Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine Researchers

Research performed within the Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine has greatly impacted our understanding of basic lung biology, disease pathogenesis, and targeted therapeutics. NIH grant funding for research within the Division exceeds 13 million dollars annually. Our investigative portfolio is comprehensive, with specific areas of emphasis including pulmonary inflammation, lung injury and repair, fibrotic lung disorders, host defense, lung transplantation, and lung cancer. 

New major areas of modern biology have emerged, including genetics/genomics, metagenomics, proteomics, metabolomics, stem cell biology, computational biology, and the microbiome. Researchers in the division participate in large multidisciplinary and multicenter disease-specific programs and networks in interstitial lung disease (IPFnet, COMET, LTRC), COPD (SPIROMICS, COPD gene, LTRC), and Acute Lung Injury (SCOR, SCCOR, ARDSnet). 

Emerging fields of patient-oriented research have been added or expanded, including health services research and sleep. Active areas of health services research include long-term functional outcomes in survivors of critical illness, nosocomial infection, delirium in the ICU, health care utilization, and health care policy.

Research Highlights

Mentoring First-Generation and Underrepresented in Medicine Physician-Scientists by Expanding Conversations

Elizabeth Viglianti, MD, MPH, MSc and Theodore Iwashyna, MD, PhD propose there are additional conversations mentors and mentees should initiate to help first-generation and UiM early-career physician-scientists mitigate and overcome barriers they often encounter in academic medicine.

Disruption in Lung Cell Repair May Underlie Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome in COVID-19 and Other Respiratory Diseases

Christopher Ting, MD; Rachel Zemans, MD; and their team's research lay the groundwork for the development of new therapies to improve survival and prevent chronic lung disease in COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome.

ZIP Codes Matter When It Comes to Severe COVID-19

Renuka Tipirneni, MD, MSc; Monita Karmakar, PhD, MS; and Hallie Prescott, MD, MSc find that people who lived in the most underprivileged ZIP codes were more likely to have severe symptoms; however, they were no more likely to die than those from more privileged areas, and no less likely to go back to their own homes instead of a nursing home. 

Shining Light on the Link Between Lung Fibrosis and Bacterial Infection

Bethany Moore, PhD finds that fibrosis causes defects in the innate immune response and impedes its ability to kill problematic bacteria.

Size Matters in Microbiome Studies

Robert Dickson, MD and colleagues discover that the size of a microbiome sample from rectal swabs varies from patient to patient and can predict infection the development of a mobile lung computed tomography device.