Yaakov "Koby" Nahmias is an ERC-funded biomedical engineer and entrepreneur. He is the founding director of the Alexander Grass Center for Bioengineering at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a faculty member at Center for Engineering in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Nahmias work is focused on the integration of tissue engineering, microfluidics, and metabolism. 


Human liver cell capacity to regenerate is lost in culture, while immortalization causes a rapid loss of metabolic function. In a recent Nature Biotechnology paper we developed an E6/E7-based genetic switch that releases hepatocytes from growth arrest allowing the cells to expand upon exposure to OSM without losing metabolic function. E6/E7 hepatocytes are available commercially through Upcyte Technologies.

Stem cell-derived hepatocytes show an immature phenotype and limited metabolic capacity, remenicent of the fetal liver. In a recent Hepatology paper, we show that microbiome-derived secondary bile acids, drive the maturation hepatocyte drug metabolism. The resulting stem cell-derived hepatocytes show CYP450 activity and induction, and predict the toxicity values with accuracy of 97% .