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

The mechanisms discovered through the study of embryonic development have been fundamental to understanding disease. We use a combination of classical chicken embryology and modern mouse genetics including CRISPR to elucidate how basic cellular processes define the shape and function of organs. We are most fascinated by the conserved left-right (LR) organ asymmetry as errors of organ laterality are fundamentally linked to life-threatening birth defects. Our current research is in the following areas: 1) Mechanisms underlying asymmetric organ development and remodeling of blood vessels; 2) Signaling pathways involving lymphatic development; 3) Chromatin looping mechanisms and the role of long noncoding RNA during organogenesis.

Selected Publications

Welsh, I.C., Kwak, H., Chen, F.L., Werner, M., Shopland, L.S., Danko, C.G., Lis, J.T., Zhang, M., Martin, J.F., and Kurpios, N.A. (2015) Chromatin architecture of the Pitx2 locus requires CTCF- and Pitx2-dependent asymmetry that mirrors embryonic gut laterality. Cell Rep. 13(2): 337-349. COVER ARTICLE.

Mahadevan, A., Welsh, I.C., Sivakumar, A., Gludish, D.W., Shilvock, A.R., Noden, D.M., Huss, D., Lansford, R., and Kurpios, N.A. (2014) the left-right Pitx2 pathway drives organ-specific arterial and lymphatic development in the intestine. Dev. Cell 31(6): 690-706. COVER ARTICLE.

Welsh, I.C., Thomsen, M., Gludish, D.W., Alfonso-Parra, C., Bai, Y., Martin, J.F., and Kurpios, N.A. (2013) Integration of left-right Pitx2 transcription and Wnt signaling drives asymmetric gut morphogenesis via Daam2. Dev. Cell 26(6): 629-644. COVER ARTICLE, Accompanied by a Commentary. Faculty of 1000 Prime Recommendation.

Kurpios, N.A., Girgis-Gabardo, A., Hallett, R.M., Rogers, S., Gludish, D.W., Kockeritz, L., Woodgett, J., Cardiff, R., and Hassell, J.A. (2013) Single unpurified breast tumor-initiating cells from multiple mouse models efficiently elicit tumors in immune-competent hosts. PLoS One 8(3): e58151.

Savin, T., Kurpios, N.A., Shyer, A.E., Florescu, P., Liang, H., Mahadevan, L., and Tabin, C.J. (2011) On the growth and form of the gut. Nature 476(7358): 57-62.

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.