Dr. Eunyoung Choi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery and Cell and Developmental Biology. Dr. Choi is a recipient of an NCI MERIT Award (R37) and the Funderburg award 2022 recipient. Her long-term goal is to elucidate biological mechanisms of malignant transformation of pre-cancerous cells in epithelial carcinogenesis. The Choi lab has developed both in vitro and in vivo model models that provide a critical platform for understanding biological mechanisms of the carcinogenic process. The Choi lab defined a key transitioning cell zone in mucosal glands, where 1) cell lineage conversion from pre-cancerous metaplastic cells to cancerous cells happens and 2) initial architectural changes occur. The Choi lab also identified dysplastic stem cells, a stem cell population present in the transitioning cell zone and de novo cancer-initiating cells which can evolve to adenocarcinoma. The group currently focuses on defining critical oncogenes for stem cell lineage plasticity and factors for energy metabolism giving a boost to dynamic molecular activities during gastric carcinogenesis.