Courtney W Houchen

Contact Information:
Courtney W Houchen


Houchen, Courtney W. (HSC)

Department of:

College Of Medicine/Medicine - Gastroenterology -Francis and Malcolm Robinson Chair and Chief

Center of:

Peggy & Charles Stephenson Oklahoma Cancer Center -Member


Atlanta University   MS   1985
Temple University School of Medicine   MD   1990
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Maryland Hospital   Intern   1991
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Maryland Hospital   Resident   1993
Department of Internal Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine   Fellowship   1997

Professional Interest/Expertise/Specializations:
Dr. Houchen's early research career lead him to become one of the first investigators to demonstrate the importance of RNA binding proteins in cancer biology. His recent investigations have explored the development of novel diagnostic markers for cancer and the molecular mechanisms that stem cell specific proteins play in the pathogenesis of cancer. Using DCAM-K1 as the novel marker for stem cells, he has been able to demonstrate its functional importance in signal transduction, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and cancer stem cell growth. He has developed a national and international reputation for his work in studying stem cells and the RNA binding proteins in the pathogenesis of gastrointestinal and pancreatic malignancies. Because of his recognition as a leader in the field of gastrointestinal stem cell markers, he has been asked to give keynote addresses at multiple national and international symposia including Digestive Disease Week (DDW), the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), Keystone Conference on Stem Cells, the American Gastroenterology Association's Freston Conference on Stem Cell Biology, the National Medical Association in Canada and in 2012 he was invited to Beijing China to present his research on miro-RNAs and the role of DCAM-K1 as a marker for stem cell identification and targeted cancer therapies at the 7th Chinese Conference on Oncology. Collectively, Dr. Houchen's research has led to over 160 manuscripts, book chapters and abstracts in high impact journals such as Gastroenterology, Cancer Research, Stem Cells, and Journal of Virology. Dr. Houchen has been successful with obtaining both NIH and non-NIH funding (OCAST, VA Merit, Oklahoma Center for Adult Stem Cell Research) and currently is a major contributor on the Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) awarded to the Stephenson Cancer Center. His research efforts have led to 5 patents through the OU Office of Intellectual Property.


Department of Internal Medicine-Section of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition
Peggy and Charles Stephenson Oklahoma Cancer Center
Department of Internal Medicine-Faculty Listing
Veterans Affairs Medical Center-Physician Listing

Research Projects:

1) Quiescent DCLK1+ Stem Cells in the Mouse Intestine (NIH/NIDDK) 9/12-5/16 [Wang PI]
2) The Gastrointestinal Stem Cell Response to Injury (VA Merit) 10/13-9/17 [Houchen PI]
3) Targeting DCLK1 Kinase Activity in Pancreatic Cancer (NIH R21/NCI) 12/14-11/16 [Houchen PI]
4) Mentoring Translational Cancer Research in Oklahoma Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) - Histology and Immunohistochemistry Module (NiGMS CORE II) 9/12-8/17 [Dhanasekaran PI]
5) The role of DCLK1 in the Initiation of Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma (NIH/R01) 4/15-3/20 [Houchen PI]

Selected Publications:

DCLK1 is Detectable in Plasma of Patients with Barrett's Esophagus and Esophageal Adenocarcinoma
2015    Whorton J, Sureban SM, May R, Qu D, Lightfoot SA, Madhoun M, Johnson M, Tierney WM, Maple JT, Vega KJ, Houchen CW
Dig Dis Sci 2015 Feb; 60(2):509-13. PMID:25283374
DCLK1 is a broadly dysregulated target against epithelial-mesenchymal transition, focal adhesion, and stemness in clear cell renal carcinoma
2015    Nathaniel Weygant, Dongfeng Qu, Randal May, Ryan M. Tierney, William L. Berry, Lichaeo Zhao, Shweta Agarwal, Parthasarathy Chandrakesan, Harisha R. Chinthalapally, Nicholas T. Murphy, James D. Li, Sripathi M. Sureban, Michael J. Schlosser, James J. Tomasek and Courtney W. Houchen
Oncotarget, 2015 Feb 10; 6(4): 2193-2205. PMID: 25605241[]=3059
Doublecortin-like kinase 1 is elevated serologically in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and widely expressed on circulating tumor cells
2015    Qu D, Johnson J, Chandrakesan P, Weygant N, May R, Aiello N, Rhim A, Zhao L, Zheng W, Lightfoot S, Pant S, Irvan J, Postier R, Hocker J, Hanas JS, Ali N, Sureban SM, An G, Schlosser MJ, Stanger B, Houchen CW
PLoS One. 2015 Feb 27;10(2):e0118933 PMID: 25723399
Targeting pancreatitis blocks tumor-initiating stem cells and pancreatic cancer progression
2015    Mohammed A, Janakiram NB, Madka V, Brewer M, Ritchie RL, Lightfoot S, Kumar G, Sadeghi M, Patlolla JM, Yamada HY, Cruz-Monserrate Z, May R, Houchen CW, Steele VE, Rao CV
Oncotarget, 2015 Jun 20;6(17):15524-39. PMID: 25906749
Inflammatory and oncogenic roles of a tumor stem cell marker doublecortin-like kinase (DCLK1) in virus-induced chronic liver diseases.
2015    Ali N, Chandrakesan P, Nguyen CB, Husain S, Gillaspy AF, Huycke M, Berry WL, May R, Qu D, Weygant N, Sureban SM, Bronze MS, Dhanasekaran DN, Houchen CW
Oncotarget. 2015 Aug 21;6(24):20327-44 PMID: 25948779
Dietary Pectin Increases Intestinal Crypt Stem Cell Survival following Radiation Injury
2015    Sureban SM, May R, Qu D, Chandrakesan P, Weygant N, Ali N, Lightfoot SA, Ding K, Umar S, Schlosser MJ, Houchen CW
PLoS One. 2015 Aug 13;10(8):e0135561. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0135561. eCollection 2015 PMID: 26270561
Serum CA125 is a novel predictive marker for pancreatic cancer metastasis and correlates with the metastasis-associated burden.
2015    Liu L, Xu HX, Wang WQ, Wu CT, Xiang JF, Liu C, Long J, Xu J, Fu DL, Ni QX, Houchen CW, Postier RG, Li M, Yu XJ
Oncotarget. 2016 Jan 5. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.6819. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 26745601[]=6819&pubmed-linkout=1
Ablation of Doublecortin-Like Kinase 1 in the Colonic Epithelium Exacerbates Dextran Sulfate Sodium-Induced Colitis
2015    Qu D, Weygant N, May R, Chandrakesan P, Madhoun M, Ali N, Sureban SM, An G, Schlosser MJ, Houchen CW
PLoS One. 2015 Aug 18;10(8):e0134212. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0134212. eCollection 2015 PMID: 26285154
ZIP4 silencing improves bone loss in pancreatic cancer.
2015    Zhang Q, Sun X, Yang J, Ding H, LeBrun D, Ding K, Houchen CW, Postier RG, Ambrose CG, Li Z, Bi X, Li M
Oncotarget. 2015 Sep 22;6(28):26041-51. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.4667. PMID: 26305676
Dclk1+ small intestinal epithelial tuft cells display the hallmarks of quiescence and self-renewal.
2015    Chandrakesan P, May R, Qu D, Weygant N, Taylor VE, Li JD, Ali N, Sureban SM, Qante M, Wang TC, Bronze MS, Houchen CW
Oncotarget. 2015 Oct 13;6(31):30876-86. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.5129 PMID: 26362399[]=5129&pubmed-linkout=1
Regulation of miRNAs by agents targeting the tumor stem cell markers DCLK1, MSI1, LGR5, and BMI1.
2015    Sureban SM, Qu D, Houchen CW.
Curr Pharmacol Rep. 2015 Aug 1;1(4):217-222 PMID: 26366338
Plasma DCLK1 is a marker of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC): Targeting DCLK1 prevents HCC tumor xenograft growth via a microRNA-dependent mechanism.
2015    Sureban SM, Madhoun MF, May R, Qu D, Ali N, Fazili J, Weygant N, Chandrakesan P, Ding K, Lightfoot SA, Houchen CW
Oncotarget. 2015 Nov 10;6(35):37200-15. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.5808 PMID: 26468984[]=5808&pubmed-linkout=1
Novel regenerative peptide TP508 mitigates radiation-induced gastrointestinal damage by activating stem cells and preserving crypt integrity
2015    Kantara C, Moya SM, Houchen CW, Umar S, Ullrich RL, Singh P, Carney DH
Lab Invest. 2015 Nov;95(11):1222-33. doi: 10.1038/labinvest.2015.103. Epub 2015 Aug 17 PMID: 26280221