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Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Basic Science

Doctor Lab
The Doctor Lab studies epithelial cell biology with a specific focus on the physiology and pathophysiology of the intrahepatic bile duct epithelium (BDE). The Physiology Section of the laboratory investigates how cytoskeletal linking proteins contributes to the movement, retention and regulation of transport proteins at the apical membrane of BDE. The Pathophysiology Section of the laboratory investigates the molecular and cellular pathways responsible for the errant growth of ADPKD liver cysts. These studies will direct the development of mechanism-based medical therapies to inhibit liver cyst expansion.

Rice Lab
The Rice Lab currently focuses on the identification of novel molecular targets for the prevention and treatment of cancer. The Rice Lab utilizes tissue culture of human colon and lung tumor cells as models for these diseases, as well as biochemical, pharmacological and molecular biological techniques to identify promising targets for anti-cancer therapy. I have identified several biochemical targets that regulate programmed cell death of colon and lung cancer cells, including the ERK1/2 and PKG proteins. Selective modulation of both ERK1/2 and PKG pathways simultaneously leads to greater tumor cell death than treatment with either compound alone. Taking advantage of such combination therapies in animal and clinical studies is predicted to reduce toxicity and increase efficacy of treatment.  

Rosen Lab
The focus of the Rosen Lab is to understand the immune response to hepatitis C virus (HCV), particularly the mechanisms associated with spontaneous or therapeutic clearance versus viral persistence. The balance between HCV and host immune response depends on multiple factors such as nature of the infecting virus, route of infection and initial viral burden, genetic background of the individual as well as the immune status of the infected host. The interplay between these parameters ultimately determines the spectrum of possible clinical outcomes associated with viral infection. We currently have 5 federally funded research programs, including a recently awarded NIH HCV Center grant.

Ahnen Lab
At the basic level the Ahnen Lab is examining the biologic and the biochemical mechanisms of the chemopreventive effects of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The lab is currently examining the effect of NSAIDs on EGF receptor expression and function. Dr. Ahnen collaborates closely with the laboratory group of Pamela Rice, PhD a faculty member in the Division on this basic science work.

Colgan Lab
Studies from the Colgan Lab are aimed at understanding how epithelial and endothelial cells coordinate in inflammatory bowel disease. There are three specific areas of interest: leukocyte cell-cell interactions, regulation of epithelial structure/function during inflammation and transcriptional signaling by hypoxia during inflammation. Formerly from Harvard Medical School, Dr. Colgan brings four federally funded research programs to the University of Colorado.


Basic Science Faculty
Dennis Ahnen, MD
Eric Campbell, PhD
Sean Colgan, PhD
R. Brian Doctor, PhD
Blair Fennimore, MD
Mark Gerich, MD
Louise Glover, PhD
Lucy Golden-Mason, PhD
Pam Rice, PhD
Hugo Rosen, MD, FACP