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Stem cell dynamics in intestinal and biliary epithelia

Speaker Name: 
Adam Gracz
Speaker Title: 
Assistant Professor, Department of Genetics & Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease
Speaker Organization: 
University of North Carolina
Start Time: 
Monday, March 4, 2019 - 10:45am
End Time: 
Monday, March 4, 2019 - 11:45am
Biomed 200
Chris Vollmers


Our lab is interested in understanding the role of chromatin in regulating stem cell function, including self-renewal, differentiation, and plasticity, in the intestinal epithelium. To do this, we use a Sox9EGFP transgenic reporter mouse, which allows us to differentially isolate stem cells, progenitors, and differentiated populations to study chromatin dynamics in a cell-type-specific manner. Currently, we are pursuing the regulatory role of TET1 in active and reserve intestinal stem cells through the application of traditional knockout mouse models, primary organoid cultures, and genomics assays. A second area of interest in the lab is developing the same Sox9EGFP reporter as a tool for dissecting cellular heterogeneity in the intrahepatic biliary epithelium, which lacks well-defined cell types. To this end, we have applied single cell RNA-seq, functional organoid assays, and light sheet microscopy to define biliary Sox9 populations. We are using this second model system to investigate bi-directional biliary-to-hepatocyte phenotypic plasticity in the context of damage/regeneration.


Adam Gracz received his Ph.D in Cell Biology and Physiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is currently an Assistant Professor (research track) at the Department of Genetics and Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is interested in adult stem cell biology, regenerative medicine, chromatin, and gene regulation.