Current Research

The Gastric Pathobiology Research Group was started in 1984 and is a continuously funded (NIH/VA) research consortium that has published more than 400 papers in the field of neuroendocrine tumor biology, pathophysiology and history. People involved include surgeons, Ph.D.'s, surgical residents, technicians and visiting scientists from different countries and institutions. Seventy fellows and Ph.D.'s have been involved with our group over the last twenty-five years. The overall specific research areas are in brief as follows:

In the stomach, the elucidation of the growth factor-mediated transformation process of the enterochromaffin-like cell (ECL) in the Mastomys model of gastric neoplasia, as well as identification of potential therapeutic targets for Type I and III gastric neuroendocrine tumors.

In the small intestine and rectum, the delineation of tissue molecular signatures that define neuroendocrine tumor behavior (proliferation, secretion and metastasis) and can be used in predictive and prognostic models. Establishment of neuroendocrine tumor cell lines, development of novel 2- and 3-cell type models and the identification of targets in the microenvironment that can be used to modify neuroendocrine tumor behavior (fibrosis and metastasis). Development of nomograms that can be used prognostically to predict patient survival or response to therapy.

A multidisciplinary team has been established with collaborators from the Departments of Pathology and Mathematics, the HHMI Keck Institute (Affymetrix and Proteomics), and Medical Oncology at Yale University as well as with investigators in Norway, Germany, the United Kingdom and Israel. Established methodologies currently utilized include neuroendocrine cell isolation and enrichment, cell culture and in vitro analysis, microarray profiling and sequencing of rodent and human samples, real-time PCR, tissue microarray construction and analysis, and biostatistical data evaluation.