Associate Director; School of Medicine
Cancer Cell Biology
Area of interest
Research in the Randell laboratory focuses on aerodigestive tract cancers, stem cells, regulation of cell proliferation and differentiation, innate immunity, cystic fibrosis and in vitro models. His laboratory provides skills, knowledge and abilities particularly related to, but not limited to, aerodigestive tract epithelial cell biology, experimental design, procurement of human tissues, cell isolation and culture, and cell manipulation and characterization. Randell also directs the UNC Marsico Lung Institute/Cystic Fibrosis Center Tissue Procurement and Cell Culture Core, a nationally and internationally recognized resource, whose services are sought for collaboration, contract research, and training by academics, non-profit organizations, biotech and the pharmaceutical industry.
Awards and Honors
Micro RNA Regulation of Human Airway Epithelial Phenotype – ARRA Award to Randell Lab
Greater than 30 million people in the USA suffer from respiratory diseases characterized by airway inflammation and obstruction. One of these inflammatory diseases- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is strongly associated with the development of lung cancer, the world’s most prevalent lethal cancer. Cells lining the airway respond to injury and are integral to the progression of lung disease and cancer development. However, many basic mechanisms regulating their function remain poorly understood. There are no specific therapies targeting disease related phenotypic changes in the airway epithelium. Micro RNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small RNA molecules known to regulate many aspects of cell behavior. Together with Drs. Scott Hammond in Cancer Cell Biology and D. Neil Hayes in Translational Medicine, the Randell Lab was awarded an ARRA RC1 Challenge grant to comprehensively determine the miRNA repertoire of human airway epithelial cells and to test the ability of specific miRNAs to alter cell structure and function. These studies will create a valuable database and will suggest novel tools to detect, monitor and treat lung cancer.