Deborah L. Gumucio

dgumucio's picture
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
Cell and Developmental Biology
James Douglas Engel Collegiate Professor, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology; Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Short bio: 

Dr. Gumucio completed her B.A. (1971), M.P.H. (1975), Ph.D. (1986) and postdoctoral studies with Francis S. Collins (1986-1991) at the University of Michigan. She joined the faculty of the Department of the Anatomy and Cell Biology at Michigan in 1991. Dr. Gumucio founded the Center for Organogenesis at Michigan in 1995 and served as its Co-Director and Director for the 20 years. The Center serves to bring together clinical, basic and applied scientists in the study of organogenesis and its relationship to human disease.

Dr. Gumucio has served on numerous committees and programs, including the Biomedical Research Council, the Biomedical Core Advisory Team, and the Dean's Task Force for the Research Enterprise (T-FORE), among many others. She has served on several University Advisory Committees, including HPSCRO and, the Advisory Commitee for Ten-Year Tenure, the Committee on Interdisciplinarity and Core Advisory Committee of the Cancer Center.  She has organized 8 international symposia as well as several mini-symposia. She developed and served for 15 years as course coordinator for the graduate course, "Organogenesis of Complex Tissues” and Directed the NIH-funded Organogenesis Training Program during this time. She teaches Medical Histology, Medical Embryology, Dental Histology and Developmental Biology. She is the founder and Director of the Bioartography Project, a blend of art and science that serves as a fundraiser for trainee travel as well as a public and policy education tool.

In national and international spheres, Dr. Gumucio has served as a member of the Eukaryotic Genetics study section of the National Science Foundation and on several ad hoc study sections and site visit teams for the NIH. She served as an Associate Editor for the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology for 10 years, and was a member of the International Advisory Board for the International Conferences on Familial Mediterranean Fever. She served on the National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for the Establishment of a Non-human Primate Biomaterials and Informatics Resource (IPBIR) and currently sits on the External Scientific Advisory Board of the University of Pennsylvania Center for Gastroenterology. She was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2013 and won the University's Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award in the same year. She is currently serving as the Interim Chair of the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology in the Medical School. 

Research summary: 

Dr. Gumucio has maintained a diverse and well-funded research effort in the areas of organogenesis and inflammation. Her laboratory studies the molecular control of gut organogenesis and the role of Hedgehog signaling in villus formation. Recently, she has been studying the formation and maturation of the apical surface in the intestine, studies that have led her to investigate several in vitro models of lumen formation and apical polarization. The Gumucio lab made the surprising observation that isolated pluripotent cells form lumens, even when plated on a 2D surface. They are modeling several human enteropathies in these cells. In studying the process of lumen formation in these cells, they have discovered that the lumen begins to form even in single cells, beginning with the formation of a proto-lumen-like structure that we are calling a survivosome. It is this structure that we plan to further investigate in this project.



Recent publications: 

Walton, K.D.,  Kolterud, Å, Czerwinski M.J., Prakash, A., Bell, M., Kushwaha, J., Grosse, A.S., Schnell, S., and Gumucio, D.L.  Hedgehog-responsive mesenchymal cell clusters direct patterning and emergence of intestinal villi. PNAS, 109:15817-22, 2012.  PMCID:PMC3465418. Cited by Faculty of 1000

L-J Syu, K.A. Eaton, Z. Liu, M. Tetarbe, T.M. Keeley, J. Pero, J. Ferris, D. Wilbert, A. Kaatz, X. Zheng, X. Qiao, D.L. Gumucio, J.L. Merchant, L.C. Samuelson, A.A. Dlugosz.  Transgenic Expression of Interferon Gamma in Mouse Stomach leads to Inflammation, Metaplasia, Dysplasia and Tumor Development. Am. J. Phys., 181:2114-25, 2012.  PMCID: PMC3509761

Sun Y., Zhang M., Chen C.C., Gillilland M. 3rd, Sun X., El-Zaatari M., Huffnagle G.B., Young V.B., Zhang J., Hong S.C., Chang Y.M., Gumucio D.L., Owyang C. and Kao J.Y. Stress-induced corticotropin-releasing hormone-mediated NLRP6 inflammasome inhibition and transmissible enteritis in mice. Gastroenterology 144:1478-87m 2013. PMID: 23470617; PMCID:PMC3777426

Liu, H-X., Ermilov A., Grachtchouk, M., Li, L., Gumucio, D.L., Dlugosz, A.A., and Mistretta, C.M.  Multiple Shh signaling centers participate in fungiform papilla and taste bud formation and maintenance. Developmental Biology, 382:82-97, 2013. PMID:

23916850; PMCID:PMC3968530

Whiteman, E.L., Fan, S., Harder, J.L., Walton, K.D., Liu, C-J., Soofi, A., Fogg, V.C., Hershenson, M.B., Dressler, G.R., Deutsch, G.H., Gumucio, D.L. and Margolis, B.: Crumbs3 is Essential for Proper Epithelial Development and Viability. Molecular and Cellular Biology, 34:43-56, 2013.  PMID:24164893; PMCID:PMC3911272

Udager, A., Prakash, A., Saenz, D., Lim, K.C., Jay, P., Engel, J.D. and Gumucio, D.L: Proper development of the outer longitudinal smooth muscle of the mouse pylorus requires Nkx2-5 and Gata3. Gastroenterology, 146:157-165, 2013. PMCID:PMC3889663

Prakash, A., Udager, A.M., Saenz, D. and Gumucio, D.L.: Roles for Nkx2-5 and Gata3 in the ontogeny of the murine smooth muscle pyloric ligaments. Am. J. Phys., 307:G430-6, 2014. PMID:24970776; PMCID:PMC4137113

Worthley DL, Churchill M, Compton JT, Tailor Y, Rao M, Si Y, Levin D, Uygur A, Schwartz M, Gross S, Setlik W, Chen XM, Martinez AN, Nizami S, Caldwell J-M, Renz BW, Asfaha S, Westphalen CB, Hayakawa Y, Jin G, Nagar K, Wang H, Kolhe A, Carpenter J, Glaire M, Nair A, Muley A, Manieri N, Muthupalani S, Fox JG, Reichert M, Giraud AS, Schwabe RF, Pradere J-P, Walton K, Prakash A, Gumucio D, Rustgi AK, Stappenbeck TS, Friedman RA, Gershon MD, Grikscheit T, Lee FY, Karsenty G, Mukherjee S and Wang TC.  Gremlin 1 identifies a skeletal stem cell with bone, cartilage and reticular stromal potential. Cell, 160:269-84, 2015. PMID:25594183; PMCID in progress.  Cited by Faculty of 1000.

Taniguchi K., Townshend R.F., Freddo A.M., Prakash A., Gayen S., Harris C.E., Tsai Y-H., DeLong C.J., Chue D.J., Lopez S.A., Spence J.R., O’Shea K.S., Margolis B., Kalantry S. and Gumucio D.L. Pluripotent stem cells: an improved model of lumen formation. In revision, Stem Cell Reports, In press, 2015


Intestinal organogenesis,
lumen formation,
hedgehog signaling,
villus formation,
epithelial/mesenchymal crosstalk