A photo of Brian Varisco.

Clinician Researcher, Division of Critical Care Medicine

Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics


Board Certified

My Biography & Research


I love positively impacting the lives of critically ill children and their families. I began my research career in developmental pulmonary biology hoping to improve baseline lung health in patients with conditions like bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD).

Chronic respiratory diseases predispose patients to repeated hospital and intensive care unit (ICU) admissions during acute infections. This problem led to my three primary research interests: understanding acute lung injury in pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome; understanding the key mechanotransductive signals impacting late prenatal and postnatal lung development; and understanding the mechanisms of progressive airspace destruction in emphysema with a focus on mechanosensitive matrix remodeling.

By identifying key drivers of lung development, injury and repair, I hope to develop targeted therapies to improve lung health in patients with both acute and chronic lung conditions.

For my research work I have been awarded the Parker B. Francis Fellowship; the Society of Critical Care Medicine Discovery Award; and K12, K08 and R01 grants from the National Institutes of Health.

Clinical and translational research requires the participation of patients and their families. As such, I thank them for helping us as we work to advance the care of children.

Additional Languages


Academic Affiliation

Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

Clinical Divisions

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit PICU

Research Divisions

Critical Care, Pulmonary Biology

My Education

MD: Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA, 2004.

Residency: Pediatrics, The Children's Hospital, Denver, CO.

Fellowship: Pediatrics, The Children's Hospital, Denver, CO.

Certification: Pediatrics, 2008; Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, 2011.

My Publications

Peripheral blood transcriptomic sub-phenotypes of pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome. Yehya, N; Varisco, BM; Thomas, NJ; Wong, HR; Christie, JD; Feng, R. Critical Care (UK). 2020; 24.

Lung microstructure in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis before and after posterior spinal fusion. Thomen, RP; Woods, JC; Sturm, PF; Jain, V; Walkup, LL; Higano, NS; Quirk, JD; Varisco, BM. PLoS ONE. 2020; 15:e0240265-e0240265.

Sex-specific differences in emphysema using a murine antisense oligonucleotide model of alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. Joshi, R; Ojha, M; Lewis, J; Fan, Q; Monia, B; Guo, S; Varisco, BM. American Journal of Physiology: Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology. 2019; 316:L1165-L1173.

37 - Respiratory Complications of Intensive Care. Ganatra, HA; Varisco, BM. Kendig's Disorders of the Respiratory Tract in Children. : Elsevier; Elsevier; 2019.

Proteomic profiling of tracheal fluid in an ovine model of congenital diaphragmatic hernia and fetal tracheal occlusion. Peiro, JL; Oria, M; Aydin, E; Joshi, R; Cabanas, N; Schmidt, R; Schroeder, C; Marotta, M; Varisco, BM. American Journal of Physiology: Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology. 2018; 315:L1028-L1041.

Fetal tracheal occlusion in mice: a novel transuterine method. Aydin, E; Joshi, R; Oria, M; Varisco, BM; Lim, F; Peiro, JL. Journal of Surgical Research. 2018; 229:311-315.

Role for Cela1 in Postnatal Lung Remodeling and Alpha-1 Antitrypsin-Deficient Emphysema. Joshi, R; Heinz, A; Fan, Q; Guo, S; Monia, B; Schmelzer, CE H; Weiss, AS; Batie, M; Parameshwaran, H; Varisco, BM. American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology. 2018; 59:167-178.

Zinc supplementation leads to immune modulation and improved survival in a juvenile model of murine sepsis. Ganatra, HA; Varisco, BM; Harmon, K; Lahni, P; Opoka, A; Wong, HR. Innate Immunity. 2017; 23:67-76.

Role of matrix metalloproteinase-8 as a mediator of injury in intestinal ischemia and reperfusion. Daly, MC; Atkinson, SJ; Varisco, BM; Klingbeil, L; Hake, P; Lahni, P; Piraino, G; Wu, D; Hogan, SP; Zingarelli, B; et al. The FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. 2016; 30:3453-3460.

Matrix Metalloproteinase-8 Augments Bacterial Clearance in a Juvenile Sepsis Model. Atkinson, SJ; Varisco, BM; Sandquist, M; Daly, MN; Klingbeil, L; Kuethe, JW; Midura, EF; Harmon, K; Opoka, A; Lahni, P; et al. Molecular medicine (Cambridge, Mass.). 2016; 22:455-463.