Digestive Health Center

  • Inflammatory and Diarrheal Diseases

    Kris A. Steinbrecher, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Department of Pediatrics; Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, & Nutrition
    Visit the Steinbrecher Lab Site

    Description of Research

    Dr. Steinbrecher’s research goal is to understand how cytoplasmic signaling pathways and gene expression are regulated in the intestine and to determine how this relates to the pathogenesis of enteric inflammation and cancer. His primary focus is the epithelial cell layer. He studies two specific aspects of epithelial cell biology. First, collaborative studies are aimed at determining how guanylate cyclase proteins and the second messenger cGMP control epithelial layer barrier function and gene expression. Second, he is investigating the role of a cellular signaling protein called GSK-3β in coordinating the interplay between multiple signal transduction pathways and transcription factors that control intestinal development, inflammation, and tumorigenesis. He is specifically interested in how GSK-3β regulates the activity of the transcription factor NF-κB.

    Collaborations and Core Use

    Dr. Steinbrecher collaborates with Dr. Cohen on mechanisms of guanylate cyclase C in enteric inflammation and intestinal epithelial gene expression. He also works with Dr. Hogan investigating the role of NFκB in regulating mucosal repair following gut injury. Anticipated use of Cores: Integrative Morphology, Gene and Protein Expression, and Bioinformatics Cores.

  • Research image.

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    Research image.

    Fibrin(ogen) supports colitis-associated adenoma formation. A, quantitation of the total number of adenomas observed per animal following azoxymethane /dextran sodium sulfate (AOM/DSS) challenge. Note that fibrinogen-deficient mice developed significantly fewer adenomas than control mice challenged in parallel. Shown are representative H&E-stained sections of adenomas harvested from Fib+ (B) and Fib− mice (C). High-power views (inset) show the loss of epithelial cell polarity, cell piling, and nuclear pleomorphism typical of adenomas. D, an unchallenged colon cut in the same plane is shown for comparison. Bars, 100 or 25 μm (insets). Figure from Cancer Res 2010;70:2634-2643.