Stephen D. Zucker, MD
Associate Professor
Gastroenterology Fellowship Program Director
Department of Internal Medicine; Division of Digestive Diseases

Description of Research

The focus of Dr. Zucker’s research is on elucidating the physiological functions of unconjugated bilirubin. Current work specifically examines the role of bilirubin both as an endogenous anti-inflammatory agent and in the chemoprevention of colorectal cancer. Dr. Zucker has demonstrated that bilirubin decreases the viability of colon cancer cells in vitro through the induction of apoptosis, and that this effect is mediated through activation of the mitochondrial pathway. Bilirubin treatment is well tolerated in vivo, and is associated with a marked reduction in tumor number in animal models. It is anticipated that his ongoing studies will provide new insight into the role that bilirubin plays in the regulation of inflammation and in the modulation of intestinal tumorigenesis.

Collaborations and Core Use

Dr. Zucker collaborates with Dr. Sherman on studies examining the association between serum bilirubin levels and the incidence of colorectal cancer and the effect of highly active retroviral therapy on the hepatic metabolism of drugs and xenobiotics. Projection of Core use: Integrative Morphology Core.