What's New

  • See us in The Scientist. "Image of the Day: Flushing the Gut" - More Info
  • Read about our work on Inverse.com, "Diarrhea Is Evolution's Immune System Drain-O" - More Info
  • Read about our work in Gizmodo, "Why Do Sick Bodies Turn Poop Into Diarrhea?" - More Info
  • Congratulations to Pei-Yun and Bingkun on their new paper in Cell Host & Microbe - More Info
  • Congratulations to Chris on his new modeling paper - More Info
  • Congratulations to Matt! on his paper in J Cell Science. - More Info

Our Research

TNF-induced epithelial shedding

Intravital live imaging of villus tips following intraperitoneal TNF injection (7.5 µg). Extensive epithelial shedding occurs (nuclei are cyan), but barrier function is not compromised (red luminal dye). Note that the luminal dye does not cross the epithelial layer despite massive epithelial shedding. The very bright blue spots in the lumen are condensed nuclei of previously-shed, apoptotic epithelial cells. Gastroenterology 2011;140:1208-1218

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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
Women's
Hospital

Harvard
Medical
School

Thorn 1428
20 Shattuck Street
Boston, MA 02115