“Epithelial Cell Death Regulation in Intestinal Inflammation and Cancer Development”, Christoph Becker, University Hospital Erlangen, Germany

Speaker: Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Christoph Becker, University Hospital Erlangen, Germany

Host: Postdoc Network DKFZ

Abstract

The human gut harbors an enormous number of bacteria. These bacteria are usually harmless and even help our body in absorbing nutrients. However, if they invade the bowel wall in an uncontrolled way, these bacteria can become harmful and cause inflammation.

To prevent the access of bacteria to the bowel wall, the gut is coated with a thin layer of epithelial cells, which serve as a barrier to the external environment. It is becoming more and more clear that intestinal epithelial cells are highly specialized cells with important functions for innate immune defense.

Intestinal epithelial cells also transmit signals between the microbiota and the mucosal immune system in the bowel wall. Intestinal epithelial cells are also at the focus of our research on the development of colorectal cancer, since most tumors in the gut originate from these cells.

The cellular processes that maintain epithelial barrier functions and gut homeostasis are largely unknown. Cell survival and cell death within the intestinal epithelium have to be strictly regulated to prevent inflammation and cancer development in the gut.

Using molecular biological methods and experimental disease models of gut inflammation and cancer we investigate in detail the function and regulation of apoptosis, necrosis and necroptosis in the intestinal epithelium.

About Christoph

Since 2017 Head of the managing board of Life@FAU, the interdisciplinary FAU Graduate School of Life Science

2011 – 2018 Coordinator, Clinical Research Unit “Molecular Pathogenesis and Optimized Therapy of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (KFO 257), Department of Internal Medicine 1, Gastroenterology, Pneumology and Endocrinology, UKER, FAU

Since 2010 W2 Professor, Department of Internal Medicine 1, Gastroenterology, Pneumology and Endocrinology, UKER, FAU

Since 2009 Head, Research Division, Department of Internal Medicine 1, Gastroenterology, Pneumology and Endocrinology, UKER, FAU