faculty photo

Ben Z. Stanger

Associate Professor of Medicine
Department: Medicine
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute
Division of Gastroenterology
Department of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
512 Biomedical Research Bldg II/III (Office)
527 Biomedical Research Bldg II/III (Lab)
421 Curie Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215-746-5560
Fax: 215-573-2486
SB (Life Sciences)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1988.
MD (Medicine)
Harvard Medical School, 1997.
PhD (Genetics)
Harvard Medical School, 1997.
Post-Graduate Training
Intern and Resident in Internal Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA, 1997-1999.
Research and Clinical Fellow in Gastroenterology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA Fellowship Director: Daniel Podolsky, MD, 1999-2003.
Research Fellow in Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA Laboratory of Douglas Melton, PhD, 2000-2006.
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Description of Research Expertise

Research Interests
Stem Cells
Pancreatic Cancer

Key words: Pancreatic Cancer, Notch, Hippo, Liver Development, Pancreatic Development, Organogenesis

Description of Research
Stem/Progenitor Cells in Development and Disease
How do internal organs achieve their remarkable structures? What determines the size of organs? How are stem cells regulated in adult solid organs? What cells give rise to cancer? During mammalian organogenesis, stem/progenitor cells and their derivatives undergo carefully controlled division, differentiation, and morphogenesis to generate complex functioning three-dimensional structures. Our laboratory uses the tools of developmental biology to address problems relevant to development, regenerative medicine and cancer. In particular, we use the mouse as a model system to genetically tag specific cellular lineages or to alter the function of important signaling pathways. The focus is on stem cells and progenitor cells in the vertebrate liver and pancreas, essential organs with great clinical importance and a rich history in developmental biology. Our long-term goal is to understand in detail how these different cell types behave during development, organ regeneration, and carcinogenesis. We hope to exploit insights gained from these studies to develop new approaches to cancer therapy and bioengineering.

Rotation Projects
Rotation projects may be available based upon applicant interest. Please contact Dr. Stanger directly to discuss potential projects.

Lab personnel:
Ben Stanger, MD, PhD – Principal Instigator
Chenghua Yang - Research Specialist, Lab Manager
Ravi Maddipatti, MD - Research Associate
Nicole Aiello - Graduate Student
Yi-Ju Chen, PhD - Postdoctoral Researcher
David Balli, PhD - Postdoctoral Researcher
Neha Bhagwat, PhD - Postdoctoral Researcher
Allyson J. Merrell, PhD - Postdoctoral Researcher
Taiji Yamazoe, PhD - Postdoctoral Fellow
Jinyang Li - Graduate Student
Bobby Norgard - Graduate Student
Ben Kahn - Undergraduate Student
Hannah Park - Undergraduate Student
Amine Sahmoud - Undergraduate Student

Administrative Assistant:
Laura Murillo

Selected Publications

Penzo-Méndez A, Stanger BZ: Cell competition in vertebrate organ size regulation. Wiley Interdiscip Rev Dev Biol 3(6): 419-27, 2014.

Yanger K, Knigin D, Zong Y, Maggs L, Gu G, Akiyama H, Pikarsky E, Stanger BZ: Adult hepatocytes are generated by self-duplication rather than stem-cell differentiation. Cell Stem Cell 15(3): 340-9, 2014.

Chen Y-J, Finkbeiner SR, Weinblatt D, Emmett MJ, Tameire F, Yousefi M, Yang C, Maehr R, Zhou Q, Shemer R, Dor Y, Li C, Spence JR, Stanger BZ : De novo formation of insulin-producing “neo-ß-cell islets” from intestinal crypts. Cell Reports 6(6): 1046–58, 2014.

Rhim AD, Oberstein PE, Thomas DH, Mirek ET, Palermo CF, Sastra SA, Dekleva EN, Saunders T, Becerra CP, Tattersall IW, Westphalen CB, Kitajewski J, Fernandez-Berrena MG, Fernandez-Zapico ME, Iacobuzzio-Donahue C, Olive KP*, Stanger BZ*: Stromal elements act to restrain, rather than support, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Cancer Cell 25(6): 735-747, 2014 Notes: *Co-corresponding authors.

Yanger K, Zong Y, Maggs L, Shapira SN, Maddipati R, Aiello NM, Thung SN, Wells RG, Greenbaum L, Stanger BZ: Robust cellular reprogramming occurs spontaneously during liver regeneration. Genes Dev 27(7): 719-24, 2013

Gao T, Zhou D, Yang C, Singh T, Penzo-Mendez A, Maddipati R, Tzatsos A, Bardeesy N, Avruch J, Stanger BZ: Hippo Signaling Regulates Differentiation and Maintenance in the Exocrine Pancreas. Gastroenterology 144(7): 1543-1553, 2013

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Last updated: 08/21/2015
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