Christopher Capaldo, PhD
Department of Cell Biology
Office: Whitehead Biomedical Research Bldg
Emory University - Department of Cell Biology
615 Michael Street
Atlanta, GA 30322
Research FocusInflammatory bowel diseases, encompassing Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, are characterized by chronic or intermittent inflammation of the intestinal mucosa.
I am a specialist in cell-to-cell contact structures called Tight Junctions (TJs). TJs form in epithelial and endothelial tissues, and are involved in a diverse array of biological processes, such as the maintenance of tissue integrity, paracellular barrier function, cell polarity, cell proliferation, cell differentiation, cell viability, and gene regulation. TJ breakdown has been implicated in a number of diseases including cancer, polycystic kidney disease, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Therefore, it is important to understand TJs in greater detail. The goal of my research is to investigate the role of intestinal TJloss on inflammatory diseases of the intestine, with the aim of developing intervention strategies. There are upwards of 300 resident TJ proteins, making TJs an extraordinarily complex cellular structure. Of particular interest are the claudins, a large family of transmembrane proteins that are required for TJ assembly and function. My goal is to address some of the outstanding questions concerning the basic structure, organization and regulation of claudins within the TJs, and how these features change during inflammation.