The goal of the Yilmaz laboratory is to understand how adult stem cells and their microenvironment adapt to diverse diets in the context of tissue regeneration, aging, and cancer initiation. Towards this end, they are studying the effects of dietary interventions on intestinal stem cell (ISC) function in the mammalian intestine.  Since ISCs, like all adult stem cells, possess the ability to self-renew and the capacity for differentiating into tissue-specific cell types, they likely play an important role in remodeling the intestine in response to diet-induced physiologies. More >>>

Stem cells (green) and Niche cells (pink) in intestinal cancer
Engrafted/transplanted organoids into the colon of recipient mouse.

"The adult intestine is maintained by stem cells that require a cellular neighborhood, or niche, consisting in part of Paneth cells. Our laboratory will investigate the molecular mechanisms of how intestinal stem cells and their Paneth cell niche respond to diverse diets to coordinate intestinal regeneration with organismal physiology and its impact on the formation and growth of intestinal cancers.  By better understanding how intestinal stem cells adapt to diverse diets, we hope to identify and develop new strategies that prevent and reduce the growth of cancers involving the intestinal tract that includes the small intestine, colon, and rectum."