Professor of Medicine and Cellular & Molecular Physiology
The primary goal of our current work is to identify and characterize intestinal stem cells. Although the presence of these cells has been inferred for many years, to date good methods for their isolation remain a challenge. We have deployed a novel sorting approach in order to isolate a population of putative intestinal stem cells. Current studies are exploring ways to further purify this population and developing a graft model to assess their capacity for in vivo proliferation and differentiation. We believe that ultimately the isolation and transplantation techniques developed in this project should have two applications: a) new therapies for various conditions in which the bowel is damaged; and b) use of the intestine as a site for gene therapy.