Meet George Eisenhoffer, Ph.D.
Present Title & Affiliation
Associate Professor, Department of Genetics, Division of Basic Science Research, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Faculty Member, Department of Genetics & Epigenetics Program, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Houston, TX
Faculty Member, Division of Developmental Program, Baylor College of Medicine Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Houston, TX
Faculty Member, Division of Pediatric Research, UT Health McGovern Medical School, Houston, TX
Zebrafish Development and Genetics Epithelial Tissue Homeostasis Regeneration Cell Extrusion
My lab focuses on understanding the coordination of cell division and death to control overall cell numbers in epithelia. Epithelial tissues provide an essential protective barrier for the organs they encase, and are the primary sites where most solid tumors or carcinomas form. Alterations in both cell loss and proliferation have been implicated in numerous human diseases, including cancer, yet our knowledge of how these two processes influence each other to regulate cell numbers within normal epithelia remains limited. The goal of our research is to elucidate the mechanisms that regulate epithelial cell turnover while preserving barrier function. Our work has uncovered that mechanical forces guide the inter-relationship between cell death and division during homeostatic cell turnover in epithelia, and that damage elicits a separate but equally important response. We have found that cell extrusion, a process used to eliminate cells from epithelia without disrupting barrier function, is the key to driving turnover in both scenarios. To investigate extrusion in a living epithelial tissue, we developed a cellular and molecular toolset to study the epidermis of developing zebrafish. This system provides unparalleled access to analyze epithelial cell turnover in vivo and in real time. We utilize a combinatorial approach that involves timelapse imaging and reverse genetic techniques to characterize cell turnover under physiological conditions, after damage, and when extrusion is perturbed to gain a better understanding of the specific alterations that lead to epithelial pathologies and cancer.
Education & Training
|2008||The University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA, PHD, Cell and Molecular Biology|
|1999||The University of Texas, Austin, TX, USA, BA, Microbiology|
|2009-2014||Postdoctoral Fellowship, Huntsman Cancer Institute, Salt Lake City, UT|
Honors & Awards
|2019||Linda and Mark Quick Award for Basic Science|
|2019||Rolanette and Berdon Lawrence Research Award, Baylor College of Medicine|
|2019||John S. Dunn Collaborative Research Award|
|2014||DeLill Nasser Award for Professional Development in Genetics, Genetics Society of America|
|2014||Recruitment of First-Time Tenure-Track Faculty Award, Cancer Prevention Institute of Texas|
|2014||Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Scholarship, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory|
|2011||American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellowship, American Cancer Society|
|2010||NIH Multidisciplinary Training Grant, National Institutes of Health|
|2009||Marine Biology Laboratory Scholarship, Marine Biology Laboratory|
|2005||NIH Developmental Biology Training Grant, National Institutes of Health|
- Essien SA, Ahuja I, Eisenhoffer GT. Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor on Apoptotic Extracellular Vesicles Regulates Compensatory Proliferation. bioRxiv, 2023. e-Pub 2023. PMID: 37398303.
- Maili L, Ruiz OE, Kahan P, Chiu F, Larson ST, Hashmi SS, Hecht JT, Eisenhoffer GT. zFACE: Facial Analytics from a Coordinate Extrapolation System for Morphometric Phenotyping of Developing Zebrafish. Dis Model Mech. e-Pub 2023. PMID: 37102214.
- Maili L, Tandon B, Yuan Q, Menezes S, Chiu F, Hashmi SS, Letra A, Eisenhoffer GT, Hecht JT. Disruption of fos causes craniofacial anomalies in developing zebrafish. Front Cell Dev Biol 11:1141893, 2023. e-Pub 2023. PMID: 37664458.
- Ruiz OE, Samms KM, Eisenhoffer GT. A protocol to evaluate epithelial regeneration after inducing cell loss in zebrafish larvae. STAR Protoc 3(1):101073, 2022. e-Pub 2022. PMID: 35036954.
- Yu Y, Alvarado R, Petty LE, Bohlender RJ, Shaw DM, Below JE, Bejar N, Ruiz OE, Tandon B, Eisenhoffer GT, Kiss DL, Huff CD, Letra A, Hecht JT. Polygenic risk impacts PDGFRA mutation penetrance in nonsyndromic cleft lip and palate. Hum Mol Genet. e-Pub 2022. PMID: 35147171.
- Wurster S, Ruiz OE, Tatara AM, Kontoyiannis DP, Eisenhoffer GT. Protocol for fungal infection following the induction of epithelial cell loss in larval zebrafish. STAR Protoc 2(4):100963, 2021. e-Pub 2021. PMID: 34849488.
- Atieh Y, Ruiz OE, Eisenhoffer GT. Protocol for quantitative analysis of pulsatile contractions and cell extrusion in epithelial tissues of larval zebrafish. STAR Protoc 2(2):100600, 2021. e-Pub 2021. PMID: 34169293.
- Wurster S, Ruiz OE, Samms KM, Tatara AM, Albert ND, Kahan PH, Nguyen AT, Mikos AG, Kontoyiannis DP, Eisenhoffer GT. EGF-mediated suppression of cell extrusion during mucosal damage attenuates opportunistic fungal invasion. Cell Rep 34(12):108896, 2021. PMID: 33761358.
- Atieh Y, Wyatt T, Zaske AM, Eisenhoffer GT. Pulsatile contractions promote apoptotic cell extrusion in epithelial tissues. Curr Biol. e-Pub 2020. PMID: 33400921.
- Flores EM, Nguyen AT, Odem MA, Eisenhoffer GT, Krachler AM. The Zebrafish as a Model for Gastrointestinal Tract - Microbe Interactions. Cell Microbiol 22(3):e13152, 2020. e-Pub 2020. PMID: 31872937.
- Franco JJ, Atieh Y, Bryan CD, Kwan KM, Eisenhoffer GT. Cellular Crowding Influences Extrusion and Proliferation to Facilitate Epithelial Tissue Repair. Mol Biol Cell 30(16):mbcE18050295, 2019. e-Pub 2019. PMID: 30785842.
- Teixeira Rosa J, Oralová V, Larionova D, Eisenhoffer GT, Eckhard Witten P, Huysseune A. Periderm invasion contributes to epithelial formation in the teleost pharynx. Sci Rep 9(1):10082, 2019. e-Pub 2019. PMID: 31300674.
- Brock CK, Wallin ST, Ruiz OE, Samms KM, Mandal A, Sumner EA, Eisenhoffer GT. Stem cell proliferation is induced by apoptotic bodies from dying cells during epithelial tissue maintenance. Nat Commun 10(1):1044, 2019. e-Pub 2019. PMID: 30837472.
- Tatara AM, Wurster S, Lockworth CR, Albert ND, Walsh TJ, Mikos AG, Eisenhoffer GT, Kontoyiannis DP. Immunosuppressed Adult Zebrafish Model of Mucormycosis. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 62(11), 2018. e-Pub 2018. PMID: 30150461.
- Fish JE, Cantu Gutierrez M, Dang LT, Khyzha N, Chen Z, Veitch S, Cheng HS, Khor M, Antounians L, Njock MS, Boudreau E, Herman AM, Rhyner AM, Ruiz OE, Eisenhoffer GT, Medina-Rivera A, Wilson MD, Wythe JD. Dynamic regulation of VEGF-inducible genes by an ERK-ERG-p300 transcriptional network. Development 144(13):2428-2444, 2017. e-Pub 2017. PMID: 28536097.
- Eisenhoffer GT, Slattum G, Ruiz OE, Otsuna H, Bryan CD, Lopez J, Wagner DS, Bonkowsky JL, Chien CB, Dorsky RI, Rosenblatt J. A toolbox to study epidermal cell types in zebrafish. J Cell Sci 130(1):269-277, 2017. e-Pub 2016. PMID: 27149923.
- Eisenhoffer GT, Rosenblatt J. Bringing balance by force: live cell extrusion controls epithelial cell numbers. Trends Cell Biol 23(4):185-92, 2013. e-Pub 2012. PMID: 23273931.
- Eisenhoffer GT, Loftus PD, Yoshigi M, Otsuna H, Chien CB, Morcos PA, Rosenblatt J. Crowding induces live cell extrusion to maintain homeostatic cell numbers in epithelia. Nature 484(7395):546-9, 2012. e-Pub 2012. PMID: 22504183.
- Eisenhoffer GT, Rosenblatt J. Live imaging of cell extrusion from the epidermis of developing zebrafish. J Vis Exp(52), 2011. e-Pub 2011. PMID: 21730948.
- Pearson BJ, Eisenhoffer GT, Gurley KA, Rink JC, Miller DE, Sánchez Alvarado A. Formaldehyde-based whole-mount in situ hybridization method for planarians. Dev Dyn 238(2):443-50, 2009. PMID: 19161223.
- Eisenhoffer GT, Kang H, Sánchez Alvarado A. Molecular analysis of stem cells and their descendants during cell turnover and regeneration in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. Cell Stem Cell 3(3):327-39, 2008. PMID: 18786419.
- Adey NB, Lei M, Howard MT, Jensen JD, Mayo DA, Butel DL, Coffin SC, Moyer TC, Slade DE, Spute MK, Hancock AM, Eisenhoffer GT, Dalley BK, McNeely MR. Gains in sensitivity with a device that mixes microarray hybridization solution in a 25-microm-thick chamber. Anal Chem 74(24):6413-7, 2002. PMID: 12510768.
- Eisenhoffer GT, Clouthier D, Cox T, Saint-Jeannet JP, Taneyhill LA, Trainor PA, Moody SA. The Society for Craniofacial Genetics and Developmental Biology 42nd Annual Meeting. Am J Med Genet A 182(7):1555-1561, 2020. e-Pub 2020. PMID: 32352199.
Grant & Contract Support
|Title:||The Role of Extrusion in Controlling Overall Numbers in Epithelia|
|Funding Source:||Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT)|
|Title:||Regulation of Cell Turnover During Epithelial Tissue Homeostasis|
|Title:||Award for Basic Science|
|Funding Source:||Linda and Mark Quick|
|Title:||Visualizing Molecular Regulation of Craniofacial Morphogenesis|
|Funding Source:||Bone Disease Program of Texas|
|Title:||Visualizing Cell and Molecular Transitions That Contribute to Abnormal Craniofacial Development|
|Funding Source:||Gulf Coast Consortia (GCC)|