Genetic Modeling of Foregut Stem Cells and Diseases
Research in the Que lab is focused on the molecular and cellular mechanisms controlling proliferation and differentiation of stem/progenitor cells. We are particularly interested in how these mechanisms operate in tissue stem cells, for example, stem cells in the esophagus. We think a better understanding of the relevant mechanisms will yield important insights into clinical problems including Eosinophilic esophagitis, Barrett's esophagus and esophageal cancers. Knowledge obtained through in vivo mouse and in vitro tissue modeling will also inform normal mechanisms maintaining stem cells in other tissues.
We are also interested in signaling pathways and transcription factors regulating pulmonary vasculature development. Previous studies focused on lung branching morphogenesis have provided important insights into epithelial development. However, very little is known about how mesenchymal cells contribute to lung vasculature, especially during the early stage of lung development. Knowledge into relevant events is critical because many of structural and functional abnormalities of pulmonary vasculature begin during the very early stages.
Key questions to address:
- How self-renewal and differentiation of stem cells are controlled at the cellular and molecular level?
- How stem cell abnormalities are involved in the development of eosinophilic esophagitis and esophageal cancer?
- How blood vessels are built and maintained in the lung?
Current Research Projects
The Que lab is happy to accept rotation students at this time. A variety of projects in studying both embryonic and adult esophagus are available. For more information please contact Dr. Que.
- Gpr177 regulates pulmonary vasculature development. Development. 140, 3589-94. (2013 Sep 01).
- The multiple roles for Sox2 in stem cell maintenance and tumorigenesis. Cell Signal. 25, 1264-71. (2013 May 01).
- Sox2 cooperates with inflammation-mediated Stat3 activation in the malignant transformation of foregut basal progenitor cells. Cell Stem Cell. 12, 304-15. (2013 Mar 07).