Dr. Shivdasani’s laboratory studies how gastrointestinal stem cells make the decision to stop behaving like a stem cell and instead to differentiate into a neuroendocrine cell that might someday become a neuroendocrine tumor cell. Dr. Shivdasani will study how epigenetic regulation controls the process by which a stem cell becomes a neuroendocrine cell and to identify how changes in epigenetic regulation can promote development of neuroendocrine tumors. Epigenetic regulators determine which genes are turned on or off under specific conditions in a cell. While genes contain the instructions for assembling proteins, it is through epigenetic regulation that cells are able to control whether or not these proteins are actually produced.
Kim TH, Li F, Ferreiro-Neira I, Ho LL, Luyten A, Nalapareddy K, Long H, Verzi M, Shivdasani RA. Broadly permissive intestinal chromatin underlies lateral inhibition and cell plasticity. Nature. 2014 Feb 27;506(7489):511-5. doi: 10.1038/nature12903. Epub 2014 Jan 12.