Dr. Bruce Schultz
The Schultz laboratory focuses on the function of cells that line hollow organs—epithelial cells. Two ongoing epithelial research projects have tremendous implications for cancer as well as other clinically relevant applications. The male reproductive ducts provide the optimal environment for sperm maturation, storage and delivery. Some segments of this system (e.g., prostate) are particularly prone to cancerous growth, as well. Likewise, mammary epithelial are extremely hormone sensitive and, in certain life stages, produce milk. Mammary epithelium is also prone to cancerous growth. In each case, experiments in the laboratory are designed to determine physiological mechanisms that contribute to cell growth and to epithelial functions such as salt transport, nutrient secretion, and barrier function. Pharmacological interventions are being identified and/or optimized for the development of novel therapies that target distinct cell populations and modify selected aspects of epithelial function.