Patrizia Farci, M.D.

Senior Investigator

Hepatic Pathogenesis Section


Building 50, Room 6529
50 South Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892


Research Topics

The Hepatic Pathogenesis Section (HPS) was established in 2010 to conduct translational research in the field of liver diseases, particularly in the study of pathogenesis of acute and chronic viral hepatitis, with the main goal of merging clinical medicine with basic research. Acute and chronic inflammatory liver diseases, especially viral hepatitis, are a major cause of morbidity and mortality both in the United States and in the rest of the world. A significant proportion of patients die of long-term sequelae of chronic liver disease, primarily cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Although there has been considerable progress in the control and treatment of acute and chronic viral hepatitis, future advances will depend on a more thorough knowledge of the mechanisms of pathogenesis. HPS has developed a comprehensive research program to study the molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis of acute liver failure and acute and chronic hepatitis especially of viral etiology, as well as the long-term sequelae of chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Current research efforts also include the search for new hepatitis agents that may be implicated in the etiology of other forms of acute and chronic inflammatory liver diseases. New knowledge gained from these studies will pave the way toward the development of better means of preventing, diagnosing, and treating these illnesses.


Dr. Farci earned her M.D. at the University of Cagliari Medical School, Italy, and then became a board-certified specialist in infectious diseases and gastroenterology at the same university. She was trained at the department of gastroenterology of the Molinette Hospital in Torino under Dr. Mario Rizzetto and at the department of medicine of the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine in London under Professor Sheila Sherlock. In 1989, she joined the laboratory of Dr. Robert H. Purcell in the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases (LID) as a visiting scientist. In 1992, she became associate professor of medicine and, in 2000, full professor of medicine and director of the liver unit and of the postgraduate school of gastroenterology at the University of Cagliari. In 2007, she returned to LID, where in 2010 she became chief of the Hepatic Pathogenesis Section.

Selected Publications

  1. Chen Z, Zhang P, Matsuoka Y, Tsybovsky Y, West K, Santos C, Boyd LF, Nguyen H, Pomerenke A, Stephens T, Olia AS, Zhang B, De Giorgi V, Holbrook MR, Gross R, Postnikova E, Garza NL, Johnson RF, Margulies DH, Kwong PD, Alter HJ, Buchholz UJ, Lusso P, Farci P. Potent monoclonal antibodies neutralize Omicron sublineages and other SARS-CoV-2 variants. Cell Rep. 2022;41(5):111528.
  2. Nishimura N, De Battista D, McGivern DR, Engle RE, Tice A, Fares-Gusmao R, Kabat J, Pomerenke A, Nguyen H, Sato S, Bock KW, Moore IN, Kleiner DE, Zamboni F, Alter HJ, Govindarajan S, Farci P. Chitinase 3-like 1 is a profibrogenic factor overexpressed in the aging liver and in patients with liver cirrhosis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021;118(17).
  3. Diaz G, Engle RE, Tice A, Melis M, Montenegro S, Rodriguez-Canales J, Hanson J, Emmert-Buck MR, Bock KW, Moore IN, Zamboni F, Govindarajan S, Kleiner DE, Farci P. Molecular Signature and Mechanisms of Hepatitis D Virus-Associated Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Mol Cancer Res. 2018;16(9):1406-1419.
  4. Chen Z, Diaz G, Pollicino T, Zhao H, Engle RE, Schuck P, Shen CH, Zamboni F, Long Z, Kabat J, De Battista D, Bock KW, Moore IN, Wollenberg K, Soto C, Govindarajan S, Kwong PD, Kleiner DE, Purcell RH, Farci P. Role of humoral immunity against hepatitis B virus core antigen in the pathogenesis of acute liver failure. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018;115(48):E11369-E11378.

Related Scientific Focus Areas

This page was last updated on Monday, August 21, 2023