Research Overview

Dr. Vakili is a surgeon who specializes in transplantation of liver, kidney, and intestines. His clinical practice also encompasses surgical treatment of liver tumors as well as various vascular procedures. Dr. Vakili’s basic science research involves liver regeneration, liver tumor biology, and liver tissue engineering.

Dr. Vakili is specifically interested in developing a better understanding of pediatric hepatocellular carcinoma biology with the aim of developing new therapies as no effective chemotherapeutic agents are currently available for this type of tumor. His approach involves an in-depth study of tumors from individual patients. Currently, significant efforts are underway in identifying key genetic changes and signaling pathways in liver tumor cells using patient-derived tumor samples.

Key Publications

  • Vakili K, Pomposelli JJ, Cheah YL, Akoad M, Lewis WD, Khettry U, Gordon FD, Khwaja K, Jenkins RL, Pomfret EA. Living-donor liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma: Increased recurrence but improved survival. Liver Transplantation. 2009; 15(12): 1861-6.
  • Kim HB, Vakili K, Modi BP, Ferguson M, Guillot AP, Potanos KM, Prabhu S, Fishman SJ. A Novel Treatment for Midaortic Syndrome. N Engl J Med. 2012 Dec 13; 367(24):2361-2.
  • Vakili K, Fullington NM, Cauley RP, Potanos KM, Lee SI, Turner CG, Ferguson M, Lock, JE, Kim HB. Aortomesenteric and Renal Allograft Transplant: A Novel Treatment for Midaortic Syndrome. American Journal of Transplantation. 2013 Apr; 13(4):1088-92.
  • Cauley RP, Vakili K, Potanos K, Fullington N, Graham DA, Finkelstein JA, Kim HB. Deceased donor liver transplantation in infants and small children: are partial grafts riskier than whole organs? Liver Transpl. 2013 Jul; 19(7):721-9.
  • Porras D, Stein DR, Ferguson MA, Chaudry G, Alomari A, Vakili K, Fishman SJ, Lock JE, Kim HB. Midaortic syndrome: 30 years of experience with medical, endovascular and surgical management.Pediatr Nephrol. 2013 Jun 18.
  • Bairdain S, Modi BP, Kim HB, Mooney DP, Durkin E, Vakili K. Pediatric blunt abdominal aortic injury and the use of intra-operative aortic ultrasound for surgical decision making. J Pediatr Surg. 2013 Jul; 48(7):1584-7.
  • Cauley RP, Vakili K, Fullington N, Potanos K, Graham DA, Finkelstein JA, Kim HB. Deceased-donor split-liver transplantation in adult recipients: Is the learning curve over? J Am Coll Surg. 2013 Oct; 217(4):672-684.
  • Vakili K and Kim HB. Partial esophageal transplant is possible as part of a multivisceral graft. Am J Transplant 2014 Mar;14(3):720-3.
  • Grijalva J, Huizenga M, Mueller K, Rodriguez S, Brazzo J, Camargo F, Sadri-Vakili G, Vakili K. Dynamic alterations in Hippo signaling pathway and YAP activation during liver regeneration. American Journal of Physiology: Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology. 2014 Jul 15; 307(2):G196-204.
  • Fullington N, Cauley R, Potanos K, O'Melia L, Kim, HB, Seefelder C, Vakili K. Immediate extubation after pediatric liver transplantation: A single center experience. Liver Transplantation. Liver Transplantation. 2015 Jan; 21(1):57-62.
  • Cauley R, Potanos K, Fullington N, Grijalva J, Graham D, Kim HB, Vakili K. The effect of graft type on mortality in liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma. Annals of Transplantation. Annals of Transplantation. 2015 Apr; 20:175-185.

Researcher Services

Researcher Areas

  • Liver tumor biology
  • Liver regeneration
  • Liver tissue engineering

Research Departments

PUBLICATIONS

Publications powered by Harvard Catalyst Profiles

  1. Mueller KA, Glajch KE, Huizenga MN, Wilson RA, Granucci EJ, Dios AM, Tousley AR, Iuliano M, Weisman E, LaQuaglia MJ, DiFiglia M, Kegel-Gleason K, Vakili K, Sadri-Vakili G. Hippo Signaling Pathway Dysregulation in Human Huntington's Disease Brain and Neuronal Stem Cells. Sci Rep. 2018 Jul 27; 8(1):11355. View abstract
  2. Ramos-Gonzalez G, LaQuaglia M, O'Neill AF, Elisofon S, Zurakowski D, Kim HB, Vakili K. Long-term outcomes of liver transplantation for hepatoblastoma: A single-center 14-year experience. Pediatr Transplant. 2018 Jun 11; e13250. View abstract
  3. Kim HB, Lee EJ, Vakili K, Stein DR, Ferguson MA, Porras D, Lock JE, Fynn-Thompson F, Fishman SJ. Mesenteric Artery Growth Improves Circulation (MAGIC) in Midaortic Syndrome. Ann Surg. 2018 Jun; 267(6):e109-e111. View abstract
  4. Warejko JK, Schueler M, Vivante A, Tan W, Daga A, Lawson JA, Braun DA, Shril S, Amann K, Somers MJG, Rodig NM, Baum MA, Daouk G, Traum AZ, Kim HB, Vakili K, Porras D, Lock J, Rivkin MJ, Chaudry G, Smoot LB, Singh MN, Smith ER, Mane SM, Lifton RP, Stein DR, Ferguson MA, Hildebrandt F. Whole Exome Sequencing Reveals a Monogenic Cause of Disease in ˜43% of 35 Families With Midaortic Syndrome. Hypertension. 2018 Apr; 71(4):691-699. View abstract
  5. Kim HB, Vakili K. To Split or Not to Split? That is No Longer the Question. J Pediatr. 2018 May; 196:12-13. View abstract
  6. Kim HB, Vakili K, Ramos-Gonzalez GJ, Stein DR, Ferguson MA, Porras D, Lock JE, Chaudry G, Alomari A, Fishman SJ. Tissue expander-stimulated lengthening of arteries for the treatment of midaortic syndrome in children. J Vasc Surg. 2018 06; 67(6):1664-1672. View abstract
  7. Lee E, Ramos-Gonzalez G, Rodig N, Elisofon S, Vakili K, Kim HB. Bilateral native nephrectomy to reduce oxalate stores in children at the time of combined liver-kidney transplantation for primary hyperoxaluria type 1. Pediatr Nephrol. 2018 May; 33(5):881-887. View abstract
  8. Cuenca AG, Kim HB, Vakili K. Pediatric liver transplantation. Semin Pediatr Surg. 2017 Aug; 26(4):217-223. View abstract
  9. Kloesel B, Kovatsis PG, Faraoni D, Young V, Kim HB, Vakili K, Goobie SM. Incidence and predictors of massive bleeding in children undergoing liver transplantation: A single-center retrospective analysis. Paediatr Anaesth. 2017 Jul; 27(7):718-725. View abstract
  10. Lee E, Hodgkinson N, Fawaz R, Vakili K, Kim HB. Multivisceral transplantation for abdominal tumors in children: A single center experience and review of the literature. Pediatr Transplant. 2017 Aug; 21(5). View abstract
  11. Sulemanji M, Vakili K, Zurakowski D, Tworetzky W, Fishman SJ, Kim HB. Umbilical Venous Catheter Malposition Is Associated with Necrotizing Enterocolitis in Premature Infants. Neonatology. 2017; 111(4):337-343. View abstract
  12. Minneman JA, Grijalva JL, LaQuaglia MJ, Kim HB, Rangel SJ, Vakili K. Variation in resource utilization in liver transplantation at freestanding children's hospitals. Pediatr Transplant. 2016 Nov; 20(7):921-925. View abstract
  13. LaQuaglia MJ, Grijalva JL, Mueller KA, Perez-Atayde AR, Kim HB, Sadri-Vakili G, Vakili K. YAP Subcellular Localization and Hippo Pathway Transcriptome Analysis in Pediatric Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Sci Rep. 2016 09 08; 6:30238. View abstract
  14. Valentino PL, Jonas MM, Lee CK, Kim HB, Vakili K, Elisofon SA. Outcomes after discontinuation of routine use of transanastomotic biliary stents in pediatric liver transplantation at a single site. Pediatr Transplant. 2016 Aug; 20(5):647-51. View abstract
  15. Fullington NM, Potanos KM, Cauley RP, Purcell P, Zurakowski D, Fishman SJ, Vakili K, Kim HB. Strain induced esophageal growth in a novel rodent model. J Pediatr Surg. 2016 Aug; 51(8):1273-8. View abstract
  16. Potanos K, Fullington N, Cauley R, Purcell P, Zurakowski D, Fishman S, Vakili K, Kim HB. Tissue expander stimulated lengthening of arteries (TESLA) induces early endothelial cell proliferation in a novel rodent model. J Pediatr Surg. 2016 Apr; 51(4):617-21. View abstract
  17. Cauley RP, Potanos K, Fullington N, Grijalva J, Graham DA, Kim HB, Vakili K. The effect of graft type on mortality in liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma. Ann Transplant. 2015 Mar 30; 20:175-85. View abstract
  18. Fullington NM, Cauley RP, Potanos KM, O'Melia L, Zurakowski D, Bae Kim H, Seefelder C, Vakili K. Immediate extubation after pediatric liver transplantation: a single-center experience. Liver Transpl. 2015 Jan; 21(1):57-62. View abstract
  19. Grijalva JL, Huizenga M, Mueller K, Rodriguez S, Brazzo J, Camargo F, Sadri-Vakili G, Vakili K. Dynamic alterations in Hippo signaling pathway and YAP activation during liver regeneration. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2014 Jul 15; 307(2):G196-204. View abstract
  20. Vakili K, Kim HB. Partial esophageal transplantation is possible as part of a multivisceral graft. Am J Transplant. 2014 Mar; 14(3):720-3. View abstract
  21. Sulemanji M, Vakili K. Neonatal renal physiology. Semin Pediatr Surg. 2013 Nov; 22(4):195-8. View abstract
  22. Grijalva J, Vakili K. Neonatal liver physiology. Semin Pediatr Surg. 2013 Nov; 22(4):185-9. View abstract
  23. Cauley RP, Vakili K, Fullington N, Potanos K, Graham DA, Finkelstein JA, Kim HB. Deceased-donor split-liver transplantation in adult recipients: is the learning curve over? J Am Coll Surg. 2013 Oct; 217(4):672-684.e1. View abstract
  24. Cauley RP, Vakili K, Potanos K, Fullington N, Graham DA, Finkelstein JA, Kim HB. Deceased donor liver transplantation in infants and small children: are partial grafts riskier than whole organs? Liver Transpl. 2013 Jul; 19(7):721-9. View abstract
  25. Bairdain S, Modi BP, Kim HB, Mooney DP, Durkin E, Vakili K. Pediatric blunt abdominal aortic injury and the use of intra-operative aortic ultrasound for surgical decision making. J Pediatr Surg. 2013 Jul; 48(7):1584-7. View abstract
  26. Porras D, Stein DR, Ferguson MA, Chaudry G, Alomari A, Vakili K, Fishman SJ, Lock JE, Kim HB. Midaortic syndrome: 30 years of experience with medical, endovascular and surgical management. Pediatr Nephrol. 2013 Oct; 28(10):2023-33. View abstract
  27. Cauley RP, Potanos K, Fullington N, Lillehei C, Vakili K, Kim HB. Reno-portal anastomosis as an approach to pediatric kidney transplantation in the setting of inferior vena cava thrombosis. Pediatr Transplant. 2013 May; 17(3):E88-92. View abstract
  28. Vakili K, Fullington NM, Turner CG, Cauley RP, Potanos KM, Lee S, Ferguson M, Lock JE, Kim HB. Aorto-mesenteric and renal allograft transplant: a novel treatment for midaortic syndrome. Am J Transplant. 2013 Apr; 13(4):1088-1092. View abstract
  29. Kim HB, Vakili K, Modi BP, Ferguson MA, Guillot AP, Potanos KM, Prabhu SP, Fishman SJ. A novel treatment for the midaortic syndrome. N Engl J Med. 2012 Dec 13; 367(24):2361-2. View abstract
  30. Cauley RP, Suh MY, Kamin DS, Lillehei CW, Jenkins RL, Jonas MM, Vakili K, Kim HB. Multivisceral transplantation using a 2.9 kg neonatal donor. Pediatr Transplant. 2012 Dec; 16(8):E379-82. View abstract
  31. Vakili K, Pomposelli JJ, Cheah YL, Akoad M, Lewis WD, Khettry U, Gordon F, Khwaja K, Jenkins R, Pomfret EA. Living donor liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma: Increased recurrence but improved survival. Liver Transpl. 2009 Dec; 15(12):1861-6. View abstract
  32. Vakili K, Pomfret EA. Biliary anatomy and embryology. Surg Clin North Am. 2008 Dec; 88(6):1159-74, vii. View abstract
  33. Moulton KS, Vakili K, Zurakowski D, Soliman M, Butterfield C, Sylvin E, Lo KM, Gillies S, Javaherian K, Folkman J. Inhibition of plaque neovascularization reduces macrophage accumulation and progression of advanced atherosclerosis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Apr 15; 100(8):4736-41. View abstract
  34. Steingard RJ, Yurgelun-Todd DA, Hennen J, Moore JC, Moore CM, Vakili K, Young AD, Katic A, Beardslee WR, Renshaw PF. Increased orbitofrontal cortex levels of choline in depressed adolescents as detected by in vivo proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Biol Psychiatry. 2000 Dec 01; 48(11):1053-61. View abstract
  35. Vakili K, Pillay SS, Lafer B, Fava M, Renshaw PF, Bonello-Cintron CM, Yurgelun-Todd DA. Hippocampal volume in primary unipolar major depression: a magnetic resonance imaging study. Biol Psychiatry. 2000 Jun 15; 47(12):1087-90. View abstract