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 and liver stem cell transplantation, and hepatocyte reprogramming. 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 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-based 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. 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.
  2. Fox IJ, Duncan SA. Engineering Liver Tissue from Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells: A first step in generating new organs for transplantation? Hepatology 2013;58(6):2198-2201.
  3. Wheeler SE, Borenstein JT, Clark AM, Ebrahimkhani MR, Fox IJ, Griffith L, Inman W, Lauffenburger D, Nguyen T, Pillai VC, Prantil-Baun R, Stolz DB, Taylor D, Ulrich T, Venkataramanan R, Wells A, Young C. All-human microphysical model of metastasis therapy. Experimental Biology and Medicine. Stem Cell Res Ther. 2013;4 Suppl 1:S11.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Bhatia SN, Underhill GH, Zaret KS, Fox IJ. Cell and tissue engineering for liver disease. Science Translational Medicine 2014;6:245sr2.
  7. Fox, IJ, Daley GQ, Goldman SA, Huard J, Kamp TJ, Trucco M. Potential for the use of differentiated pluripotent stem cells as replacement therapy in treating disease. Science 2014; 345:1247391.
  8. 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.
  9. 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;111(4):418-27
  10. Nishikawa T, Bellance N, Damm A, Bing H, Zhu Z, Handa K, Yovchev MI, Sehgal V, Moss TJ, Oertel M, Ram PT, Pipinos II, Soto-Gutierrez A, Fox IJ, Nagrath D. A switch in the source of ATP production and a loss in capacity to perform glycolysis are hallmarks of hepatocyte failure in advance liver disease. Journal of Hepatology 2014; 60(6):1203-1211.
  11. Nishikawa T, Bell A, Brooks JM, Setoyama K, Melis M, Han B, Fukumitsu K, Handa K, Tian J, 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 2015;125(4):1533-1544.
  12. Tafaleng EN, Chakraborty S, Han B, Hale P, Wu W, Soto-Gutierrez A, Feghali-Bostwick CA, Wilson AA, Kotton DN, Nagaya M, Strom SC, Roy-Chowdhury J, Stolz DB, Perlmutter DH, Fox IJ. Induced pluripotent stem cells model personalized variations in liver disease due to ?1-antitrypsin deficiency. Hepatology 2015;62(1):147-57.
  13. 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 2015 Jun 9. pii: S2213-6711(15)00129-0. doi: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2015.04.017. [Epub ahead of print].
  14. Fukumitsu K, Handa K, Matsubara K, Guzman-Lepe J, Yokota S, Ono Y, Hobson CM, Strauser JC, Sun W, Tobita K, Shapiro EM, Ye S-H, Kitagawa Y, Piganelli JD, Wagner WR, Gilbert TW, Geller DA, Strom SC, Murase N, Yagi H, Fox IJ, Soto-Gutierrez A. Assembly and function of a transplanted regeneration-responsive auxiliary bioengineered liver. Nature Biotechnology (in revision).