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Kathryn E. Hamilton, PhD
Kathryn E. Hamilton

Dr. Hamilton studies intestinal epithelial cells and how they help maintain human health. Although there is a great deal understood about how these cells function, little is known about how they behave during disease. Dr. Hamilton focuses on defining new mechanisms in regenerative medicine, inflammatory bowel disease, and colorectal cancer.



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Dr. Hamilton's research program specializes in understanding mechanisms regulating gut homeostasis in health and disease, with a specific interest in epithelial cell responses to damage and inflammation. She employs in vivo models and primary, 3D enteroid and colonoid cultures from mice and humans to understand the molecular basis of intestinal regeneration, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colorectal cancer.

Within these contexts, one area Dr. Hamilton and her lab focus upon is how RNA binding proteins impart global, post-transcriptional regulation of key pathways in normal physiology and pathophysiology.

Among her notable accomplishments to date, Dr. Hamilton:

  • Identified some of the first-known in vivo roles for RNA binding protein IMP1 in colorectal cancer models, demonstrating context-specific oncogenic and tumor suppressive roles
  • Generated one of the first large banks of 3D, human tissue-derived enteroids and colonoids (“mini-guts”) from pediatric patients with IBD, including patients with very early onset (VEO)-IBD


Education and Training

BA, Assumption College (Biology/Biotechnology), 2003

PhD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (Cell and Molecular Physiology), 2010

Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania (Gastroenterology, Tumor Biology), 2013

Titles and Academic Titles


Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Professional Memberships

American Physiological Society, 2009-

American Gastroenterological Association, 2012-

American Association of Cancer Research, 2013-

Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, 2014-

American Society for Investigative Pathology, 2014-

Professional Awards

North Carolina Impact Award, University of North Carolina Graduate Education Advancement Board, 2010

American Gastroenterological Association Research Foundation Horizon Pharma Fellow Abstract Prize, 2012

Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America Career Development Award, 2014

American Society for Integrative Pathology Research Award, 2015

American Gastroenterological Association Women’s Leadership Conference, 2016

Publication Highlights

Chatterji P, Williams PA, Whelan KA, Samper FC, Andres SF, Simon LA, Parham LR, Mizuno R, Lundsmith ET, Lee DS, Liang S, Wijeratne HS, Marti S, Chau L, Giroux V, Wilkins BJ, Wu GD, Shah P, Tartaglia GG, Hamilton KE. Posttranscriptional regulation of colonic epithelial repair by RNA binding protein IMP1/IGF2BP1. EMBO Rep. 2019 Jun;20(6). 2019 Jun; pii: e47074. doi: 10.15252/embr.201847074. Epub 2019 May 6. PMID: 31061170
Parham LR, Williams PA, Chatterji P, Whelan KA, Hamilton KE. RNA regulons are essential in intestinal homeostasis. Peer-reviewed review. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2019 Jan; 316(1):G197-G204. PMID: 30520692
Chatterji P, Hamilton KE, Liang S, Andres SF, Wijeratne HRS, Mizuno R, Simon LA, Hicks PD, Foley SW, Pitarresi JR, Klein-Szanto AJ, Mah AT, Van Landeghem L, Gregory BD, Lengner CJ, Madison BB, Shah P, Rustgi AK. The LIN28B-IMP1 post-transcriptional regulon has opposing effects on oncogenic signaling in the intestine. Genes Dev. 2018 Aug; 32(15-16):1020-1034. PMID: 30068703
Hamilton KE, Chatterji P, Lundsmith ET, Andres SF, Giroux V, Hicks PD, Noubissi FK, Spiegelman VS, Rustgi AK. Loss of Stromal IMP1 Promotes a Tumorigenic Microenvironment in the Colon. Mol Cancer Res. 2015 Nov; 13(11):1478-86. PMID: 26194191
Hamilton KE, Crissey MS, Lynch JP, Rustgi AK. Culturing adult stem cells from mouse small intestinal crypts. Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2015 Apr; 2015(4):354-8. PMID: 25834260