Areas of Interest
One project is centered on development and homeostasis of the intestine: How does the intestine develop in the embryo? What factors account for its tremendous longitudinal growth? What signaling mechanisms underlie the formation of the intestinal villi (fingerlike projections that establish the enormous absorptive surface)? In adults, how does Hedgehog signaling modify inflammation in the intestine?
A second project grows from our recent discovery that single dissociated human pluripotent stem cells form apically polarized lumens upon the first cell division: What cellular machinery is responsible for this lumenogenesis phenomenon? How is lumenogenesis initiated? Does this event reflect the early formation of the epiblast cavity? Is this event relevant to organoid formation?