Ben Woolbright, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow - Jaeschke Lab
B.S. in Biology, University of Kansas, 2006
Ph.D. in Toxicology, University of Kansas Medical Center, 2015

Born in Arkansas, but raised in Kansas, I graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.S. in Biology in 2006. I started my research career as a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Pathology at Virginia Commonwealth University in the labs of Dr. Matthew Beckman, and subsequently Dr. Rakesh Kukreja, studying stem cell biology with the hope of enhancing the efficacy of stem cell transplantation therapy. I recently moved back to Kansas City to continue my education in the lab of Dr. Hartmut Jaeschke, pursuing a degree in Toxicology.

Research Interests

My interests scientifically are typically whatever I am doing in the moment. I enjoy Science more because of the process and the pursuit rather than for any one single interest. My hope is to be able to make a significant contribution to the field in some area that will directly impact quality of life for mankind.

Currently I am involved in a number of projects in the Jaeschke lab, however my main interest lies in the role of the neutrophil in cholestatic injury. Cholestasis is a part of multiple different pathologies including obstruction of the common bile duct, primary biliary cirrhosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis and intrahepatic familial cholestasis, and arises from different etiologies depending on which disease process is involved. While our lab has firmly established the neutrophil as a key mediator of cholestatic injury in extrahepatic cholestasis, we are currently trying to better define the role of the neutrophil in other models of cholestasis, as well as define new therapeutic targets for prevention of neutrophil mediated hepatic injury without complete immune suppression. To this end we employ multiple models of neutrophilic injury in the mouse, including surgical and nonsurgical models of cholestasis.


Woolbright BL, Ramachandran A, McGill MR, Yan HM, Bajt ML, Sharpe MR, Lemasters JJ, Jaeschke H. Lysosomal instability and cathepsin B release during acetaminophen hepatotoxicity. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2012 Dec;111:417-25.

Woolbright BL, Jaeschke H. Novel insight into mechanisms of cholestatic liver injury. World J Gastroenterol. 2012 Sep 28;18:4985-93.

Woolbright BL, Antoine DJ, Jenkins RE, Bajt ML, Park BK, Jaeschke H. Plasma biomarkers of liver injury and inflammation demonstrate a lack of apoptosis during obstructive cholestasis in mice. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2013 Dec 15;273:524-31.

Woolbright BL, Li F, Xie Y, Farhood A, Fickert P, Trauner M, and Jaeschke H. Lithocholic acid feeding results in direct hepato-toxicity independent of neutrophil function in mice. Toxicol Lett. 2014 Jul 3;228:56-66.

Woolbright BL, McGill MR, Staggs VS, Winefield RD, Gholami P, Olyaee M, Sharpe MR, Curry SC, Lee WM, Jaeschke H, and the ALF Study Group. Circulating Bile Acid Levels as Prognostic Biomarkers in Acetaminophen-induced Acute Liver Failure Patients. Toxicol Sci. 2014 Dec;142:436-44. 

Woolbright BL, Dorko K, Antoine DJ, Clarke JI, Gholami P, Li F, Kumer SC, Schmitt TM, Forster J, Fan F, Jenkins RE, Park BK, Hagenbuch B, Olyaee M, Jaeschke H. Bile acid-induced necrosis in primary human hepatocytes and in patients with obstructive cholestasis. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2015 Jan 28;283:168-177. 

Woolbright BL, Jaeschke H. Sterile inflammation in the liver: myth or mystery? Expert Rev Gastro Hepatol. Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2015 Aug;9(8):1027-9. 

Woolbright BL, McGill MR, Yan HM, Jaeschke H. Bile Acid Induced Toxicity in HepaRG Cells Recapitulates the Response in Primary Human Hepatocytes. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2015 Jul 14.

Last modified: Jul 31, 2015



Ben Woolbright, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow - Jaeschke Lab

4020 HLSIC; MS 1018
3901 Rainbow Blvd.
Kansas City, Kansas 66160

P: (913) 588-9184
F: (913) 588-7501