Cohn, Steven M.
Professor, Medicine: Gastroenterology and Hepatology
- Fellowship, Gastroenterology, Washington University
- MD, Medicine, Washington University
- Residency, Internal Medicine, Barnes Hospital (Washington Univ.) St. Louis, MO
Mucosal injury and healing in IBD, carcinogenesis, GI development
Dr. Cohn's research is centered on understanding communication between the immune 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 a member of the Beirne B. Carter Center for Immunology Research.