Craig Peine, MD, completed his Medical Degree at the University of Minnesota. He is the Chief of Gastroenterology at the Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) and an associated faculty at the University of Minnesota. He specializes in the mechanisms and treatment of chronic liver disease, including alcoholic hepatitis and viral hepatitis.
The liver plays an essential role in metabolizing all the food and drugs a person consumes, detoxifying the poisons they are exposed to, and manufacturing proteins for the body. It is unique because it is the only solid organ that has the ability to completely regenerate in response to disease and injury. Despite this, the liver is susceptible to a number of diseases including cirrhosis and cancer, and it can be damaged by viruses like hepatitis. According to the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, one in every 10 Americans is afflicted with a liver-related disease each year.
Liver regeneration is an important part of the body’s response to both acute and chronic liver diseases. Unfortunately, in advanced liver diseases such as cirrhosis, the liver is unable to adequately regenerate itself. By studying the remarkable phenomenon of liver regeneration, researchers hope to find techniques to enhance healthy liver cell growth and thereby improve quality of life for patients with liver disease or injury.
Dr. Peine’s work is building the knowledge base that will be necessary to develop advanced therapies for liver diseases.
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