Lawrence Vernetti, PhD

Lawrence Vernetti

Lawrence Vernetti, PhD


Research Associate Professor
Computational and Systems Biology, Drug Discovery Institute

3501 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Liver-Related Work

Pre-Clinical and Research Interests: I am a toxicologist in the Drug Discovery Institute (DDI) with interests in drug induced liver injury (DILI), drug PK, drug efficacy, and the effect of drug treatment on liver disease progression. The DDI has a constructed a 3D, 4-cell type human liver in a microfluidic device that is currently in use for drug safety assessment. The next generation model will include normal and diseased iPSC derived human liver cells in devices that recreate the oxygen and metabolic zonation found in the liver. These studies are supported by NIH funds. 
Ongoing Research Studies:
  1. Collaboration with Dr. Alex Soto to study the use and maturation of iPSC derived hepatocytes under microfluidic flow. 
  2. Developing the next generation of microfluidic liver test systems involving new biocompatible materials, new cell types, and support matrix proteins.   
  3. Collaboration with 4 other universities to couple the ‘human on a chip’ liver, intestine, kidney, and blood brain barrier to conduct drug safety and PK studies.
  4. A portion of my work involves curating public source material for pre-clinical and clinical drug trials to populate the DDI database with drug toxicity information. 
Research Activities: My role in research at the laboratories in the DDI is to test the microfluidic human liver on a chip for use as a toxicology and PK model and support advancing the microfluidic human liver on a chip to include the oxygen and metabolic zonation, an all important determinant of DILI, metabolic competence, and possibly disease progression. 



Special Interest Groups: 
Chronic Liver Injury
Liver Tumorigenesis
Regenerative Medicine