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Robert J. Coffey, M.D.

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

Phone

615-343-6228

Email

robert.coffey@Vanderbilt.Edu
2213 Garland Avenue
10415 MRB IV -0441
Nashville, TN 37232

Robert J. Coffey, M.D.

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

615-343-6228

robert.coffey@Vanderbilt.Edu

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

Profile

Education

  • M.D., Georgetown University, Washington, District of Columbia (1976)
  • A.B., Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey (1970)

Research Emphasis

EGFR, EGFR Ligands, Vesicle Trafficking, Exosomes, 3-D Culture Systems, LRIG1 Intestinal Stem Cells, Colorectal Cancer, Long Non-Coding RNAs and Drug Resistance, Ménétrier’s Disease

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 gastrointestinal neoplasia. The lab has a particular interest in the trafficking of EGFR ligands in polarizing colonic epithelial cells. This work has led to the identification of a new mode of EGFR ligand signaling via exosomes and the development of FAVS (fluorescence-activated vesicle sorting) to isolate and characterize these extracellular vesicles. The lab discovered that Lrig1, an inducible negative regulator of the EGFR, marks proliferative and quiescent intestinal stem cells, and acts as a tumor suppressor. The lab has recently used CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing to make an Egfr-Emerald reporter mouse that enables direct visualization of the endogenous Egfr. Using a novel 3-D culture system, the lab recently identified a non-genetic cause of cetuximab resistance due to overexpression of a long non-coding RNA, MIR100HG, that confers cetuximab resistance due to increased WNT signaling.

Publications

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