Dan A. Wiginton, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Pediatrics; Division of Developmental Biology
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Description of Research

Research in the Wiginton lab focuses on in vivo mechanisms of gene regulation controlling development of the small intestine and cell differentiation along the crypt-villus axis of the small intestinal epithelium. Dr. Wiginton is currently studying the role of Onecut factors (OC-2 and OC-3) in the network that regulates profiles of gene expression along the various physical and temporal axes of the small intestine. Significant changes in gene expression are observed during the final stages of development in the small intestinal epithelium. These changes are critical to the developmental process and to establishment of the functional adult epithelium in its final form. Little is understood about how these temporal and developmental changes are orchestrated and regulated, but OC-2 appears to play a vital role. Mice in which the OC-2 factor has been ablated fail to thrive and are have increased morbidity and mortality. The genetic and metabolic basis for this is a subject of great interest to the Wiginton lab. Microarray studies with these mice have shown significant changes in the timing and level of expression for a variety of intestinal genes that are critical to normal function of the epithelium, especially the epithelial membrane.



Dr. Wiginton collaborates with Dr. Aronow in examining the Onecut gene expression and function in the intestine and intestinal cell lines. Anticipated Core use: Integrative Morphology Core, Gene and Protein Expression Core, and Bioinformatics Core.