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Linda Samuelson

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Primary Appointment: Molec & Integrative Physiology
Primary PIBS Dept.: Molecular and Integrative Physiology
PubMed Name: samuelson lc
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  Dr. Samuelson’s research program examines the development and function of epithelial cells in stomach and intestine. We are interested in how basic developmental pathways, growth factors and immune modulators function to regulate epithelial cell proliferation and differentiation in normal physiology and disease. Our approach is to use genetically engineered mouse models and mouse and human organ culture systems to interrogate pathways regulating stem cell function and epithelial cell homeostasis. Recent studies have focused on the importance of Notch signaling for regulating stem and progenitor cells. In the intestine, we have determined that Notch plays a fundamental role in cell lineage choice between absorptive enterocytes and secretory cell types (goblet, endocrine, Paneth). These studies identified Atoh1 and Neurogenin3 as key transcriptional effectors regulating secretory cell differentiation. More recent findings demonstrate a distinct function for Notch signaling to maintain the intestinal stem cell. We have also shown that Notch regulates cellular proliferation and cell fate determination in the stomach, thus suggesting that this signaling pathway plays a fundamental role for epithelial cell renewal in the gastrointestinal tract. Our current efforts include developing human organoid systems to translate our understanding of gastrointestinal stem cells to human function and disease.