Our lab is interested in understanding critical cellular and molecular events controlled by the Hippo and Wnt signaling pathways in the liver. We are exploiting approaches of genetics, biochemistry and genomics to gain better understanding of hepatobiology and liver cancer. Our research efforts are focused on the following directions: (1) define the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying regulation of hepatocyte proliferation and differentiation by Hippo and Wnt signaling; (2) define the roles of Hippo and Wnt signaling in shaping tumor immune microenvironment, and (3) develop therapeutic strategies to treat liver cancer. It has been long hypothesized that cancer originated at sites of chronic inflammation and recent studies have expanded the concept that inflammation is a critical component of tumor progression. The tumor microenvironment, largely orchestrated by inflammatory cells, is an indispensable participant in the neoplastic process, fostering proliferation, survival and migration. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a primary malignancy of the liver, is a major health problem, being the fifth most common cancer and second leading cause of cancer deaths in the world. In most cases, human HCC is driven by chronic liver inflammation caused by activation of many types of inflammatory cells due to chronic viral hepatitis, metabolic liver diseases and alcohol abuse. The recently discovered tumor suppressive Hippo signaling pathway has gained great interest as being critical regulators of cancer progression and our lab has performed extensive studies in understanding the roles of Hippo signaling in liver cancer biology.