Natasza Kurpios
Assistant Professor

Natasza Kurpios




Department of Molecular Medicine
C4-161 Veterinary Medical Center
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853


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Natasza Kurpios is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Medicine in College of Veterinary Medicine. She received a B.S. degree in Biochemistry from McMaster University in Canada in 1999 and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics in 2005. She did postdoctoral research in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, Boston in the laboratory of Dr. Cliff Tabin. She joined the Cornell faculty in 2009.

Research Description

Keeping your organs in shape: Transcriptional and cellular control of tissue morphogenesis.

Organ shape acquisition requires intricate coordination of the morphogenetic repertoire during which tissues are bent, pulled, and moved. One striking example is the formation of the digestive system where complex looping and bending events shape the gut tube as it elongates. Our laboratory takes advantage of the chicken embryo as a classical embryological model to understand the molecular and cellular events that direct the formation of tissues and organs during vertebrate embryogenesis. Specifically, we seek to learn how information received from cell signaling is integrated to ultimately determine distinct cellular behaviors and cell shape during development.

Selected Publications

Kurpios, N.A., MacNeil, L., Shepherd, T.G., Gludish, D.W., Giacomelli, A.O., and Hassell, J.A. (2009) The Pea3 Ets transcription factor regulates differentiation of multipotent progenitor cells during mammary gland development. Dev. Biol. 325(1):106-121.

Kurpios, N.A., Ibañes, M., Davis, N.M., Lui, W., Katz, T., Martin, J.F., Izpisúa Belmonte, J.C., and Tabin, C.J. (2008) The direction of gut looping is established by changes in the extracellular matrix and in cell:cell adhesion. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 105(25):8499-8506.

Davis, N.M, Kurpios, N.A., Sun, X, Gros, J, Martin, J.F, and Tabin, C.J. (2008) The chirality of gut rotation derives from left-right asymmetric changes in the architecture of the dorsal mesentery. Dev. Cell 15(1):134-145.

Youn, B.S., Sen, A., Kallos, M.S., Behie, L.A., Girgis-Gabardo, A., Kurpios, N., Barcelon, M., and Hassell, J.A. (2005) Large-scale expansion of mammary epithelial stem cell aggregates in suspension bioreactors. Biotechnol. Prog. 21(3):984-993.

Chen, C., Ouyang, W., Grigura, V., Zhou, Q., Carnes, K., Lim, H., Zhao, G.Q., Arber, S., Kurpios, N., Murphy, T.L., Cheng, A.M., Hassell, J.A., Chandrashekar, V., Hofmann, M.C., Hess, R.A., and Murphy, K.M. (2005) ERM is required for transcriptional control of the spermatogonial stem cell niche. Nature 436(7053):1030-1034.

Hesselbrock, D.R., Kurpios N., Hassell, J.A., Watson, M.A., and Fleming, T.P. (2005) PEA3, AP-1, and unique repetitive sequence all are involved in transcriptional regulation of the breast cancer-associated gene, mammaglobin. Breast Cancer Res. Treat. 89(3):289-296.

White, D.E., Kurpios, N.A., Zuo, D., Hassell, J.A., Blaess, S., Mueller, U., and Muller, W.J. (2004) Targeted disruption of beta-1-integrin in a transgenic mouse model of human breast cancer reveals an essential role in mammary tumor induction. Cancer Cell 6(2):159-170.

Kurpios, N.A., Sabolic, N.S., Shepherd, T.G., Fidalgo, G.M., and Hassell, J.A. (2003) Function of PEA3 Ets transcription factors in mammary gland development and oncogenesis. J. Mam. Gland Biol. Neoplasia. 8(2):177-190.

Crawford, H.C., Fingleton, B., Gustavson, M.D., Kurpios, N., Wagenaar, R.A., Hassell J.A., and Matrisian L.M. (2001) The PEA3 subfamily of Ets transcription factors synergizes with beta-catenin/LEF-1 to activate matrilysin transcription in intestinal tumours. Mol. Cell Biol. 21(4):1370-1383.