Noah F. Shroyer, PhD
Department of Pediatrics; Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, & Nutrition
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Description of Research
Dr. Shroyer studies cellular networks that maintain epithelial homeostasis in the intestinal tract. In the intestinal epithelium, the balance between proliferation and apoptosis within the crypts of Lieberkuhn maintains villus height and crypt depth. Within the crypts, stem cells produce both absorptive and secretory cells. Several genes have been implicated in this process, but delineation of an ordered hierarchy for control of intestinal epithelial differentiation is lacking. One gene in this hierarchy, Math1/Atoh1, is required for secretory lineage development as demonstrated by findings in mice lacking Atoh1, which produce absorptive enterocytes but none of the secretory lineages. Dr. Shroyer hypothesizes that Atoh1 dependent secretory lineages are required locally for proliferative homeostasis in the intestine, and that delineation of the genetic pathway for secretory lineage differentiation will clarify the mechanism of intestinal epithelial homeostasis. He is currently examining the mechanisms by which Atoh1 functions as a tumor suppressor, and how it can be therapeutically targeted for cancer treatment. He is also actively elucidating the transcriptional network that regulates epithelial development, differentiation, and homeostasis. Several genes within this network, including SPDEF, Gfi1, and Klf5, are under current investigation.
Dr. Shroyer collaborates with Dr. Montrose in studies of cell death and extrusion (anoikis) within the intestinal epithelium, with Dr. Whitsett investigating the roles of SPDEF and KLF5 in regulating intestinal epithelial cell differentiation and homeostasis, with Dr. Wells in directing differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells into intestinal tissue in vitro, and with Dr. Helmrath to investigate cell therapeutics for intestinal failure. Anticipated Core use: Integrative Morphology Core, Gene and Protein Expression Core, and Bioinformatics Core.