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Moses Turkle Bility, PhD

Assistant Professor, Infectious Diseases and Microbiology


2136 Parran Hall, 130 DeSoto Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15261
R-znvy: zgovyvgl@cvgg.rqh
Primary Phone: 967-193-3503
Secondary Phone: 369-026-7661
Fax: 967-838-3471

Personal Statement

Over 500 million people worldwide are infected with chronic liver pathogens including chronic hepatitis viruses and zoonotic liver flukes, which leads to severe liver diseases. Additionally, several studies have demonstrated that HIV co-infection exacerbate chronic HBV/HCV-induced liver diseases, resulting in increased mortality. The increased prevalence of obesity and metabolic syndrome - associated non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in the United States and other developed countries also contributes to the global liver disease burden, with approximately 25% of the US population affected. The development of therapeutics against these diseases has been hindered by the lack of robust small animal models that accurately recapitulates human disease; in most cases rodents are not susceptible to infections or are resistant to disease. The lack of robust small animal models of human infectious diseases also poses a major hindrance in studying emerging diseases such as Zika virus and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. 

Innate immune cells infiltration including macrophage infiltration is a major component of the inflammatory milieu associated with chronic liver infections, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and most human infections. Importantly, macrophages play a critical role in innate immune response, modulating gut microbiota, macronutrients (i.e. iron, lipids, etc) sensing and metabolism, tissue integrity/ remodeling; therefore, elucidating the role of macrophage activation in human infectious diseases and metabolic syndrome associated diseases will provide novel insight into the mechanisms of immune dysregulation and tissue pathogenesis. 

The Bility lab is broadly interested in elucidating the role of macrophage polarization in human infectious diseases and obesity/metabolic syndrome associated diseases utilizing humanized mouse models carrying autologous functional human immune system, human liver cells and other human organ systems along with strong emphasis on collaborative translational research with clinical investigators.  

Major research efforts are: 1) Elucidating the role of macrophage polarization in chronic liver infections (HBV, HCV, liver fluke), HIV-hepatitis virus co-infections and associated liver diseases; 2) Elucidating the nexus between macrophage polarization and gut microbiota in fatty diet-induced non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and associated liver diseases; 3) Developing humanized mouse model for human diseases, including viral hepatitis, HIV, arbovirus, etc.

In addition to his biomedical research, Dr. Bility also has strong interests in health security and pandemic/disaster response and management. Dr. Bility has extensive training and expertise in medical planning and operations for various contingencies including pandemic, chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) disaster events in both domestic and international conditions.


2000 - 2004 | The Pennsylvania State University | Bachelor of Science
2004 - 2008 | The Pennsylvania State University | Doctor of Philosophy
2009 - 2012 | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Postdoctoral Fellow 

Selected Publications

Bility MT, Nio K, Li F, McGivern DR, Lemon SM, Feeney ER, Chung RT, Su L (2016). Chronic hepatitis C infection-induced liver fibrogenesis is associated with M2 macrophage activation. Sci Rep. 2016 Dec 21;6:39520.

Cheng L, Li F, Bility MT, Murphy CM, Su L (2015).  Modeling hepatitis B virus infection, immunopathology and therapy in mice. Antiviral Res.  6:39520.

Bility MT, Curtis A, Su L (2014).  A chimeric mouse model to study immunopathogenesis of HCV infection. Methods Mol Biol.  1213:379-388.

Bility MT, Cheng L, Zhang L, Luan Y, Li F, Chi L, Tu Z, Zhang L, Fu Y, Niu J, Fusheng W, and Su L (2014).  Hepatitis B virus infection and immunopathogenesis in a humanized mouse model: induction of human specific liver fibrosis and M2-like macrophages. Plos Pathogens.

Bility MT and Sripa B (2014).  Chronic Opisthorchis viverrini infection and associated  hepatobiliary disease is associated with iron loaded – M2 macrophages. Korean Journal of Parasitology.   52:695-699.

Bility MT, Li F, Cheng L and Su L (2013).  Liver immune-pathogenesis and therapy of human liver tropic virus infection in humanized mouse models. J Gastroenterol Hepatol.  Suppl.  1:120-124.

Bility MT, Zhang L, Washburn ML, Curtis A, Kovalev GI and Su L (2012). Generation of humanized mouse with both immune system and human liver cells: a model for hepatitis C virus infection and    immunopathogenesis. Nature Protocols.  7:1608-1617.

Washburn ML, Bility MT, Kovalev GI, Zhang L, Buntzman A, Frelinger JA, Barry W, Ploss A, Rice CM, and Su L (2011).   A Humanized Mouse Model to Study Hepatitis C Virus Infection, Immune Response, and Liver Disease. Gastroenterology 140(4):1334-1344.

Borland MG, Krishnan P, Lee C, Albrecht PP, Shan W, Bility MT, Marcus CB, Lin JM, Amin S, Gonzalez FJ, Perdew GH, Peters JM (2014).  Modulation of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR)-dependent signaling by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor β/δ (PPARβ/δ) in keratinocytes. Carcinogenesis.  35:1602-1612.

Zhu B, Ferry CH, Blazanin N, Bility MT, Khozoie C, Kang BH, Glick AB, Gonzalez FJ, Peters JM (2014).   PPARβ/δ promotes HRAS-induced senescence and tumor suppression by potentiating p-ERK and repressing p-AKT signaling. Oncogene.33:5348-5359.

Bility MT, Zhu B, Gonzalez FJ, Peters JM (2010).  Ligand activation of peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-β/δ (PPARβ/δ) and inhibition of cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2) enhances inhibition of skin tumorigenesis. Toxicological Sciences 113:27-36.

Bility MT, Devlin MK, Blazanin N, Glick AB, Billin AN, Willson TM, Ward JM, Gonzalez FJ, Peters JM (2008).  Ligand activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-b/d (PPARb/d) inhibits skin carcinogenesis. Carcinogenesis 29:2406-2414.

Shan W, Nicol CJ, Ito S, Bility MT, Kennett MJ, Ward JM, Gonzalez FJ, Peters JM (2008).  Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-beta/delta protects against chemically induced liver toxicity in mice. Hepatology. 47:225-235.

Burdick AD, Bility MT, Girroir EE, Billin AN, Willson TM, Gonzalez FJ, Peters JM (2007).  Ligand activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-beta/delta (PPARbeta/delta) inhibits cell growth of human N/TERT-1 keratinocytes. Cell Signaling 19:1163-1171.

Kim DJ, Bility MT, Billin AN, Willson TM, Gonzalez FJ, Peters JM (2006). PPARbeta/delta selectively induces differentiation and inhibits cell proliferation. Cell Death Differ.13:53-60.

Bility MT, Thompson JT, McKee RH, David RM, Butala JH, Vanden Heuvel JP, Peters JM (2004).  Activation of mouse and human peroxisome proliferator- activated receptors (PPARs) by phthalate monoesters. Toxicol Sci 82:170-182.

Moses Turkle Bility
© 2018 by University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

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