Dr.Han has a broad background in basic, translational research, and therapeutic development with specific training and expertise in key research areas for this application. He studied the mechanisms of multiple organ barrier dysfunctions in sepsis during his postdoctoral training. After further trained in the GI Cell and Molecular Biology field, he received a faculty appointment at the division of gastroenterology, hepatology, and nutrition; later, he became a principal investigator (PI) in studying intestinal stem cell response to injury and intestinal epithelial barrier repair in IBD and CRC. He successfully received supports from the CCFA Career Development Award, CTSA KL2 from NIH/NCCR, AGA, CDMRP (Dod), NIAID R21, CCF senior research award and R01 from NIDDK. He has trained many graduate students and clinical fellows. He serves as an academic editor for PlosOne and a peer reviewer for Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, IBD, Science Immunology, EMBO Mol Med and Gut, and an Ad hoc reviewer for Dod CDMRP.
After a decade of exploration, Dr. Han's group found cytokine-STAT5 signaling is essential for maintaining epithelial integrity. Gain of functions of STAT5 activation increases stem cell activity through inducing their epithelial niche cell differentiation. His lab's recent finding demonstrates that constitutively activated STAT5 promotes Lgr5 ISC migration to distant organs. The lab's current research aims to determine: 1) by what mechanism that constitutively activated STAT5 leads to Lgr5 cancer stem cell metastasis to distal organ. 2) develop an array of specific inhibitors targeting STAT5 aberrant activation, and natural steroids mimicking STAT5 inhibitors but less toxicity to test whether they can impair Lgr5 cancer stem cell metastasis. Dr. Han's research interests include but not limited to:
- Regulation of intestinal stem cell response to infection, inflammation, tumorigenesis, and malignancy
- Mechanisms of cancer stem cell metastasis under somatic mutations
- Development of potential treatments for impairing cancer stem cell metastasis