The Multidisciplinary T32 Research Training Program in Lung Disease is led by Program Director,
Robert Dickson, MD, along with Associate Program Directors, Kevin Flaherty, MD, MS and Rachel Zemans, MD.
Program Director, Robert Dickson, MD
Robert Dickson, MD is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Internal Medicine and Microbiology and Immunology. Dr. Dickson received his medical degree from Duke University School of Medicine and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Washington. He then came to the University of Michigan where he completed his fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Dickson is also a graduate of the T32 Research Training Program in Lung Disease. He currently serves as the Associate Program Director for Research for the Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Program and as the Deputy Director of the Weil Institute for Critical Care Research and Innovation.
Dr. Dickson's laboratory specializes in integrative translational research, spanning from the molecular characterization of respiratory microbiota to animal modeling of acute lung disease to prospective trials of human subjects. By combining the techniques of microbial ecology with his expertise in respiratory pathophysiology, Dr. Dickson studies how the lung microbiome is established in health and disrupted in disease. He has extensively published, having authored over 260 publications.
Dr. Dickson’s research program is well-funded by awards from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and European Commission. He has served on multiple NIH study sections, ATS guideline committees, and the ATS Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Dickson currently serves as Senior Editor at Microbiome, Specialist Editor for the European Respiratory Journal, and is a member of the editorial boards for the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine and Lancet Respiratory Medicine.
Dr. Dickson has received numerous awards in the areas of teaching and research including the H. Marvin Pollard Award for Outstanding Teaching of Residents in 2017, Special Recognition for Contributions to the House Officer Teaching Program in 2018, Bruce C. Richardson MD Department of Internal Medicine Early Career Endowment Award in 2018, and Jerome W. Conn Award for Excellence in Research by a Junior Faculty Member in 2020.
Associate Program Director, Kevin Flaherty, MD, MS
Kevin Flaherty, MD, MS, is a Professor of Internal Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Flaherty received his medical degree and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine. He completed a fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Michigan and obtained a Masters in Biostatistics and Clinical Study Design from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, training that was supported by the T32 Research Training Program in Lung Disease.
Dr. Flaherty has an established a scholarly niche in the study and treatment of patients with interstitial lung disease. His research involves retrospective database analyses, translational collaborations, and participation in industry and NIH-sponsored clinical trials. Dr. Flaherty has over 170 peer-reviewed publications and has maintained NIH R01, K24, and contract funding since his initial K23 award.
Dr. Flaherty has served on the NIH-sponsored Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Network as Co-Chair of the Measurements and Endpoint Committee and was asked to be on the writing committee for two of the three studies performed by the Network.
Dr. Flaherty has served as a mentor or co-mentor for several T32 trainees. He is an active member and a past president of the Michigan Thoracic Society. Dr. Flaherty has served on nominating and program committees and was Chair-Elect in 2009 and Chair in 2010 for the American Thoracic Society Clinical Problems Program Committee. He was also Chair for the American Thoracic Society Clinical Year in Review Program from 2009-2011. Dr. Flaherty is currently the Chair on the steering committee for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Patient Registry and has served as Vice-Chair of the University of Michigan’s Institutional Review Board since 2012, of which he's been a member since 2003.
Dr. Flaherty was inducted into the Department of Internal Medicine Clinical Excellence Society in 2015, which recognizes faculty who, by their peers and their division, exude and demonstrate clinical excellence towards their patients and colleagues.
Associate Program Director, Rachel Zemans, MD
Rachel Zemans, MD is a Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Zemans attended medical school at Johns Hopkins University and did her Internal Medicine residency at the University of California San Francisco. Following her residency, Dr. Zemans completed a fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Colorado. Dr. Zemans joined the Michigan Medicine Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine in 2017.
Dr. Zemans’ research is focused on understanding the mechanisms by which the lung epithelium is injured and regenerates after injury and how these mechanisms go awry in the pathogenesis of lung diseases, such as ARDS and pulmonary fibrosis. She is currently the PI of an NHLBI-funded R35 award and serves as Co-Investigator on multiple other NIH grants. Dr. Zemans is the author of more than 60 manuscripts, including high-impact contributions in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nature Medicine, and Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Dr. Zemans has served as the primary mentor for three junior faculty members, four post-doctoral fellows, and five undergraduate students. Her past trainees have successfully competed for funding, including a K08 award to a recent graduate of the T32 Research Training Program in Lung Disease. Dr. Zemans has served on mentorship committees for 19 trainees in clinical and basic science departments.
Dr. Zemans served as Chair for the 2021 Aspen Lung Conference and was recently elected to chair the Program Committee of the Respiratory Cellular and Molecular Biology (RCMB) Assembly of the American Thoracic Society. She currently serves on the editorial boards for JCI Insight and the American Respiratory Journal of Cellular and Molecular Biology. In 2022, Dr. Zemans was elected to the distinguished American Society for Clinical Investigation.