Category: Pulmonary Development and Lung Disease

Pulmonary biology and disease


Ronald I Clyman, M.D.

Clyman

Research Interests:
Cardiology, Cell Biology, Developmental Biology, Neonatology, Neonatal Cardiology

Summary:
The ductus arteriosus is a vital fetal blood vessel that diverts blood away from the fetus’s lungs and towards the placenta during life inside the uterus. After birth it is essential that the ductus arteriosus constricts and obliterates itself so that the normal postnatal pattern of blood flow can be established. Essentially all full term infants will have closed their ductus by the third day after birth. Preterm infants of less than 30 weeks gestation have a high chance of having a persistently open or patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). If the ductus arteriosus remains open it contributes to the development of several neonatal morbidities: prolonged ventilator dependency, pulmonary hemorrhage, pulmonary edema, chronic lung disease and necrotizing enterocolitis. Our laboratory has been studying the factors that regulate normal closure of the ductus arteriosus in full term infants and abnormal persistent ductal patency in preterm infants. Approaches used to study this problem are: controlled clinical trials, integrated whole animal physiology, in vitro organ culture, and cell biology.

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Pao-Tien Chuang, M.D. , Ph.D.

Chuang

Research Interests:
Cell-cell signaling during mammalian development and in postnatal physiology

Summary:
We use mouse as a model system to understand how embryos develop. This knowledge is critical for understanding the basis of human congenital defects. Moreover, many adult diseases have their origin in development. Thus, our studies have important implications for developing stem cell therapy and identifying the cause of cancers.

 

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Harold A Chapman, M.D.

Chapman

Research Interests:
Antigen presentation by MHC class II molecules important to immunity and autoimmunity and extracellular matrix remodeling important to cell migration and tissue repair

Summary:
The Chapman lab is focused on basic and biomedical aspects of lung injury and tissue remodeling. Currently the lab is exploring the process of epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) in the lung, a process whereby epithelial lining cells of the lung become reprogrammed to migrate and activate a fibrotic program. The process is also implicated in progression of lung cancer and the lab is exploring the mechanisms by which EMT contributes to lung fibrosis and cancer metastasis.

 

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George H Caughey, M.D.

Caughey

Research Interests:
Regulation of lung and airway function by mast cell, leukocyte and epithelial proteases

Summary:
The Caughey lab is interested in understanding how protein-cleaving enzymes of mast cells, white blood cells, and cells lining the airway contribute to inflammation, host defense, tissue remodeling and barrier function in the lung. These studies relate to clinical problems in asthma, cystic fibrosis, lung transplantation and pneumonia.

 

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Carolyn S. Calfee, M.D., MAS

Calfee

Research Interests:
Acute lung injury, acute respiratory distress syndrome, cigarette smoking, molecular epidemiology, biomarkers

Summary:
Dr. Calfee’s primary academic focus is the prevention, diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of acute lung injury (ALI) and the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Current research projects include: (1) the role of biomarkers in investigating ALI/ARDS pathogenesis, early diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis; (2) the role of cigarette smoke exposure in susceptibility to lung injury; and (3) novel treatments for acute lung injury.

 

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James K Brown, M.D.

Brown

Research Interests:
Protease signaling

Summary:
In asthma, abnormal growth of airway smooth muscle cells contributes to difficult breathing. Mast cells are a prominent inflammatory cell in the airways of these patients, and during allergic reactions, mast cells release a substance called tryptase. Our work focuses on understanding how tryptase activates smooth muscle cells to grow.

 

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V Courtney Broaddus, M.D.

Broaddus

Research Interests:
Role of apoptosis in asbestos-induced malignancy. Molecular interaction of asbestos fibers with mesothelial cells, specifically with regard to the role of cell surface adhesion receptors.

Summary:
Our lab studies the ways that tumor cells resist dying either when they are single cells or when they aggregate into clumps, called 3-dimensional spheroids. Our goal is to understand the strategies that resistant tumors use to avoid death and then find ways to bypass these defenses.

 

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Homer A Boushey, M.D.

Boushey

Research Interests:
Bronchial hyperreactivity in asthma. Effects of viral infection on airway function. Regulation of airway mucous secretion and vascular permeability.

Summary:
Dr. Boushey’s goal is to develop ways of curing and preventing asthma. His research takes advantage of new methods for detecting viruses and bacteria to examine relationships among the allergens and bacteria found in the environment, bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, the function of the immune system, and the development of asthma.

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Paul D Blanc, M.D., MSPH

Blanc

Research Interests:

Epidemiology of occupational lung disease, Asthma outcomes and Occupational toxicology

Summary:
Dr. Blanc’s research addresses the impact of work-related and environmental exposures on human health, in particular respiratory diseases such as asthma, and COPD. His work focuses on the role that such exposures can play in causing disease and also how ongoing stressors can aggravate pre-existing disease and lead to disability


Prescott G Woodruff, M.D., M.P.H.

Woodruff

Research Interests:
Genomics, Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Stereology, Epidemiology, Clinical Trials, Medical Education

Summary:
My research relates to two common lung diseases, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and falls into three specific categories: 1) the identification of molecular sub-phenotypes of these diseases, 2) the elucidation of mechanisms of inflammation and remodeling in these diseases and 3) clinical trials of novel therapies.


Kamran Atabai, M.D.

Atabai

Research Interests:
Apoptotic cell and collagen clearance in health and disease.

Summary:
The accumulation of cellular and molecular debris in the extracellular compartment must be precisely regulated to preserve tissue integrity. We are interested in discovering the pathways that regulate tissue homeostasis through the removal of matrix molecules (collagen) and cellular debris (apoptotic cells) under normal and pathological conditions.

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Christopher D Allen, Ph.D.

Allen

Research Interests:
Cellular dynamics of allergic immune responses underlying asthma

Summary:
Asthma is a chronic lung disease that afflicts tens of millions of people in the US and is particularly prevalent in children. In the majority of individuals with asthma, underlying allergic inflammation in the lung makes a significant contribution to the disease etiology. In order to understand the cellular and molecular events driving this allergic inflammation, we use advanced technologies, including two-photon microscopy and flow cytometry, to directly visualize and characterize inflammatory cells in the lungs as well as in lymphoid organs that ‘prime’ cells for immune responses in the respiratory tract. A particular emphasis of our research is on the generation and function of the IgE class of antibodies that contribute to allergic responses.

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