patient survival in living donor and deceased donor liver transplantation.

NIH/NIAID U01 A1063589 (Shaked, PI, Olthoff, Center Co-I)
Clinical trials in organ transplantation (CTOT-3) – Correlation of donor proinflammatory mRNA profiles with early outcomes of thoracic and abdominal transplantation
This study is a prospective observational cohort designed to test the association of proinflammatory pathways of injury in lung, heart, liver and kidney allografts with immediate and short-term function as well subsequent alloimmune response. This study will profile gene expression for the characterization of innate immunity and adaptive immunity pertinent to solid organ transplantation. Dr. Olthoff directs the liver studies

NIH/NIAID U01 AI052748 (Olthoff, Site PI)
Solid Organ Transplantation in HIV: Multi-Site Study
The University of Pennsylvania is one of 16 transplant centers from across the country participating in this multi-site study investigating outcomes in kidney and liver transplantation in people with HIV.

Biesecker Center for Liver Disease – Private Grant
Models of liver regeneration and ischemia/reperfusion injury in the transplant setting
This privately funded research grant provides support for the murine studies investigating the roles of growth factors and metabolic pathways in liver regeneration.



penn medicine