The research in our lab focuses on how the esophagus is formed in the embryo and how it is maintained in the adult. We are particularly interested in the molecular mechanisms by which signaling pathways and transcription factors regulate the stem cell population of stratified epithelium lining the lumen.
The transcription factor Sox2 for the homeostasis of the adult esophagus
Previously we showed Sox2 plays key roles for the differentiation of progenitor cells in the developing esophagus. In adult Sox2 is expressed exclusively in basal stem cells of the esophagus. We will determine whether this transcription factor continues to play important roles for maintaining the stratified epithelium.
Signaling pathways for the maintenance of stem cell in the esophagus
Signaling pathways such as Bmp and Wnt regulate stem cells in several tissues including intestine, and we showed BMP plays key roles for the morphogenesis of the esophagus. Now we ask whether these signaling pathways also regulate stem cells in the adult esophagus.
We are also interested in understanding how the esophagus is generated from the early foregut endoderm and how it eventually becomes a functional tube late on. We have several mouse lines that have an abnormal esophagus, and we will determine underlying molecular mechanisms.
University of Rochester
601 Elmwood Ave., Box 633
Rochester, NY 14642
Office: MRB 2nd floor
Technician wanted! Send your CV to jianwen_que @urmc.rochester.edu.
The lab is happy to accept rotation students at this time. A variety of projects in studying both embryonic and adult esophagus are available.