The University of Chicago
United States of America
Eugene Chang is a Professor of Medicine in the department of Gastroenterology from The University of Chicago Dr. Chang's laboratory studies intestinal microbes and viruses (the microbiome), particularly as they relate to health, digestive diseases (IBD) and other immune- and metabolic-related disorders. This relationship is fundamental to our health and, when perturbed, the consequences can be catastrophic. The emergence of “Western” disorders like diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, cancer and autoimmune disorders over the past century may be related to large shifts in the composite human microbiome caused by changes in the environment and life styles. In genetically susceptible individuals, these factors can potentially trigger events that disturb immune and metabolic homeostasis, initiating the development of disease. His efforts are therefore directed towards gaining a better understanding of what factors are involved in the selection and assembly of intestinal microbes, and how they can be used to reshape the enteric microbiome to prevent and treat disease. His lab employs cutting edge approaches that include cultivation-dependent and –independent technologies for microbial analysis, genetically modified and gnotobiotic mouse models, metabolic and functional measurements, and advanced bioinformatic tools to investigate both host and microbiome. The role of heat shock protein in maintaining intestinal and immune homeostasis Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are a highly conserved family of multifunctional molecules. Dr. Chang also studies the role of heat shock protein in maintaining intestinal and immune homeostasis. Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are a highly conserved family of multifunctional molecules. They play a role in mucosal cytoprotection, host-microbe interactions, innate immunity, cancer initiation and development, and in autophagy. Although many types are constitutively expressed, some, such as HSP70 and HSP25, are rapidly induced and preferentially synthesized under conditions of cellular stress and injury. Their physiological expression in the gut is maintained by cues and signals provided by the enteric microbiota. In epithelial cells, their induction protects against toxic, oxidant, and thermal injury. His laboratory, therefore, is investigating cellular and molecular mechanisms that mediate their cytoprotective effects in the context of mucosal inflammation. These studies involve correlations of molecular and biochemical techniques with physiological findings and imaging analysis. These investigations involve extensive multi-disciplinary collaborations with other investigators in the Biological Science Division and at Argonne National Laboratory.
Epithelial biology and pathobiology, inflammatory bowel disease, electrolyte transport, diarrheal disorders