Ira J. Fox, MD
Professor of Surgery

Dr. Fox is a Professor of Surgery, Medical Director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Director of the Center for Innovative Regenerative Therapies 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
  • MD - 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

Soto-Gutierrez A, Kobayashi N, Rivas-Carrillo JD, Navarro-Alvarez, N Zhao D, Okitsu T, Noguchi H, Matsumoto S, Chen Y, Tanaka K, Narushima M, Miki A, Ueda T, Stolz DB, Lebowski J, Jun H-S, Tanaka N, Yoon J-W. Fox IJ. Reversal of liver failure in mice using an implanted liver assist device containing ES cell-derived hepatocytes. Nature Biotechnology 2006;24(11):1412-1419.

Nagata H, Nishitai R, Shirota C, Zhang J, Koch CA, Cai J, Awaad M, Schuurman H-J, Christians U, Abe M, Baranowska-Kortylewicz J, Platt JL, Fox IJ. Prolonged survival of porcine hepatocytes in cynomolgus monkeys. Gastroenterology 2007;32:321-329.

Hyun I, Lindvall O, Ahrlund-Richter L, Cattaneo E, Cavazzana-Calvo M, Cossu G, De Luca M, Fox IJ, Gerstle C, Goldstein RA, Hermerén G, High KA, Kim HO, Lee HP, Levy-Lahad E, Li L, Lo B, Marshak DR, McNab A, Munsie M, Nakauchi H, Rao M, Rooke HM, Valles CS, Srivastava A, Sugarman J, Taylor PL, Veiga A, Wong AL, Zoloth L, Daley GQ. New ISSCR guidelines underscore major principles for responsible translational stem cell research. Cell Stem Cell 2008;3(6):607-609

Yamanouchi K, Zhou H, Roy-Chowdhury N, Mancuso F, Liu L, Yamamoto T, Yannam GR, Solberg TD, Adelson AB, Platt JL, Fox IJ, Roy-Chowdhury J, Guha C. Hepatic irradiation augments engraftment of donor cells following hepatocyte transplantation. Hepatology 2009, 49(1); 258-267.

Basma H, Alejandro Soto-Gutierrez A, Yannam GR, Liu L, Ito R, Ellis E, Carson SD, Sato S, Muirhead D, Navarro-Alvarez N, Wong R, Mercer DF, Miller JD, Strom SC, Kobayashi N, Fox IJ. Differentiation and Transplantation of Human Embryonic Stem Cell–Derived Hepatocytes. Gastroenterology 2009, 136 (3); 990-999. PMID: 19026649

Ito M, Ikeno M, Nagata H, Yamamoto T, Hirogucchi A, Fox IJ, Miyakaw S. Treatment of nonalbumin rats by transplantation of immortalized hepatocytes using artificial human chromosome. Transplant Proc. 2009, 41 (1); 422-4.

Yagi H, Tafaleng E, Nagaya M, Hansel MC, Strom SC, Fox IJ, Soto-Gutierrez A. Embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells as a model for liver disease. Crit Rev Biomed Eng 2009;37(4-5):377-98. Review. PMID: 20528732

Navarro-Alvarez N, Alejandro Soto-Gutierrez A, Chen Y, Basma H, Hassan W, Kubota Y, Yuasa T, Nakahara H., Takei J, Tanaka N, Fox IJ, Kobayashi N. Intramuscular transplantation of an engineered hepatic tissue construct in mice with acute and chronic liver failure. J Hepatology 2010, 52(2); 211-9.

Taylor PL, Barker RA, Blume KG, Cattaneo E, Colman A, Deng H, Edgar H, Fox IJ, Gerstle C, Goldstein LSB, High KA, Lyall A, Parkman R, Pitossi FJ, Prentice ED, Rooke HM, Sipp DA, Srivastava A, Stayn S, Steinberg GK, Wagers AJ, Weissman IL. Patients beware: commercialized stem cell treatments on the web. Cell Stem Cell 2010;7:43-49.

Soltys KA, Soto-Gutiérrez A, Nagaya M, Baskin KM, Deutsch M, Ito R, Shneider BL, Squires R, Vockley J, Guha C, Roy-Chowdhury J, Strom SC, Platt JL, Fox IJ. Barriers to the successful treatment of liver disease by hepatocyte transplantation. Journal of Hepatology 2010;53:769-774.

Ding J, Yannam GR, Roy-Chowdhury N, Hidvegi T, Basma H, Rennard SI, Wong RJ, Avsar Y, Guha C, Perlmutter DH, Fox IJ, Roy-Chowdhury J. Spontaneous hepatic repopulation in transgenic mice expressing mutant human alpha 1-antitrypsin by wild-type donor hepatocytes. Journal of Clinical Investigation 2011;121(5):1930–1934.

Soto-Gutierrez A, Zhang L, Medberry CJ, Fukumitsu K, Faulk D, Jiang H, Reing JE, Gramignoli R, Komori J, Ross M, Nagaya M, Lagasse E, Beer Stolz D, Strom S, Fox IJ, Badylak SF. A whole organ regenerative medicine approach for liver replacement. Tissue Eng Part C Methods. 2011;17(6):677-686.

Soto-Gutierrez A, Tafaleng E, Kelly V, Roy-Chowdhury J, Fox IJ. Modeling and therapy of human liver diseases using induced pluripotent stem cells: how far have we come? Hepatology 2011;53(2):708-711.

Puppi J, Strom SC, Hughes RD, Bansal S, Castell JV, Dagher I, Ellis EC, Nowak G, Ericzon BG, Fox IJ, Gómez-Lechón MJ, Guha C, Gupta S, Mitry RR, Ohashi K, Ott M, Reid LM, Roy-Chowdhury J, Sokal E, Weber A, Dhawan A. Improving the techniques for human hepatocyte transplantation: report from a consensus meeting in London. Cell Transplantation. 2011 Apr 1. [Epub ahead of print]

Liu L, Yannam GR, Basma H, Ito R, White P, Soto-Gutierrez A, Wang L, Sato S, Tanaka K, Miller JD, Duan F, Kaestner KH, Fox IJ. The extracellular microenvironment is the dominant factor in hepatocyte proliferation and function in advanced liver disease. Hepatology 2012;55(5):1529-39.