A photo of Anne Karina Perl.

Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics



Biography & Affiliation


Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a chronic lung disease caused by long periods of time spent on breathing machines or given supplemental oxygen in premature infants.

My areas of research revolve around bronchopulmonary dysplasia, bronchiolitis obliterans and rare lung diseases. Specifically, I’m looking at epithelial mesenchymal interactions in lung development, fibrosis and injury repair.

The goals of my lab are to better understand and uncover the molecular and cellular processes involved in the pathological injury response, which help us identify new targets for potential therapies.

My early research looked at the mouse lung epithelium. I generated the widely used, and extremely successful, tetracycline inducible system to either activate or inactivate genes within this lung epithelium. Additionally, in 2005, I created a transgenic mouse model to activate and inactive genes in the bronchiolar epithelium.

This model has been comprehensively used in my lab to delete and alter gene expression in the tracheal and bronchial epithelium to uncover their role in lung development as well as lung injury and repair. Expanding on this work, I’ve been branching out into researching fibrotic lung diseases, such as interstitial pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM).

I had two seminal first-author publications during my PhD training about the role of cell adhesion in tumor progression —both continue to be cited frequently.

The American Lung Association (2009-2011) funded my research to study pulmonary fibrosis. My colleagues and I studied how acute epithelial injury triggers loss of established lung allograft tolerance and leads to bronchiolitis obliterans (BOS). We have also used a transgenic mouse model to study the soluble dominant-negative FGF receptor (dnFGFR) during the prenatal period. The results showed reduced alveolar septae formation and subsequent alveolar simplification, which recapitulated some features of BPD in premature infants.

I have more than 20 years’ experience in the field of lung development and injury repair, and I initially joined the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital team in 1999. In 2010, I received the Carol Basbaum Award from the Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology (RCMB) assembly in recognition of outstanding scientific achievement and leadership potential given to a junior investigator in the field of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology. I also received the Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) Established Investigator award in 2019 and was awarded the LAM Patient Benefit Grant in 2018.

Clinical Interests

Lung development and lung regeneration

Academic Affiliation

Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

Research Divisions

Pulmonary Biology, Fibrosis


PhD: University of Vienna, Austria, 1998.


Resident interstitial lung fibroblasts and their role in alveolar stem cell niche development, homeostasis, injury, and regeneration. Ushakumary, MG; Riccetti, M; Perl, AK T. Stem cells translational medicine. 2021; 10:1021-1032.

Pretreatment of aged mice with retinoic acid supports alveolar regeneration via upregulation of reciprocal PDGFA signalling. Gokey, JJ; Snowball, J; Green, J; Waltamath, M; Spinney, JJ; Black, KE; Hariri, LP; Xu, Y; Perl, AK. Thorax. 2021; 76:456-467.

Single-Cell Transcriptomic Analysis Identifies a Unique Pulmonary Lymphangioleiomyomatosis Cell. Guo, M; Yu, JJ; Perl, AK; Wikenheiser-Brokamp, KA; Riccetti, M; Zhang, EY; Sudha, P; Adam, M; Potter, A; Kopras, EJ; et al. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 2020; 202:1373-1387.

The elephant in the lung: Integrating lineage-tracing, molecular markers, and single cell sequencing data to identify distinct fibroblast populations during lung development and regeneration. Riccetti, M; Gokey, JJ; Aronow, B; Perl, AT. Matrix Biology. 2020; 91-92:51-74.

Single cell RNA analysis identifies cellular heterogeneity and adaptive responses of the lung at birth. Guo, M; Du, Y; Gokey, JJ; Ray, S; Bell, SM; Adam, M; Sudha, P; Perl, AK; Deshmukh, H; Potter, SS; et al. Nature Communications. 2019; 10.

An obligatory role for club cells in preventing obliterative bronchiolitis in lung transplants. Liu, Z; Liao, F; Scozzi, D; Furuya, Y; Pugh, KN; Hachem, R; Chen, DL; Cano, M; Green, JM; Krupnick, AS; et al. JCI insight. 2019; 5.

MEG3 is increased in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and regulates epithelial cell differentiation. Gokey, JJ; Snowball, J; Sridharan, A; Speth, JP; Black, KE; Hariri, LP; Perl, AT; Xu, Y; Whitsett, JA. JCI insight. 2018; 3.

Active epithelial Hippo signaling in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Gokey, JJ; Sridharan, A; Xu, Y; Green, J; Carraro, G; Stripp, BR; Perl, AT; Whitsett, JA. JCI insight. 2018; 3.

LungMAP: The Molecular Atlas of Lung Development Program. Ardini-Poleske, ME; Clark, RF; Ansong, C; Carson, JP; Corley, RA; Deutsch, GH; Hagood, JS; Kaminski, N; Mariani, TJ; Potter, SS; et al. American Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology. 2017; 313:L733-L740.

A "GLI-tch " in Alveolar Myofibroblast Differentiation. Ahlfeld, SK; Perl, AK. American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology. 2017; 57:261-262.