Bieskeck Pediatric Liver Center Pilot Grant

The Fred and Suzanne Biesecker Pediatric Liver Center

Pilot and Feasibility Grant Program


The mission of the Fred and Suzanne Biesecker Pediatric Liver Center (FSBLC) is to identify the unknown information, treatment and procedures required to enable children with biliary atresia to function and develop normally, and direct research investment towards this goal through the development of a world-renowned Center for pediatric liver disease at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.


Specific Research Goals include:


  1. To understand the role of the immune system in post-transplant liver and develop mechanisms to affect it, and to determine factors that predict tolerance to immunosuppression withdrawal.


  1. To identify the role of the genetic, immune and toxic factors contributing to the cause and ongoing damage in Biliary Atresia


  1. To promote clinical and translational studies in liver disease and Biliary Atresia


  1. To identify factors related to bile duct development, proliferation and destruction


  1. To develop and provide advocacy for pediatric liver diseases, particularly biliary atresia, and to lobby at regional, state and national levels to support the goals of excellent patient care, innovative research and quality professional education by fostering relationships with organizations and officials.


  1. To develop and implement a regional program to promote early detection of biliary atresia and to improve outcomes by implementing early surgical intervention.


  1. To recruit and/or develop a program to synthesize, screen and test therapeutic agents that may treat progression of biliary atresia or improve function of the liver post-Kasai hepatoportoenterostomy


  1. To identify factors involved in liver development, stem cell differentiation and liver regeneration


Purpose and Research Focus of the FSBLC Pilot and Feasibility Grant Program:


The main purpose of the inaugural FSBLC Pilot and Feasibility Grant Program is to accelerate the pace of research and discovery in the research areas listed above. Specifically, the pilot grants are meant to encourage new collaborations across Divisions and Departments, and to engage researchers who are not currently working in the field of pediatric liver disease.




All faculty members (including Instructors and Research Associates) of the CHOP and/or University of Pennsylvania scientific communities who meet the eligibility requirements below are invited to submit proposals. Applicants must hold one of the following credentials: MD, PhD, MD/PhD, DVM/VMD.


Pilot grants are targeted to:

1) Established investigators in other areas of biomedical research who wish to apply their expertise to a problem involving biliary atresia or other pediatric liver disorders.

2) Established investigators in the pediatric liver disease field who wish to study an area that represents a significant departure from currently funded work.

3) Current FSBLC members may only apply if the project supports a new collaboration with an investigator in another Division or Department.


Pilot project awardees are eligible for two years of funding; renewals are evaluated competitively.