What's New

  • Congratulations to Richard on his paper in Lab Investigation - More Info
  • Congratulations to Matt! his paper is in press at J Cell Science. - More Info
  • Congratulations to Marion - a perfect 10 on her F32 application!
  • Read about Karen in the Philadelphia Inquirer - More Info

Our Research

Dynamic migration of intraepithelial lymphocytes

Intravital imaging of GFP-tagged gammadelta T cells (green) migrating within jejunal villi. The lymphocytes migrate dynamically along the basement membrane as well as in and out of the epithelial lateral intercellular spaces. Nuclei are shown in blue. Note that the lymphocytes never cross into the lumen, but do return to the lamina propria. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2012;109:7097-102

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Our Goals 

Our interests are focused on how epithelia establish, maintain, and regulate barriers. This fundamental property is essential for survival of multicellular organisms and allows controlled interactions with the external environment and compartmentalization of distinct tissues. The structure that maintains these barriers and regulates flux between cells is the tight junction. The primary goal of our laboratory is to understand the biology of the tight junction.

We take a multidisciplinary approach that integrates cell and developmental biology, transport physiology, electrophysiology, structural biology, molecular biology, and mucosal immunology to define fundamentals of structure and function; understand mechanisms of regulation in vitro and in vivo models; determine the contributions of barrier dysfunction to gastrointestinal disease; understand the role of the epithelial barrier in regulating other mucosal processes, e.g. immune responses; and develop novel means to correct barrier function and restore health.

— Jerrold R. Turner MD, PhD

Jerrold R. Turner, MD, PhD
Departments of Pathology
and Medicine (Gastroenterology)

Brigham and


Thorn 1428
20 Shattuck Street
Boston, MA 02115