Dr. DelGiorno is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cell & Developmental Biology and the Department of Surgery. Her laboratory studies diseases of the exocrine pancreas including pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic Cancer is a devastating disease with an abysmal survival rate. This is largely due to late diagnosis and a lack of understanding of the early events leading to tumor formation. Dr. DelGiorno’s laboratory uses a combination of histopathology, genetically engineered mouse models, small cell number RNA-sequencing, and ultrastructural microscopy to uncover early changes in the pancreas resulting from injury and leading to cancer. Her laboratory has discovered a surprising amount of epithelial heterogeneity in the pancreas in response to injury and/or oncogenic mutation, including the formation of a number of different secretory cell populations, including tuft cells. They are studying the physiological role of metaplasia-derived secretory cell populations in injury, pre-invasive disease and tumorigenesis with the ultimate goal of exploiting anti-tumorigenic signaling or targeting pro-tumorigenic signaling pathways for patient benefit.