Ian McKillopDepartment of General Surgery, Carolinas Medical Center
Adjunct Professor of Biology, University of North Carolina at Charlotte




Prior Positions and Experience

2007 - 2009
Tenured Associate Professor, Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Charlotte (Charlotte, NC)

2007 - 2009
Associate Professor, Department of Biology, University of North Carolinaat Charlotte (Charlotte, NC)

1999 - 2002
Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, University of Rochester (Rochester, NY)

1997 - 1999
Instructor, Department of Surgery, Georgetown University Medical Center (Washington DC)

1995 - 1997
Post-doctoral fellow, Department of Surgery, Georgetown University Medical Center (Washington DC)

Post-doctoral fellow, Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins Medical Center (Baltimore, MD)


PhD:1995, Department of Medicine, University of Sheffield (Sheffield, UK)
BSc (Dual Hons): 1991, Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Sheffield (Sheffield, UK)

Research Interests

Dr. McKillop’s laboratory studies normal liver physiology and pathophysiology of those liver diseases that lead to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development. To achieve these goals, the laboratory makes extensive use of cell biology techniques to better understand the aberrations in signal transduction pathways that occur in HCC that drive tumor development and progression. These studies address fundamental characteristics of cancer cells in the liver: the increased rate of cell growth following transformation, the inability of transformed cells to perform the physiological functions of the normal cell type and the (relative) resistance of cells to be deleted following transformation. Incorporated into these studies, Dr. McKillop’s laboratory also has a particular interest in the effects of alcohol as a possible accelerant during the development and/or progression of HCC.  From a translational aspect, Dr. McKillop works particularly closely with clinicians in the Divisions of HPB Surgery, Transplant Surgery and Hepatology to study human HCC development and progression. These studies involve the collection and analysis of patient data and outcomes to improve treatment strategies and translational studies to develop and improve surgical approaches to manage HCC.

Recent Publications

Simo KA, Niemeyer DJ, Hanna EM, Swet JH, Thompson KJ, Sindram D, Iannitti DA, Eheim AL, Zuckerman V, Mckillop IH. Altered lysophosphatidic acid receptor expression during hepatic regeneration. HPB. 2014;16(6); 534-542. PMID: 24750398

Swet JH, Pacheco HJ, Iannitti DA, El-Ghannam A, McKillop IH. A silica-calcium-phosphate nanocomposite drug delivery system for treatment of hepatocelullar carcinoma: In vivo study. J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater. 2014;102(1); 190-202. PMID: 23913418

Niemeyer DJ, Simo KA, Iannitti DA, Mckillop IH. Ablation therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma: Past, present, and future perspectives. Hepatic Oncology.  2014;1(1); 67-79. Doi:10.2217/hep.13.8

Simo KA, Mckillop IH, McMillan MT, Ahrens WA, Walters AL, Thompson KJ, Kuwada TS, Martinie JB, Iannitti DA, Gersin KS, Sindram D. Does a calculated “NAFLD fibrosis score" reliably negate the need for liver biopsy in patients undergoing bariatric surgery? Obes Surg. 2014;24(1); 15-21. PMID: 23934335

Simo KA, Tsirline VB, Sindram D, McMillan MT, Thompson KJ, Swan RZ, McKillop IH, Martinie JB, Iannitti DA. Microwave ablation using 915 MHz and 2.45 GHz Systems. What are the differences? HPB. 2013;15(12); 991-6. PMID: 23490330

Thompson KJ, Swan RZ, Walling TL, Iannitti DA, Mckillop IH, Sindram D. Obesity, but not ethanol, promotes tumor incidence and progression in a mouse model of hepatocellular carcinoma in vivo. Surg Endosc. 2013;27(8); 2782-91. PMID: 23468327

Curry JM, Thompson KJ, Rao SG, Besmer DM, Murphy AM, Grdzelishvili VZ, Ahrens WA, McKillop IH, Sindram D, Iannitti DA, Martinie JB, and Mukherjee P. The use of a novel MUC1 antibody to identify cancer stem cells and circulating MUC1 in mice and patients with pancreatic cancer. J Surg Oncol. 2013;107(7); 713-22. PMCD: PMC3880940

Sokolov E, Eheim AL, Ahrens WA, Walling TL, Swet JH, McMillan MT, Simo KA, Thompson KJ, Sindram D, McKillop IH. Lysophosphatidic acid receptor expression and function in human hepatocellular carcinoma. J Surg Res. 2013;180(1); 104-13. PMID: 23182454

Thompson KJ, Swan RZ, Iannitti DA, McKillop IH, Sindram D. Diet-induced obesity and ethanol impair progression of hepatocellular carcinoma in a murine mesenteric vein injection model. Surg Endosc. 2013;27(1);246-55.  PMID: 22806512

Brandon-Warner E, Schrum LW, Schmidt CM, McKillop IH. Rodent models of alcoholic liver disease: Of mice and men. Alcohol. 2012;46(8);715-25. PMCID: PMC3496818

Simo KA, McKillop IH, Ahrens WA, Martinie JB, Iannitti DA, Sindram D. Invasive Biliary Mucinous Cystic Neoplasm: A Review. HPB. 2012;14(11);725-40. PMCID: PMC3482668

Brandon-Warner E, Eheim AL, Foureau DM, Walling TL, Schrum LW, McKillop IH. Silibinin (Milk Thistle) potentiates ethanol-dependent hepatocellular carcinoma progression in male mice. Cancer Lett. 2012;326 (1); 88-95. PMCID: PMC3449310

Lakner AM, Steuerwald N, Walling, T, Ghosh, S, Li T, McKillop IH, Russo M, Bonkovsky HL, Schrum LW. Inhibitory effects of microRNA 19b in hepatic stellate cell-mediated fibrogenesis. Hepatology. 2012;56(1): 300-10. PMCID: PMC3342471

Brandon-Warner E, Walling T, Schrum LW, McKillop IH. Chronic ethanol feeding accelerates hepatocellular carcinoma progression in a sex-dependent manner in a mouse model of hepatocarcinogesis. Alcoholism Clin Exp Res. 2012;36(4):641-53. PMCID: PMC3288433

Vedantham K, Swet JH, McKillop IH, El Ghannam A. Evaluation of a bioresorbable, controlled release drug delivery system for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma. J Biomed Mater Res A. 2011;100A(2): 432-440.  PMID: 22105845

Current, Recent and Pending Grant Support

Grant Title: Next generation IRE technology for treating HCC
Funding Agency: Development Grant - Carolinas Healthcare Foundation
Role: Principal Investigator  
Years: 2014

Grant Title: Development of bioceramic scaffolds for use in hepatocellular carcinoma chemotherapy
Funding Agency: North Carolina Biotechnology Center – Multi-Center Grant [NCBC-MCG]
Role: Principal Investigator  
Years: 2011-2013

Grant Title: Characterization of Leucocyte Infiltrates in Liver Biopsies of Subjects with Drug-Induced Liver Injury (DILI)
Funding Agency: NIH Ancillary studies funds allocated to the DCC of DILIN grant
Role: Co-Investigator
Years: 2011 – 2012

Grant Title: Role of obesity and alcohol in hepatocellular carcinoma development and progression
Funding Agency: Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgery (SAGES)
Years: 2011-2012
Role: Co-Investigator

Grant Title: Effect of Alcohol on Hepatocellular Carcinoma Progression
Funding Agency: National Institute Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism/ NIH R21 Grant (R21 AA016858-01)
Role: Principal Investigator
Years: 2008–2010

Grant Title:  Acquisition of a Laser Capture Microscope system to enhance biotechnology research in the Charlotte region
Funding Agency:  Institutional Development Grant Proposal, North Carolina Biotechnology Center (NCBC)
Role: Co-Investigator
Year: 2009

Grant Title: Regulation of Benign and Malignant Hepatocyte Growth
Funding Agency: National Cancer Institute/ NIH R01 Grant (1RO1CA90895)
Role: Principal Investigator
Years: 2002–2006