The broad interest of our lab is to characterize the biology of stem cells in normal lung and lung cancer.
We developed a method to isolate the first stem cell population from the adult murine lung, termed bronchioalveolar stem cells (BASCs). BASCs are critically affected by an oncogenic K-ras mutation and may be the cell-of-origin of lung adenocarcinomas. We will use a combination of mouse genetics, cell biology and genomics approaches to elucidate the biology of these cells during homeostasis and tumorigenesis. An understanding of stem cell functions and regulation in normal lung will be important for innovative approaches to examine the cellular and molecular basis of cancer and diseases that effect lung epithelia as well as serving to identify potential means of early detection and therapy.