Steven M. Cohn
Primary AppointmentProfessor, Medicine: Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Communication between the Immune System and Epithelium in Chronic Inflammatory Intestinal Diseases.
system and the epithelium in inflammatory bowel disease and other chronic inflammatory
diseases of the intestine. A major focus of his research is on understanding how
cytokines, growth factors, and other inflammatory mediators regulate the fate
of epithelial stem cells and their descendents in the intestine following injury.
These studies may have a great impact on the development of new therapeutic approaches
to enhance restoration of the mucosal barrier in diseases such as Crohn's disease
and Ulcerative colitis.
Another area of investigation for Dr. Cohn is understanding how prostaglandins
and other inflammatory mediators effect the development of cancer in the intestine.
When injured by carcinogens in the food we eat, epithelial stem cells may either
undergo apoptosis or attempt to repair the damage that these compounds cause.
Evidence is emerging that prostaglandins and inflammatory cytokines may regulate
which pathway a stem cell takes after carcinogen exposure. The objective of
this area of research is to develop new chemopreventive agents for reducing
the incidence of colorectal cancer by shifting the balance between apoptosis
and cellular repair pathways in the epithelial stem cell population.
Dr. Cohn is also a member of the Beirne
B. Carter Center for Immunology Research.