Our Experts

Physician Profile

412-692-8038 Phone
412-692-3466 Fax

Farzad Esni, PhD

Job Title Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh
Job Title Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of Pittsburgh
Job Title Assistant Professor, Department of Developmental Biology, University of Pittsburgh
Job Title Principal Investigator, Pediatric Surgery, John G. Rangos Sr. Research Center, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
412-692-8038 Phone
412-692-3466 Fax

Education and Training

Medical School:

2000 PhD, Developmental Biology, Goteborg University, Sweden


2005 Post-doctoral Fellow, Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University


  • Society for Developmental Biology (SDB)
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • American Pancreatic Association (APA)


  • 2010 Hershberg Award for Best Abstract in Pancreatic Cancer


  • Criscimana, A., Speicher, J.A., & Esni, F. (2011). Pancreatic duct cells can give rise to mouse PanINs (Manuscript in Preparation).
  • Criscimanna, A., Speicher, J.A., Hartman, D.J., Fong, G.H., Gittes, G.K., Maitra, A., & Esni, F. (2011). HIF2-alpha, a regulator of Wnt-signaling during Kras-induced pancreatic neoplasia (Manuscript in preparation).
  • Criscimanna, A., Speicher, J.A., Houshmand, G., Shiota, C., Prasadan, K., Baoan Ji, Craig Logsdon, Gittes, G.K.,  & Esni, F. (2011). Duct cells contribute to regeneration of endocrine and acinar cells following pancreatic damage in adult mice. Gastroenterology (In Press)

Active Research Projects / Grants

  • Pancreatic Development and Regeneration
    Diabetes and pancreatic cancer are two major diseases linked to the pancreas. Type-1 diabetes is a syndrome defined by high blood glucose levels caused by reduction in number of insulin producing beta cells. A cure for diabetes will be achieved through replacement of beta cells. Pancreatic cancer is an almost uniformly fatal disease. Understanding the biology of pancreatic cancer and particularly, its precursor lesions, are prerequisites for the development of more sensitive early detection biomarkers and more potent therapeutic and chemopreventive strategies.

    Farzad Esni, PhD, and his team believe that research in developmental biology of the pancreas will ultimately provide the necessary tools for fighting these diseases.

    To this end, one of the ongoing aims of the lab is to identify the signal that orchestrates pancreatic cell differentiation. Another ongoing project is to study the dynamics of the adult pancreas in response to injury, which would enable us to better understand the cellular mechanisms behind pancreatic regeneration in general, and beta-cell regeneration in particular. Another current project is to study the role hypoxia inducible factors during pancreatic cancer progression.
  • Smad regulation of pancreatic islet formation
Last Update
October 15, 2013
  • Increase/Decrease Text Size
  • Print This Page
Last Update
October 15, 2013