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Paige Vega

Tennessee Technological University

Ken Lau lab

The intestinal epithelium contains several cell types that confer essential functions such as nutrient absorption and mucosal barrier maintenance.  Paneth cells are a type of intestinal epithelial cell that help maintain homeostasis by secreting antimicrobial peptides, but also support the stem cell niche.  Furthermore, recent studies have shown that Paneth cells are capable of dedifferentiation and can be reprogrammed into other differentiated cell types.  We aim to use experimental and computational approaches to investigate the contribution of dedifferentiated and reprogrammed Paneth cells to inflammatory bowel disease pathogenesis.