Faculty and Staff
Toshio Miki, M.D., PhD
Assistant Professor of Research
Division of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery
Keck School of Medicine of USC
Dr. Miki is an Associate Professor of Research of Surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Dr. Miki received his MD and PhD degrees from Nihon University in Tokyo, Japan. After completing his residency, he moved to the University of Pittsburgh for his postdoctoral research fellowship at the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute. With the goal of overcoming the organ shortage faced by patients awaiting liver transplants, he started studying xenotransplantation and hepatocyte transplantation. In his search for alternative cell sources for hepatocyte transplantation, Dr. Miki discovered stem cell-like populations in the human amnion in 2005. Since then, Dr. Miki has been best-known for his studies of placental stem cells and their clinical applications. He has also conducted studies generating liver cells from human pluripotent stem cells. Using a unique bioreactor system, he created the first 3D culture with human stem cell-derived hepatocytes. Using this bioreactor technology, his group is currently developing a clinical-grade liver support system with a grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).
Dr. Miki has authored more than 60 scientific articles, books and chapters.
Dr. Miki’s research interests include:
- Placental cell transplantation for congenital liver metabolic disorders
Dr. Miki and others have demonstrated the therapeutic efficacy of placental cell transplantation for "inborn errors of metabolism" by using animal models of Hurler disease, maple syrup urine disease, urea cycle disorder (OTC deficiency) and phenylketonuria disease. These studies are moving towards clinical trials.
- The development of a clinical-grade extracorporeal liver support system containing stem cells
Many liver disease patients could benefit from an artificial liver device outside of the body. Having already provided a proof of concept at the laboratory scale, Dr. Miki's group will develop a large-scale clinical grade artificial liver in collaboration with researchers in Germany.
- SNP modeling with iPS-derived hepatocytes for a non-alcoholic steatohepatitis study
Dr. Miki's group aims to use gene-editing technologies to generate pluripotent stem cells with minor genetic mutations that drive non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) progression. This novel strategy of using human stem cell-derived hepatocytes to elucidate disease mechanisms will open new avenues for studying a wide-range of liver diseases.