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Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer CenterVanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center

 
Robert J.  Coffey

Robert J. Coffey, M.D.

Ingram Professor of Cancer Research
Professor of Medicine (Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition)
Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
Researcher

Contact Information:

2213 Garland Avenue
10415 MRB IV -0441
Nashville, TN 37232
615-343-6228

Research Description

The focus of research within the Coffey lab is the study of the role of the EGF receptor (EGFR) and its ligands in GI neoplasia. The lab has a particular interest in the trafficking of EGFR ligands in polarizing colonic epithelial cells. Naked2 has been identified as a critical regulator of basolateral trafficking of TGF-alpha, a major EGFR ligand. Naked2 is a known antagonist of Wnt-beta-catenin signaling so Naked2 provides a point of convergence between EGFR and Wnt signaling. This work has led to the identification of a new mode of EGFR ligand signaling via exosomes and the development of FAVS (fluorescent-activated vesicle sorting) to isolate and characterize cellular organelles. The lab has recently found that Lrig1, an inducible negative regulator of the EGFR, marks proliferative and quiescent intestinal stem cells, and acts as a tumor suppressor.

Publications