• Research in the Division of Asthma

    Research Overview

    Asthma and allergic diseases are a serious public health burden and affect over 40% of the population worldwide.  In the Division of Asthma Research our overarching goal is to develop new prevention and treatment strategies for allergic diseases that are personalized and target high risk populations at the critical time periods when they are most vulnerable.

    Research Focus  


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    In the Division of Asthma Research we are focused on understanding the total exposure relevant to asthma from the cell and individual level to the patient, family neighborhood and community level.  We aim to identify the factors that contribute to asthma development and symptoms, determine the mechanisms by which these factors contribute to disease, delineate how effects of environmental exposure are modified by genetics and other exposures, and identify biomarkers of exposure and disease activity and severity in an individual.   Our current projects include a spectrum of basic, translational and clinical research that investigates the role of these factor in promoting disease development and activity.

    Research Strategy 

    Our Research Strategy-SEP 14-415

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    The division utilizes transdisciplinary approaches integrating human cohorts, in vitro systems, and animal models to address these complex problems.  Numerous other factors affect disease outcomes as well including psychosocial factors, community health perceptions, and health literacy. 

  • Highlights of Recent Publications

  • NAT1 polymorphism increases cotinine levels in Caucasian children exposed to SHS

    Cotinine is proxy for secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure.  Genetic variation along nicotine and cotinine metabolic pathways may alter the internal cotinine close, leading to misinterpretations of exposure health outcomes association.  Caucasian children with available SHS exposure and hair cotinine data were genotyped for metabolism-related genes.

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  • Dynamic transcriptional and epigenomic reprograming from pediatric nasal epithelial cells to iPSCs


    Reprinted from Fig. 3 published in J Allergy Clin Immunol 2014 Oct 14. Differentiation potential of the NEC-iPSC using in vitro embryonic body formation and in vivo teratoma induction. Copyright © 2014 with permissions from Elsevier

    Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) hold tremendous potential, both as a biological tool to uncover the pathophysiology of disease by creating relevant human cell models and as a source of cells for cell-based therapeutic applications. In this study we sought to characterize the derivation of iPSC lines from nasal epithelial cells (NECs) isolated from nasal mucosa samples of children.

    Read the abstract.