Timothy R. Billiar, M.D.

Fax: 412-647-3247

F1281 Presbyterian University Hospital

200 Lothrop Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Chair, Department of Surgery, George Vance Foster Endowed Professor, Distinguished Professor of Surgery


Timothy R. Billiar, M.D., has served as the George Vance Foster Professor and Chair in the Department of Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine since 1999. Dr. Billiar completed his surgical residency at the University of Minnesota and the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Billiar’s research has also been recognized with membership in the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences.


BA Natural Sciences, Doane College, NE

MD Medicine, University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine

Research Summary

Dr. Billiar has had a long-standing interest in the mechanisms involved in acute cellular and organ injury in inflammatory states such as shock, trauma, and sepsis. His laboratory focuses research in two main areas. The first area investigates innate immune mechanisms leading to activation of inflammation following acute cellular and organ damage. There is a special emphasis on damage associated molecular pattern molecules (DAMPs) and pattern recognition receptors (PRR) in this response. Model systems include organ ischemia and reperfusion, as well as systemic insults such as shock and tissue trauma. Analysis includes markers of inflammation, the immunological consequences of injury and inflammation, mechanisms of organ injury and genome wide studies.
The second area of investigation includes examining pathways leading to cell death in hepatocytes. This work stems from Dr. Billiar’s long-standing interest in the actions of nitric oxide in the liver, and has led to an interest in understanding how cells such as hepatocytes regulate responses to both protective and damaging stimuli. The work involves both in vitro and in vivo systems. Dr. Billiar is also credited with initially cloning the human nitric oxide synthase gene.
Dr. Billiar’s laboratory is currently funded by the NIH to investigate both research areas, including a Trauma Center Grant and a T32 training grant. He also holds seven U.S. patents associated with his research. The goal of all his research is to define mechanisms and identify therapeutic targets.

Lab Affiliation

Lab Role



Mast cells play a critical role in the systemic inflammatory response and end-organ injury resulting from trauma.  Cai C, Cao Z, Loughran PA, Kim S, Darwiche S, Korff S, Billiar TR.  J Am Coll Surg. 2011 Nov;213(5):604-15. Epub 2011 Sep 14.  PMID:21920785 | View Publication

Transcriptomic response of murine liver to severe injury and hemorrhagic shock: a dual-platform microarray analysis.  Edmonds RD, Vodovotz Y, Lagoa C, Dutta-Moscato J, Yang Y, Fink MP, Levy RM, Prince JM, Kaczorowski DJ, Tseng GC, Billiar TR.  Physiol Genomics. 2011 Oct 20;43(20):1170-83. Epub 2011 Aug 9. PMID:21828244 | View Publication

Characterization of DISC formation and TNFR1 translocation to mitochondria in TNF-α-treated hepatocytes. Eum HA, Vallabhaneni R, Wang Y, Loughran PA, Stolz DB, Billiar TR. Am J Pathol. 2011 Sep;179(3):1221-9. Epub 2011 Jul 8. PMID:21741934 | View Publication

Systemic inflammation and liver injury following hemorrhagic shock and peripheral tissue trauma involve functional TLR9 signaling on bone marrow-derived cells and parenchymal cells.  Gill R, Ruan X, Menzel CL, Namkoong S, Loughran P, Hackam DJ, Billiar TR. Shock. 2011 Feb;35(2):164-70. PMID:20577143 | View Publication

Pivotal advance: The pattern recognition receptor ligands lipopolysaccharide and polyinosine-polycytidylic acid stimulate factor B synthesis by the macrophage through distinct but overlapping mechanisms. Kaczorowski DJ, Afrazi A, Scott MJ, Kwak JH, Gill R, Edmonds RD, Liu Y, Fan J, Billiar TR. J Leukoc Biol. 2010 Oct;88(4):609-18. Epub 2010 Apr 22. PMID:20413727 | View Publication