DR. CATHERINE SCHRANKEL

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I am a developmental biologist with a background in immunology.

I am interested in the interface between the cellular defense systems of the developing embryo and its external environment. 

 

As an NIH-funded Postdoctoral Fellow at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (University of California, San Diego), I study ABC transporters. I'm working to understand the roles of these membrane proteins in the protection and function of two very important cell types:

 

1) The gut epithelia, and their interactions with commensal or pathogenic microbes and natural products.

2) The primordial germ cell lineage (PGCs; the stem cells for egg and sperm).

 

I use basic model systems such as the sea urchin embryo and human cell lines to explore the regulation, function and evolution of ABC transporter proteins in these cell types. 

 

I am particularly interested in how low-dose yet chronic pollutants inhibit these transporters and may thus impact gut immunity and PGC development. This has widespread implications for animal adaptation, evolution, and human health. I am currently funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIH F32 NRSA Award).