DR. CATHERINE SCHRANKEL
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).