Wolfram Goessling, MD, PhD
Photo: Wolfram Goessling
Elected 2013

Chronic liver disease is a common cause of death in the United States, and liver cancer incidence is growing faster than that of any other cancer. The Goessling laboratory seeks to understand the mechanisms that cause organ injury and the signals that regulate regenerative and malignant growth. Our specific interests are to define the similarities in important signaling pathways between development, regeneration and carcinogenesis of the liver, an important organ for the organism’s metabolism and protein synthesis with remarkable regenerative capacities. We investigate zebrafish as the primary model to discover novel regulatory pathways of liver development and evaluate their importance for recovery after toxic and physical injury, complemented by mouse models and organoids derived from human cell samples. Using chemical and genetic screens and targeted genetic modulation, we assess organ formation, repair and carcinogenesis by high-resolution in vivo imaging, single-cell and functional genomic methods, and other phenotype analyses to define the principal molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating organ growth. Our goal is to develop novel therapeutic approaches for patients with liver failure and cancer. 

I serve as the chief of gastroenterology at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

I am also the Director of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST) and Advisory Dean of the Irving M. London Society at Harvard Medical School. The HST program trains 30 medical students with a focus on quantitative and physical sciences each year. I this role I am actively involved in curriculum design to educate the next generation of physician-scientists.