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The Tan laboratory investigates the pathogenesis of intestinal and liver inflammatory disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease, sepsis, and severe inflammation-induced leaky gut, and fatty liver associated inflammation and tissue injury. Our goal is to advance our understanding of how inflammatory disorders occur in the gut and liver system. Clinical studies have shown that millions of children in our country suffer from GI (gastrointestinal) and liver inflammatory diseases. These disorders are often chronic and have huge impacts on patients’ lives not only in their childhoods but also extending to adulthood. Treatment of these diseases remains challenging to physicians. Thus, it is critical to fill this gap through basic and translational research. New knowledge and discovery from biomedical research can ultimately lead to novel therapies.
Current Research Projects
Currently, investigators in the Tan laboratory are focused on understanding molecular and pathophysiological mechanisms that predispose to impairment of cell and immune homeostasis in the gut and liver, which in turn contribute to the development of inflammatory diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, sepsis, fatty liver associated hepatitis and liver fibrosis, and multiple organ failure. Our research is supported mainly by federal funding.
The Tan laboratory has several broad hypothesis-driven research projects that are aimed at addressing aspects related to inflammatory tissue injury and repair in the gut and liver systems:
Understanding the role of intestinal epithelial barrier in health and disease
Elucidating the pathophysiology and molecular mechanisms related to intestinal epithelial cell injury and repair
Examining the pathogenesis of fatty liver and obesity associated liver inflammation and progression to fibrosis and cirrhosis
Our work will ultimately lead to the development of novel strategies for management and treatment of intestinal injury in critically ill patients. It will result in the identification of new targets for blocking progression of fatty liver-associated liver inflammation and fibrosis.