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Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Basic Science

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.

Beth Tamburini Lab
The Beth Tamburini lab focuses on how immune cells interact with the lymphatic stroma and how that influences innate and adaptive immunity to infection or during chronic disease.  We are especially interested in the antigen archiving functions of lymphatic endothelial cells in the lymph node as well as ectopic lymphoid clusters found associated with the lymphatic endothelium in the liver and gut.