Dr Mark Williams
Human gut stem cell biology and barrier function in healthy ageing and disease
Dr Mark Williams is a physiologist interested in the cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern the self-renewal and physiological function of the human intestinal epithelium. A major focus of his work is to understand how age-related molecular damage and inherited genetic defects pre-dispose the intestinal epithelium to the onset of gastrointestinal disease. The ethos of his work is to conduct comparative studies on human tissue samples derived from young and old healthy subjects, and from patients with inflammatory bowel disease and cancer. To this end, his laboratory has developed an ex vivo culture model of the human intestinal epithelium that is amenable to bio-imaging and the investigation of cellular signals for crypt cell proliferation, migration, differentiation and secretion.