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Department of Medicine

Department of Medicine

  Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine

RESEARCH




 

ACUTE LUNG INJURY

Rama Mallampalli, MD
Bill Chen, PhD
Michael Donahoe, MD
Janet Lee, MD
Bryan McVerry, MD
Prabir Ray, PhD
Raju Reddy, MD
Yutong Zhao, PhD

 

ASTHMA, ALLERGY, AND IMMUNOLOGY

Sally Wenzel, MD
Juan Celedon, MD, DrPH
Merritt Fajt, MD
Andrej Petrov, MD
Anuradha Ray, PhD
Prabir Ray, PhD

 

CYSTIC FIBROSIS, TRANSPLANT, AND IMMUNOLOGY

Joseph Pilewski, MD
John McDyer, MD
Tim Corcoran, PhD
Matthew Morrell, MD
Mike Myerberg, MD

 

EMPHYSEMA / COPD

Frank Sciurba, MD
Jessica Bon, MD
Seyed Mehdi Nouraie, MD, PhD

 

HIV LUNG RESEARCH

Alison Morris, MD, MS
Karen Norris, PhD

 

HOST DEFENSE

Prabir Ray, PhD
John Alcorn, PhD
Jen Bomberger, PhD
Jay Kolls, MD
Janet Lee, MD

 

INTERSTITIAL LUNG DISEASE

Kevin Gibson, MD
Daniel Kass, MD
Kathleen Lindell, PhD, RN
Ana Mora, MD
Toru Nyunoya, MD
Mauricio Rojas, MD
Yingze Zhang, PhD

 

SLEEP

Sanjay Patel, MD, MS
Charles Atwood, MD
Chris O'Donnell, PhD
Patrick Strollo, MD

 

PULMONARY HYPERTENSION / VMI

Mark Gladwin, MD
Elena Goncharova, PhD
Jeff Isenberg, MD, MPH
Ana Mora, MD
Prithu Sundd, PhD

 


Laboratories


A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z     
   

CHEN LAB

Dr. Chen’s primary research interest is in the study of molecular  mechanisms controlling inflammation  and cell proliferation  via protein ubiquitination.     Dr. Chen’s  second  area of research  interest  is small molecule  drug design.  He has successfully  designed  and synthesized  a novel  series  of first-in-class small  molecule  FBXO3 protein inhibitors.   His long-term  goal is to develop a new class of therapeutics  to combat inflammatory  diseases focusing on a novel mechanism.

Beibei (Bill) Chen, PhD
Principal Investigator

 

 

CORCORAN LAB

Dr. Corcoran's  research  focuses include the development  of inhaled medications  and aerosol-based nuclear imaging of the lungs.  This includes measurements  of mucociliary  clearance and airway surface liquid absorption  in adult and pediatric cystic fibrosis patients.  These techniques have also been applied in other patients groups including asthma, congenital  heart  disease,  and  muscular  dystrophy  patients. He  has  active  collaborations  with  the  Department  of Physics at Carnegie Mellon University to design self-dispersing aerosol drugs and the   Chemical   Engineering  Department  at Pitt to develop computer models of liquid and ion transport across the airway epithelium. 

Tim Corcoran, PhD
Principal Investigator

 

 

GLADWIN LAB   (VMI)

Dr. Gladwin’s clinical research and expertise focuses on pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary complications of sickle cell disease.  Since 1998, Dr. Gladwin's research has led to four scientific discoveries: 1) the nitrite anion is a circulating storage pool for NO bioactivity that regulates hypoxic vasodilation and the cellular resilience to low oxygen and ischemia; 2) a novel physiological function for hemoglobin as an electronically- and allosterically-regulated nitrite reductase; 3) the characterization of a novel mechanism of disease, hemolysis-associated endothelial dysfunction; and 4) the mechanistic, clinical, and epidemiological description of a human disease syndrome, hemolysis-associated pulmonary hypertension.

Mark Gladwin, MD
Principal Investigator

 

 

GONCHAROVA LAB   (VMI)

Dr.   Goncharova’s    research   interests   have   focused   on   the signaling   mechanisms    regulating   cellular   energy metabolism, proliferation,  motility and survival as it relates to the pathogenesis  of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH)  and  pulmonary lymphangioleiomyomatosis  (LAM).  Her  current  work  specifically focuses  on  the  role  of mammalian  target of rapamycin  (mTOR) signaling  network in metabolism,  proliferation,  and survival of pulmonary vascular smooth muscle cells in PAH.

Elena A. Goncharova, PhD
Elena A. Goncharova, PhD
Principal Investigator

 

 

ISENBERG LAB   (VMI)

Dr. Isenberg's research  interests  have  centered  on  the  need  to enhance  tissue  blood  flow,  perfusion  and  wound healing,  and  stem from  his background  as a reconstructive  microsurgeon.  He now studies the molecular  aspect  of blood flow and perfusion, and has recently discovered  a novel inhibitory  pathway that blocks physiologic nitric oxide (NO) signaling.  Recently  he made the startling discovery that a matrix protein, thrombspondin-1 (TSP1), completely inhibits NO-driven events in vascular cells by blocking activation of sGC.

Jeff Isenberg, MD, MPH

Jeffrey S. Isenberg, MD, MPH
Principal Investigator

 

 

KASS LAB

Daniel  J Kass,  MD  is the  Director,  Dorothy  P. and  Richard  P. Simmons Center for Interstitial Lung Diseases and a clinician scientist who specializes in the care of patients with interstitial lung disease (ILD), and, particularly, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).  Because IPF is currently untreatable,  his research has focused on identifying novel and personalized therapies for patients who suffer from IPF, using two distinct aspects of the biology of fibroblasts—the principal effectors of pulmonary fibrosis: how fibroblasts interact with the immune system to regulate inflammation in pulmonary fibrosis and how the endogenous hormone relaxin may regulate the differentiation of fibroblasts into the highly active scarring cells known as myofibroblasts.

Daniel Kass, MD
Principal Investigator

 

 

LEE LAB

Broadly speaking, Dr. Lee studies host susceptibility to lung injury and the role of phagocytes that orchestrate and participate in the injury response as well as aid in the repair and resolution of inflammation. Utilizing a repertoire of relevant injury models including bacterial pneumonia, sterile LPS-induced lung injury, chronic cigarette smoke exposure and RBC transfusion, she studies innate immune activation signals triggered during lung inflammation and subsequent de-activation signals requisite for appropriate resolution.

Janet S. Lee, MD
Principal Investigator

 

 

MALLAMPALLI LAB

Director of the ALI program, Dr. Mallampalli’s research is in the area of pulmonary molecular and cell biology as it relates to acute lung injury (ALI) and the mechanisms of sepsis. The primary goal of his research is to better understand inflammation, that when left unchecked, leads to tissue and organ injury.  Dr. Mallampalli’s second area of research interest is in the investigation of the mitochondrial-specific phospholipid, cardiolipin. A third focus is to investigate the molecular mechanisms for control of major phospholipids of animal membranes and of lung surfactant, including phosphatidylcholine (PC).

Rama Mallampalli, MD
Principal Investigator

 

 

McDYER LAB

As Director of the Lung Transplantation Translational Research Program, Dr. McDyer is keenly interested in the mechanisms of tolerance and rejection, host defense and ischemic reperfusion injury. Using the mouse orthotopic lung transplant model and the heterotopic tracheal transplant model, he specifically addresses the regulation of cytokine responses in rejection and how different cytokine milieus lead to variable rejection pathology.  Dr. McDyer also studies the immune mechanisms of ischemic  reperfusion injury in the mouse orthotopic lung transplant model and using human PBMC subjected to in vitro hypoxia.

John McDyer, MD
Principal Investigator

 

 

MORA LAB   (VMI)

Dr. Mora’s research is focused in the understanding of the pathogenesis of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) and pulmonary arterial hypertension  (PAH). Because aging a major risk factor for IPF, she studies the role of mitochondria dysfunction and altered proteostasis in the aging lung epithelial cell in the activation of pro-fibrotic responses. She has found that mitochondrial quality control has a critical role in the genesis of aging related susceptibility to lung fibrosis. Her research is aimed to identify novel diagnostic and therapeutic mitochondrial targets to control lung fibrosis.  In parallel, her laboratory analyzes the role of mitochondrial homeostasis in vascular remodeling and the pathogenesis of PAH.

Ana Mora, MD

Ana L. Mora, MD
Principal Investigator
   

MORRIS LAB

The type of studies performed by Dr. Morris' group include large cohort epidemiologic studies of lung disease and respiratory symptoms, translational studies in which physiologic and molecular techniques are applied to patient populations, and collaborations with co-investigators utilizing non-human primate models of disease.  Dr. Morris’ research interests focus in several overlapping areas including HIV-associated lung disease, HIV-associated emphysema, and the role of Pneumocystis in COPD.

Alison Morris, MD, MS
Principal Investigator

 

 

MYERBERG LAB

Dr. Myerburg’s  primary  research  interest  is to determine  the mechanisms  and  pathological  conditions  associated with  hydration of the  airway  lumen.    His  research  uses  in  vitro  and  in  vivo techniques to  understand   the  ion transport proteins involved in maintain optimal airway surface liquid volume in health and how alterations  in these processes results in dysfunctional  mucuociliary clearance from the lung in cystic fibrosis, asthma, and related airway diseases.

Michael Myerberg, MD
Principal Investigator

 

 

O'DONNELL LAB

Dr. O’Donnell’s interests are in the pathophysiology of hypoxia and sleep apnea and its relationship to metabolic and cardiovascular dysfunction. His laboratory utilizes murine models of obesity and hypoxia using a variety of chronically instrumented inbred and transgenic mouse strains.

Christopher O'Donnell, PhD
Principal Investigator

 

 

PILEWSKI LAB

Co-director of the Adult Cystic Fibrosis program at UPMC, Dr. Pilewski’s research centers on Cystic Fibrosis and other suppurative lung diseases, both pre- and post-transplant. He works towards improving post‐transplant outcomes particularly in this patient population, including in patients who are colonized with drug resistant organisms. He also serves as principal investigator of a lung tissue bank that makes explanted lung samples available to investigators studying Cystic Fibrosis and other end stage lung diseases. Lastly, he is collaborating with Dr. Andrej Petrov on studies of hypogammaglobulinemia in lung transplant recipients

Joseph Pilewski, MD
Principal Investigator

 

 

A. RAY LAB

The primary goal of Dr. Ray's research is to understand immune mechanisms involving interactions between dendritic  cells (DCs), T helper cells and T regulatory cells as they relate to the regulation of chronic inflammatory diseases in the lung and the gut such as asthma and inflammatory bowel disease. She is also interested in mucosal defense mechanisms against infectious agents. All studies in  her laboratory employ genetically altered mice and various immunological, molecular, biochemical and imaging techniques.

Anuradha Ray, PhD
Principal Investigator

 

 

P. RAY LAB

Ongoing research in Dr. Ray’s laboratory encompasses two major areas, which are studies of innate immune mechanisms that mediate resolution of lung inflammation and protect from lung injury after pneumonia and the impact of early life viral infections on immunoregulatory mechanisms in the lung. He is particularly interested in differences in host defense mechanisms between newborns and older adults that causes increased susceptibility to respiratory viruses in early rather than in later life.

Prabir Ray, PhD
Principal Investigator

 

 

ROJAS LAB

Dr. Rojas is the Scientific Director of the Dorothy P. and Richard P. Simmons Center for Interstitial Lung Diseases. His research focuses on finding the role of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in lung repair after injury. Dr. Rojas’s immediate goal is to expand the understanding of the immune and cellular mechanisms used by mesenchymal stem cells to prevent lung injury, as well as the regulation of their migration and recruitment to the injury site. Most recently he has expanded his area of interest on the consequences of aging in the predisposition of lung diseases, allowing the designation of better clinical trials according to the type of injury that is suffering the lung. By translating this knowledge into clinic, Dr. Rojas hopes to complete his long-term goal: better conditions of life on patients with lung diseases.

Mauricio Rojas, PhD
Principal Investigator

 

 

SUNDD LAB   (VMI)

Dr. Sundd’s research focuses on the mechanisms of leukocyte rolling and arrest during inflammation; the role of neutrophils in pulmonary vaso-occlusion during sickle cell disease Acute Chest Syndrome; and identifying molecular mechanism of vaso-occlusion in SCD (SS) patient blood.

Prithu Sundd, PhD

Prithu Sundd, PhD
Principal Investigator

 

 

ZHANG LAB

Dr. Zhang is interested in the molecular and genetic basis of IPF, COPD and other lung diseases. Her research is focused on the identification of both genes and peripheral biomarkers associated with the development of IPF and COPD and/or associated with the disease progression/outcome of these patients. Her laboratory is also conducting research to dissect the genetic basis of disease biomarkers for IPF and COPD. She directs the Translational Research Core Lab that is responsible for the sample processing/banking and peripheral biomarker analysis.

Yingze Zhang, PhD
Principal Investigator

 

 

ZHAO LAB

Dr. Zhao’s research focuses on the role of lysophospholipids in pulmonary epithelial and endothelial inflammation and remodeling. Currently, Dr. Zhao is investigating the role of LPA in pulmonary epithelial cells-mediated inflammation and barrier function and remodeling. Dr. Zhao is also interesting in role of ubiquitin-proteasome system in regulation of lung inflammation and injury, especially the ubiquitin E3 ligases and deubiquitinating enzymes in signal transduction in lung epithelium and endothelium.

Yutong Zhao, PhD
Principal Investigator