Ira J. Fox, MD
Professor of Surgery

Dr. Fox is a Professor of Surgery, Medical Director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Medical Director of Hepatocyte Transplantation at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, and a member of the Cellular and Molecular Pathology Graduate Training Program.

Office Location:
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
4401 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
Contact Information:
Office Telephone: 412-692-7133
Lab Telephone: 412-692-9003


  • A.B. - 1972, Harvard University
  • M.D. - 1976, Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons

Clinical Expertise

Liver transplantation and management of patients with liver-based metabolic diseases and hepatocyte transplantation

Research Interests

Major research interests involve the study of experimental therapies for liver disease, including liver assist devices, liver cell transplantation, and liver stem cells. Dr. Fox's laboratory examines the biologic and immunologic barriers to successful transplantation of primary and xenogeneic hepatocytes in rodents and primates. He has developed a model of acute liver failure that mimics the clinical entity in non-human primates, and a model of end-stage liver failure resulting from cirrhosis in rodents. With these models he is able to assess the mechanisms responsible for liver failure in these two entities and studies various strategies for hepatic regeneration. His laboratory also generates pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) from normal individuals and patients with various liver diseases, and differentiates these human iPS and embryonic stem cells into liver cells to model diseases such as alpha-1-antitrypin deficiency and familial intrahepatic cholestasis, to study drug metabolism, and to develop source cells for hepatocyte transplantation.

He has initiated clinical trials involving extracorporeal liver perfusion to treat patients with acute liver failure, and has demonstrated successful correction of liver-based metabolic deficiencies in newborns and young children by transplantation of isolated liver cells. A new FDA approved clinical trial of hepatocyte transplantation for treatment of patients with liver-bases metabolic deficiencies is underway that involves a conditioning regimen that is meant to selectively induce donor cell expansion.


  • American Board of Surgery Re-certification, 1994, 2004
  • American Board of Surgery, Surgical Critical Care Re-certification 2004



Honors and Awards

  • Dr. Allen O. Whipple Memorial Prize (Surgery) Columbia University, 1976
  • Outstanding Investigator Award, University of Nebraska COM, 1999

Selected Publications

View Dr. Fox's publications on PubMed

  1. Liu,L, Yannam GR, Nishikawa T, Yamamoto T, Basma H, Ito R, Nagaya M, Dutta-Moscato J, Stolz DB, Duan F, Kaestner KH,Vodovotz Y, Soto-Gutierrez A, Fox IJ.The microenvironment in hepatocyte regeneration and function in rats with advanced cirrhosis. Hepatology 2012;55(5):1529-39.
  2. Zhou H, Dong X, Kabarriti R, Chen Y, Avsar Y, Wang X, Ding J, Liu L, Fox IJ, Roy-Chowdhury J, Roy-Chowdhury N, Guha C. Single liver lobe repopulation with wildtype hepatocytes using regional hepatic irradiation cures jaundice in Gunn rats. PLoS One 2012;7(10):e46775.
  3. Yannam GR, Han B, Setoyama K, Yamamoto T, Ito R, Brooks JM, Guzman-Lepe J, Galambos C, Fong JV, Deutsch M, Quader MA, Yamanouchi K, Mehta K, Soto-Gutierrez A, Roy-Chowdhury J, Locker J, Abe M, Enke CA, Baranowska-Kortylewicz J, Solberg TB, Guha C, Fox IJ. Tolerable limits to whole liver irradiation in non-human primates. International Journal of Radiation Oncology "Biology" Physics 2014; 88(2):404-11.
  4. Dreyzin A, Soltys K, Farris C, Sada R, Haberman K, Fox IJ, Barnato A. Parent perspectives on participation in a clinical trial of an unproven therapy. Pediatric Transplant 2014;18(1):112-9.
  5. Gramignoli R, Tahan V, Dorko K, Skvorak KJ, Hansel MC, Zao W, Venkataramanan R, Ellis ECS, Jorns C, Soltys KA, Mazariegos GV, Fox IJ, Strom SC. New potential cell source for hepatocyte transplantation: discarded livers from metabolic disease liver transplants. Stem Cell Research 2013;11:563-573.
  6. Hansel MC, Gramignoli R, Blake W, Davila J, Skvorak K, Dorko K, Tahan V, Lee BR, Tafaleng E, Guzman-Lepe J, Soto-Gutierrez A, Fox IJ, Strom SC. Increased Reprogramming of Human Fetal Hepatocytes Compared With Adult Hepatocytes in Feeder-Free Conditions. Cell Transplantation 2014; 23(1):27-38.
  7. Mazariegos G, Shneider B, Burton B, Fox IJ, Hadzic N, Kishnani P, Morton DH, McIntire S, Sokol RJ, Summar M, White D, Chavanon V, Vockley J. Liver transplantation for pediatric metabolic disease. Mol Genet Metab. 2014 Jan 17 [Epub ahead of print]
  8. Nishikawa T, Bellance N, Damm A, Han B, Zhu Z, Pipinos II, Soto-Gutierrez A, Fox IJ, Nagrath D. Failure of compensation mediated by glycolysis results in hepatocyte failure. Journal of Hepatology 2014 Feb 25. [Epub ahead of print].
  9. Nishikawa T, Bell A, Brooks JM, Setoyama K, Kaestner KH, Vodovotz Y, Locker J, Soto-Gutierrez A, Fox IJ. Resetting the transcription network using a single factor reverses liver failure in end-stage cirrhosis. Journal of Clinical Investigation (in revision).
  10. Chen Y, Chang C-J, Li Y, Ding J, Atienza K, Wang X, Avsar Y, Tafaleng E, Strom S, Guha C, Bouhassira EE, Fox IJ, Roy-Chowdhury J, Roy-Chowdhury N. Amelioration of hyperbilirubinemia in Gunn rats after transplantation of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived hepatocytes. Stem Cell Reports (in revision).