Assistant Professor of Research Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of USC
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The focus of our research is to understand the drivers of tissue and cellular remodeling in intestinal inflammatory disease (e.g., ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease). Learning how to harness these processes will allow for the development of new tools and techniques to limit chronic inflammation, promote intestinal health, and prevent disease.

Through collaboration with physicians and scientists at The Saban Research Institute, we aim to understand the basic biological processes that shape the intestinal epithelium in response to injury and inflammation. By addressing these fundamental questions, we hope to identify targets that will drive the development of next generation therapeutics for intestinal disease.

Education

Graduate School: 

2014 PhD, Gastrointestinal physiology; University of Cincinnati

Fellowship: 

2014 - 2021 Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Gastroenterology, USC, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

    Accomplishments

    Professional Memberships: 

    American Gastroenterological Association

    American Physiological Society

    Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation

    Awards: 

    2015-18 Research Fellowship Award, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation

    2018-21 Career Development Award, Crohn's & Colitis Foundation

    2021-23 NIH Pediatrics Research LRP

    2022 Early Career Author Prize, American Journal of Physiology GI & Liver

     

    Publications: 

    Sprouty2 limits intestinal tuft and goblet cell numbers through GSK3ß-mediated restriction of epithelial IL-33 Nat Commun. 2021 02 05; 12(1):836. . View in PubMed

    NRG4-ErbB4 signaling represses proinflammatory macrophage activity Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2021 06 01; 320(6):G990-G1001. . View in PubMed

    Growth Factors in the Intestinal Tract in Physiology of the Gastrointestinal Tract 2018; 71-101. . View in PubMed

    ErbB4 signaling stimulates pro-inflammatory macrophage apoptosis and limits colonic inflammation Cell Death Dis. 2017 02 23; 8(2):e2622. . View in PubMed

     

    Research Interests: 

    We study the immune and epithelial mechanisms driving tissue remodeling in the gastrointestinal tract. The cellular composition of the intestinal tract is dynamically regulated to appropriately respond to injury, inflammation, and infection. However, the factors driving these tissue changes are not well known. Inadequate responses to insult can result in acute and long-term disease. As these responses are often further impaired by chronic injury and inflammation, as seen in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), we hope to better understand how to regulate these processes and halt disease.

    In particular, we are working to address fundamental questions of how immune signals in the intestinal tract interact with stem and crypt base secretory cells (e.g., deep crypt secretory cells) to promote intestinal health and the response to disease. Despite demonstrations of altered colonic secretory cell numbers in IBD, the mechanisms regulating these cells and their function are poorly understood. We hope to better understand the basic biology and regulatory mechanisms driving these cellular changes in colitis.

    Projects in the lab focus on understanding:

    1. Immune drivers of epithelial cell plasticity during intestinal inflammatory disease
    2. Regulators of colonic secretory cell function and production of host defense peptides

    4650 Sunset Blvd.
    Los Angeles, CA 90027