• Pulmonary Biology

    Many newborns have lung dysfunction at birth due to prematurity or congenital problems. Research in our division focuses on understanding both the normal processes of lung development and the molecular and cellular events that contribute to lung disease. Past research studies in our division played a critical role in the development of surfactant - a life-saving therapy now given to all premature infants with immature lungs – while our present research endeavors strive to help us understand a broad set of pulmonary diseases, including bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, interstitial lung disease, and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Researchers in our division investigate the mechanisms underlying normal lung morphogenesis, perinatal adaptation, gene regulation in the lung, pulmonary injury and repair, surfactant proteins and surfactant homeostasis, and the transcriptional pathways of lung development.

    For more information, please visit the faculty lab websites listed below and the Division of Pulmonary Biology.

    Henry Akinbi, MDLung innate defense, including infection and inflammation
    James Greenberg, MDLung vasculature and lymphatic development & the role of VEGF
    Noah Hillman, MDLung injury and inflammation following chorioamnionitis
    Alan Jobe, MD, PhDNewborn lung maturation and lung injury with ventilation
    Suhas Kallapur, MDLung injury and SIRS following chorioamnionitis [Visit the Kallapur Lab.]
    Paul Kingma, MD, PhDSurfactant protein D in neonatal sepsis, RDS and ARDS
    Thomas Korfhagen, MD, PhDSurfactant proteins, lung inflammation, injury and repair
    Amy Nathan, MDLung-specific immune responses to environmental stimuli
    Ward Rice, MD, PhDMolecular and cellular mechanisms of surfactant processing
    Jeffrey Whitsett, MDLung transcriptional control, epithelial patterning and development [Visit the Whitsett Lab.]

  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia.

    Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a chronic lung disorder that occurs in babies who are born prematurely or with severe respiratory disorders, requiring mechanical ventilation at birth. BPD is characterized by inflammation and scarring in the lung. The lung histology shown above demonstrates thickening of the alveolar septae, enlarged distal airspaces and inflammation in an infant with BPD. Researchers in the division are working to understand the effects of infection, lung immaturity and mechanical ventilation on the development of BPD.