Willenbring Lab »  Lab Members »  Postdoctoral Fellows »  Regina Español-Suñer, Ph.D.

Regina Español-Suñer, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Contact Information

Phone: 415 476-2420
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  • Laboratory of Hepato-Gastroenterology, Institut de Recherche Expérimentale et Clinique, Université catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium. PhD degree in Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2013

  • Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain. Research Master degree in Advanced Biotechnology, 2007.
  • Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain. Bachelor degree (licenciatura) in Biotechnology, 2005.
  • Sveriges Lantbruksuniversiteit, Uppsala, Sweden. Erasmus student exchange program fellowship, 2005.
  • Liver fibrosis and cancer
  • Liver regeneration
  • Stem cells

Dr. Español-Suñer was born and raised in Barcelona, Spain. She obtained her bachelor degree in Biotechnology at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) in 2005. After participating as a research assistant in a research project for the wine and dairy industry at the Fermentation Pilot Plant at the UAB, she obtained her master degree in 2007. The same year, she became team manager of the genetic variability group at Oryzon Genomics S.A., and occupied that position until May 2009, when she joined the laboratory of Prof. Isabelle A. Leclercq in Belgium to follow her graduate studies until June 2013. In January 2014, Regina joined the Willenbring lab as a junior post-doc.

Dr. Español-Suñer is interested in the greater understanding of the physiology of liver progenitor cells, and specifically to study their role in liver homeostasis, disease and wound healing. Currently, her main research focus of progress in the development of new therapeutic options for diseases with liver failure as an alternative to whole-organ transplantation.

  1. Rezvani M, Español-Suñer R, Malato Y, Dumont L, Grimm AA, Kienle E, Bindman JG, Wiedtke E, Hsu BY, Naqvi SJ, Schwabe RF, Corvera CU, Grimm D, Willenbring H. In Vivo Hepatic Reprogramming of Myofibroblasts with AAV Vectors as a Therapeutic Strategy for Liver Fibrosis. Cell Stem Cell. 2016 Jun 2; 18(6):809-16. View in PubMed
  2. Desai SS, Tung JC, Zhou VX, Grenert JP, Malato Y, Rezvani M, Español-Suñer R, Willenbring H, Weaver VM, Chang TT. Physiological ranges of matrix rigidity modulate primary mouse hepatocyte function in part through hepatocyte nuclear factor 4 alpha. Hepatology. 2016 Jul; 64(1):261-75. View in PubMed
  3. Mu X, Español-Suñer R, Mederacke I, Affò S, Manco R, Sempoux C, Lemaigre FP, Adili A, Yuan D, Weber A, Unger K, Heikenwälder M, Leclercq IA, Schwabe RF. Hepatocellular carcinoma originates from hepatocytes and not from the progenitor/biliary compartment. J Clin Invest. 2015 Oct 1; 125(10):3891-903. View in PubMed
  4. Legry V, Van Rooyen DM, Lambert B, Sempoux C, Poekes L, Español-Suñer R, Molendi-Coste O, Horsmans Y, Farrell GC, Leclercq IA. Endoplasmic reticulum stress does not contribute to steatohepatitis in obese and insulin-resistant high-fat-diet-fed foz/foz mice. Clin Sci (Lond). 2014 Oct; 127(7):507-18. View in PubMed
  5. Español-Suñer R, Lemaigre FP, Leclercq IA. Reply: To PMID 22922013. Gastroenterology. 2013 Jul; 145(1):255-6. View in PubMed
  6. Español-Suñer R, Carpentier R, Van Hul N, Legry V, Achouri Y, Cordi S, Jacquemin P, Lemaigre F, Leclercq IA. Liver progenitor cells yield functional hepatocytes in response to chronic liver injury in mice. Gastroenterology. 2012 Dec; 143(6):1564-1575.e7. View in PubMed
  7. Van Hul N, Lanthier N, Español Suñer R, Abarca Quinones J, van Rooijen N, Leclercq I. Kupffer cells influence parenchymal invasion and phenotypic orientation, but not the proliferation, of liver progenitor cells in a murine model of liver injury. Am J Pathol. 2011 Oct; 179(4):1839-50. View in PubMed
  8. Carpentier R, Suñer RE, van Hul N, Kopp JL, Beaudry JB, Cordi S, Antoniou A, Raynaud P, Lepreux S, Jacquemin P, Leclercq IA, Sander M, Lemaigre FP. Embryonic ductal plate cells give rise to cholangiocytes, periportal hepatocytes, and adult liver progenitor cells. Gastroenterology. 2011 Oct; 141(4):1432-8, 1438.e1-4. View in PubMed
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