Kari N. Nejak-Bowen, MBA, PhD
Assistant Professor of Pathology

Dr. Nejak-Bowen
Dr. Nejak-Bowen is a member of the Division of Experimental Pathology.

Office Location:
University of Pittsburgh
Department of Pathology
200 Lothrop St, Room S-433
Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Contact Information:
Office Telephone: 412-624-3354
Lab Telephone: 412-383-7820
Fax: 412-648-1916
Email: knnst5@pitt.edu

Education

  • BS - 1999, University of Pittsburgh
  • MBA - 2002, University of Pittsburgh
  • PhD - 2010, University of Pittsburgh

Specialties

Cellular and Molecular Pathology, Molecular Biology, Liver Pathobiology

Awards and Honors

  • Pathology Postdoctoral Research Training Program (PPRTP) Award, 2011-2012
  • American Liver Foundation & American Association of Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) Postdoctoral Fellow Award, 2012-2013
  • Recipient of American Society of Investigative Pathology Young Scientist Leadership Award, 2014

Research Interests

Kari Nejak-Bowen is an Assistant Professor in the Experimental Pathology Division at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine. She has published several first-author manuscripts, contributed other scholarly works (reviews and book chapters) in the area of her research, and delivered numerous presentations at national and international meetings. Her major research interests are in understanding the cellular and molecular basis of liver injury, regeneration, and cholestatic liver disease. She is an active member of the American Society of Investigative Pathology (ASIP) and AASLD. She is member of the education committee for ASIP and co-director of the Liver Scientific Interest Group. She has contributed towards teaching the Cellular and Molecular Pathology graduate program and is the co-Director of the Stem Cells Course from this year.

Kari's studies have shown the role and source of hepatocyte growth factor in liver regeneration. She has also shown a positive role of β-catenin in liver regeneration and that β-catenin modulation may impact liver cell survival. Currently, she is interested in understanding the mechanism of how β-catenin regulates cyclin-D1 expression. She is also investigating the role and regulation of β-catenin-NF-κB interactions in hepatocyte survival to see if their modulation can be exploited for certain hepatic pathologies. Lastly, Kari is studying the role of beta-catenin in intrahepatic cholestasis. Her recent findings, using genetic knockouts of β-catenin demonstrate a key role of β-catenin signaling in bile acid metabolism and studies are ongoing to elucidate the significance of β-catenin modulation for therapeutics in various models of intrahepatic cholestasis.

Selected Publications

  1. Delgado A, Okabe H, Preziosi M, Russell JO, Alvarado TF, Oertel M, Nejak-Bowen KN, Zhang Y, Monga SP. Complete response of Ctnnb1-mutated tumors to -catenin suppression by locked nucleic antisense in mouse hepatocarcinogenesis model. Journal of Hepatology. Accepted October 2014 (In Press).
  2. Yang J, Mowry LE, Nejak-Bowen KN, Okabe H, Diegel CR, Lang RA, Williams BO, Monga SP. Beta-catenin signaling in murine liver zonation and regeneration: A Wnt-Wnt situation! Hepatology. 2014 Feb 20. doi: 10.1002/hep.27082. [Epub ahead of print]
  3. Lee JM, Yang J, Newell P, Singh S, Parwani A, Friedman SL, Nejak-Bowen KN, Monga SP. ?-Catenin signaling in hepatocellular cancer: Implications in inflammation, fibrosis, and proliferation. Cancer Lett. 2013 Sep 23.
  4. Nejak-Bowen KN, Monga SP. Wnt drives Stem cell-mediated repair response after hepatic injury. Hepatology 2013. 2013 Jun 20.
  5. Nejak-Bowen K, Orr A, Bowen WC Jr, Michalopoulos GK. Gliotoxin-induced changes in rat liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy. Liver Int. 2013 Aug;33(7):1044-55.
  6. Awuah PK, Nejak-Bowen KN, Monga SP. Role and Regulation of PDGFRα Signaling in Liver Development and Regeneration. Am J Pathol. 2013 May;182(5):1648-58.
  7. Nejak-Bowen K, Orr A, Bowen WC Jr, Michalopoulos GK. Conditional genetic elimination of hepatocyte growth factor in mice compromises liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy. PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e59836. Epub 2013 Mar 20.
  8. Nejak-Bowen K, Kikuchi A, Monga SP. β-catenin-NF-κB interactions in murine hepatocytes: A complex to die for. Hepatology. 2013 Feb;57(2):763-74.
  9. Thompson M, Nejak-Bowen K, and Monga SPS. "Crosstalk of the Wnt signaling pathway". Targeting the Wnt pathway in cancer. 1st ed. Ed. Angus W. Thomson and Michael T. Lotze. Springer, 2011.
  10. Nejak-Bowen KN, Monga SP. β-catenin signaling, liver regeneration and hepatocellular cancer: Sorting the good from the bad. Semin Cancer Biol. 2010 Dec 21.
  11. Nejak-Bowen KN, Thompson MD, Singh S, Bowen WC Jr, Dar MJ, Khillan J, Dai C, Monga SP. Accelerated liver regeneration and hepatocarcinogenesis in mice overexpressing serine-45 mutant β-catenin. Hepatology. 2010 May;51(5):1603-13.
  12. Nejak-Bowen KN, Zeng G, Tan X, Cieply B, Monga SP. β-catenin regulates vitamin C biosynthesis and cell survival in murine liver. J Biol Chem. 2009 Oct 9;284(41):28115-27.
  13. Nejak-Bowen K and Monga SPS. Wnt/β-catenin signaling in hepatic organogenesis. Organogenesis. 2008 4(2): 92-99.