Digestive & Liver Diseases
“When our interdisciplinary research and programs bring together individuals with broad interests and diverse backgrounds, our collaborations lead to greater advances.”
is Co- Director of IRM Program in Digestive and Liver Diseases, and T. Grier Miller Professor of Medicine. Dr. Rustgi researches molecular genetics of gastro intestinal cancers including those originating from the esophagus, pancreas and colon.
is Co-Director of the IRM Program in Digestive and Liver Diseases, and Associate Professor of Medicine. Dr. Stanger’s lab uses the tools of developmental biology to address problems relevant to development, regenerative medicine and cancer.
is Co-Director of the IRM Program in Digestive and Liver Diseases, and Assistant Professor of Animal Biology in the School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Lengner researches the mechanisms by which both somatic and embryonic stem cells acquire and maintain developmental potency.
The IRM Program in Digestive and Liver Diseases works in partnership with a designated National Institute of Health Center (NIDDK) at the University of Pennsylvania. This program covers diseases and disorders affecting the esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, small intestine, and colon. The program’s scientific goals focus on the molecular controls of cellular growth and differentiation in digestive organs, including normal and disease states such as cancer, and developing new means of organ generation for transplantation. Stem cells in the digestive tract are among the most active in the body and they provide important examples for how stem cells in other tissues can be studied.
- Program members research esophageal diseases such as esophagitis, Barrett’s s esophagus and cancer (NCI P01 and U54 grants).
- IRM researchers investigate pancreatic diseases such as pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer (NIH R01 grants).
- Demonstrating that Dnmt1 is required in establishing the intestinal stem and progenitor cell population in postantal life
Dnmt1 is essential to maintain progenitors in the perinatal intestinal epithelium.
Elliott EN, Sheaffer KL, Schug J, Stappenbeck TS, Kaestner KH.
Development. 2015 Jun 15;142(12):2163-72. doi: 10.1242/dev.117341. Epub 2015 May 28
- Performing an in vivo parallel screen to identify factors that promote liver regeneration
A genetic screen reveals Foxa3 and TNFR1 as key regulators of liver repopulation.
Wangensteen KJ, Zhang S, Greenbaum LE, Kaestner KH.
Genes Dev. 2015 May 1;29(9):904-9. doi: 10.1101/gad.258855.115.
- The first evidence that bipotential hepatic progenitor cells are actually required in certain conditions of liver injury
Ablation of Foxl1-Cre-labeled hepatic progenitor cells and their descendants impairs recovery of mice from liver injury.
Shin S, Upadhyay N, Greenbaum LE, Kaestner KH.
Gastroenterology. 2015 Jan;148(1):192-202.e3. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2014.09.039. Epub 2014 Oct 5.
- Provided the epignomic basis for reprogramming potential of human endocrine cells, and demonstrated that epigenetic drugs can cause partial fate conversion of alpha to beta cellsEpigenomic plasticity enables human pancreatic α to β cell reprogramming.
Bramswig NC, Everett LJ, Schug J, Dorrell C, Liu C, Luo Y, Streeter PR, Naji A, Grompe M, Kaestner KH.
J Clin Invest. 2013 Mar;123(3):1275-84. doi: 10.1172/JCI66514. Epub 2013 Feb 22.
- Intestinal stem cell biology in colon cancer
- Liver regeneration
- Liver organ transplantation