The lab is investigating novel transcriptional mechanisms critical for embryonic lung development, lung injury/ repair and lung carcinogenesis. The focus is on winged helix/forkhead box (FOX) proteins and their role in regulating cell signaling pathways required for cellular proliferation, differentiation, motility and survival, to ultimately identify novel molecular mechanisms that cause human lung malformations, promote chronic respiratory diseases or contribute to lung cancer.
Our current projects use mouse models with loss-of-function and gain-of function for various FOX genes and novel pharmacological modulators of FOX proteins to identify transcriptional mechanisms impaired in pediatric and adult pulmonary diseases. These diseases include alveolar capillary dysplasia (ACD), bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), acute lung injury (ALI), asthma and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Our long-term goal is to discover novel therapeutic approaches and generate novel FDA-approved drugs for treatment of these severe respiratory disorders.