Dr. Eric Lagasse is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh, with a secondary appointment in Pitt’s Clinical and Translational Institute. Dr. Lagasse is also the Director of the Cancer Stem Cell Center at the McGowan Institute. In 1985, he received his Diplôme d'Etat de Docteur en Pharmacie from University of Strasbourg, France, and in 1989 he completed his PhD in Microbiology from the University of Basel, Switzerland. From 1989 to 1997, Dr. Lagasse completed his post-doctoral work with Dr. Irving Weissman in the Department of Developmental Biology and Pathology, Stanford University. Dr. Lagasse served as the Director, Liver Stem Cell Discovery Program at StemCells Inc, Palo Alto, California, from 1997 until he joined the McGowan Institute in 2004. Dr. Lagasse is also a founder of LyGenesis, an organ regenerationcompany enabling a patient's own lymph nodes to be used as bioreactors to regrow functioning ectopic organs.
In Dr. Lagasse’s laboratory research is focused primarily on stem cell biology and cell-based therapy for a variety of diseases including cancer. Dr. Lagasse’s continued research interests include:
Cell therapy for liver diseases
Identification and characterization of stem cells in adult tissues
Identification and characterization of cancer stem cells
Organogenesis and tissue bioengineering
Dr. Lagasse is the author of over 50 publications including book chapters. He is a much sought after presenter; since 2000, he has made over 100 presentations to national/international audiences. In 2010, his work on organogenesis was featured on the Discovery Channel, “Dean of Invention: Growing New Organs Inside the Body.” In 2012, Discover Magazine featured Dr. Lagasse’s work in their article, "Big Idea: Turning Lymph Nodes Into Liver-Growing Factories". And in 2017 the writer and producer of ABC’s hit show, Grey’s Anatomy, learned about the work of Dr. Lagasse and incorporated into the 2018 season’s story line the science behind the development of an ectopic liver in the lymph node.
Dr. Lagasse is a member of the Editorial Boards for the journals BioMolecular Concepts and Journal of Organogenesis, and Associate Editor for Stem Cell Research and Therapy. He is the Chair for the Human Stem Cell Research Oversight (hSCRO) Committee at Pitt. Dr. Lagasse is a member of the Membership Committee of the Cellular Approaches to Tissue Engineering and Regeneration (CATER) at the McGowan Institute.
View a list of Dr. Lagasse’s publications here.