Dr. Alejandro Soto-Gutiérrez is an Associate Professor (Tenured) in the Department of Pathology at the University of Pittsburgh. He is also an affiliated faculty member of the McGowan Institute, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, and the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute (STI). Prior to this he was a Surgery Research Fellow with the Department of Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and the Shriners Hospitals for Children in Boston. Dr. Soto-Gutiérrez earned his medical degree at the University of Guadalajara, Mexico. While working on his doctorate, he completed a Surgical Fellowship at the Department of Surgery of Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine and Dentistry, Japan, where he wrote his dissertation on liver tissue engineering.
He won the 2008 Clinical Research Award for a Post-Graduate Fellow in Transplantation from the New England Organ Bank, the 2009 Thomas E. Starzl, MD Postdoctoral Research Award from the American Liver Foundation, the 2012 Faculty Development Award from the American Society of Transplantation, the 2013 Competitive Medical Research Fund Program Award from UPMC Health System, the 2016 (UPP)/UPMC Academic Foundation Research Grant, and The Pittsburgh Liver Research Liver Center Seed Grant 2016-2017.
He has been awarded a National Institutes of Health Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00). He is the Editor-in-Chief of the scientific journal, Organogenesis, and Co-founder of a startup company (vonBaerWolff Inc) dedicated to treat liver diseases by genetic reprogramming and cell therapy. He is also the Chair and co-founder of the Transplant Regenerative Medicine Community of Practice (TRM COP) at the AST and Associate Director of the Cellular & Molecular Pathology (CMP Graduate Program in the Department of Pathology). He is the author of more than 85 peer-reviewed publications, 8 book chapters, and edited a book on methods in cell transplantation.
Dr. Soto-Gutierrez's clinical interest is focused on the treatment of liver diseases using regenerative and disruptive approaches with the goal of alleviating the currently growing problem of a scarcity of livers for transplantation. His research interest is focused on the development of new technologies for organ replacement using regenerative medicine approaches (auxiliary partial liver transplantation, cell transplantation, cell and organ engineering, genetic reprogramming) to re-generate entire replacement livers. His laboratory is actively working in liver cell differentiation and understanding hepatic maturation of human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells using interactions with liver non-parenchymal liver cells, 3D liver matrix, and different molecules. While portions of the studies are carried out in organ culture systems, several ongoing studies are performed in specially-engineered animal models of liver regeneration to understand the repopulation capacities of hepatic tissue or liver grafts derived from human iPS cells. In addition, Dr. Soto-Gutierrez's laboratory is interested in strategies for reprogramming diseased livers and to induce super functions in livers (e.g. acute or chronic liver failure, liver steatosis, liver preservation).