Our research focuses on a group of airway epithelial cells called pulmonary neuroendocrine (NE) cells. They are normally a rare cell type in the lung with sensory, neurosecretory, and stem cell functions. Some NE cells can be located at branchpoints in highly innervated clusters called neuroepithelial bodies (NEBs), which are abnormal in several pediatric and adult respiratory diseases.
We use single cell genetic approaches to study NE cell development and function. We are currently studying human NE cells both in health and disease to understand how perturbations lead to disorders of NE cell origin, including some of the most aggressive human lung tumors arising from NE cells.
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