Liver Protection and Regeneration Laboratory

Rush liver protection and regeneration lab

This laboratory in the Department of Surgery strives to contribute knowledge on how to improve the outcomes of liver preservation, transplantation and resection in modern surgery.

Our work

The laboratory focuses on the impact of ischemia (disruption of blood flow), hypothermia (reduction of tissue temperature) and hypoxia (reduced oxygen concentrations) on liver tissue.

We are participating in, an international collaboration studying the clinical outcomes of complex liver resections. This includes surgeries that require preoperative induction of liver growth before undergoing resection.

Our lab is using rat models of rapid liver hypertrophy to investigate the role of tissue hypoxia on the modulation of liver growth. We are examining the activation of a hypoxia-sensing mechanism that induces liver regeneration in rodents in order to apply this liver modulation model to humans.

In addition to rodents, we are studying rapid liver hypertrophy in pigs. The purpose of these experiments is to determine if small segments of a pig liver can be grown large enough to serve as transplant organs.

Our team


Erik Schadde, MD
Direct line: (312) 662-3056




Martin Hertl, MD, PhD
Direct line: (312) 662-3056




Research fellow

Rebecca Deal, MD, is currently a research fellow in our lab. She is in her third year of general surgery residency at Rush. After completing her undergraduate studies at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign she attended medical school at Rush University Medical College. Her primary research interests are liver regeneration, molecular changes in gut physiology after bariatric surgery and surgical education.


We are currently collaborating on projects with these research groups:

  • Anna Mae Diehl, MD, and Stuart Knechtle, MD, at the Duke University School of Medicine, on the role of progenitor cells in rapid liver hypertrophy
  • Beatrice Beck-Schimmer, Drmed, and Martin Schläpfer, MD, at the Institute of Physiology, University of Zurich

We are grateful to intramural funding from Rush University Medical Center and Gift of Hope.


View the publications of Schadde, Hertl and Deal on PubMed.