Human Oncology & Pathogenesis Program
The Rachel Niec Lab
Complex tissue functions, such as nutrient absorption and barrier defense in the intestine, are influenced and tuned by environmental cues and stresses. However, the environmentally tuned cellular interaction networks that define tissue health and resilience or predispose to disease states are poorly understood. At the Niec lab, we are studying the cellular and molecular mechanisms of coordinated tissue level responses to environmental cues and stresses and their contributions to tissue functions and disease states. Focusing on immune cells, stem cells, and stromal cells in the intestine and using multiple complimentary tools and approaches of 3D imaging, spatial transcriptomics, and single cell tissue cartography combined with functional studies, we aim to pave the way for therapeutic modification of disrupted tissue states to prevent and treat inflammatory disease, adverse reactions to immunotherapy, and cancer.
Cheong J, Ravishankar A†, Sharma S†, Parkhurst CN†, Grassmann S, Wingert CK, Laurent P, Ma S, Paddock L, Miranda I, Karakaslar O, Nehar-Belaid D, Thibodeau A, Bale MJ, Kartha VK Yee JK, Mays MY, Jiang C, Daman AW, Martinez de Paz A, Ahimovic D, Ramos V, Lercher A, Nielsen E, Alvarez-Mulett S, Zheng L, Earl A, Yallowitz A, Robbins L, LaFond E, Weidman K, Racine-Brzostek S, Yang HS, Price D, Rendeiro AF, Ravichandran H, Kim H, Borczuk AC, Rice CM, R. Jones B, Schenck EJ, Kaner RJ, Chadburn A, Zhao Z, Pascual V, Elemento O, Schwartz RE, Buenrostro JD,
Niec RE, Barrat FJ, Lief L, Sun JC, Ucar D*, Josefowicz SZ*. (2023) Epigenetic Memory of COVID-19 in Innate Immune Cells and Their Progenitors. Cell. 186(18):3882-3902.e24. († and *equal contribution)
Niec RE*, Chu T*, Schernthanner M*, Gur-Cohen S*, Hidalgo L, Pasolli HA, Luckett KA, Wang Z, Bhalla SR, Cambuli F, Kataru RP, Ganesh K, Mehrara BJ, Pe’er D, Fuchs E. (2022). Lymphatics act as a signaling hub to regulate intestinal stem cell activity. Cell Stem Cell. 29(7):1067-1082.e18. (* equal contribution)
Niec RE, Rudeksky AY, Fuchs E. (2021). Inflammatory Adaptation in Barrier Tissues. Cell. 184(13):3361-3375.
Levine AG, Hemmers S, Niec RE, Schizas M, Chaudhry A, Dikiy S, Treuting PM, Rudensky AY. (2017) Stability and function of regulatory T cells expressing the Transcription factor T-bet. Nature. 546(7658):421-425.
Rachel Niec, MD, PhD
- Physician-scientist Rachel Niec studies how cells and tissues communicate to promote health or drive inflammation and cancer.
- Burroughs Wellcome Career Award for Medical Scientists, 2023-2028
- K08 NIDDK Clinical Investigator Award, 2023-2026
- International Society for Stem Cell Research Merit Award, 2022
- American Society for Clinical Investigation Emerging Generation Award, 2021