My research primarily involves translational research and tissue banking in non-neoplastic lung diseases.
Our lab is involved in many aspects of pulmonary research. We are currently the tissue core for the lung tissue research consortium (LTRC). The LTRC is an NIH-sponsored tissue bank that collects lung samples from patients undergoing various lung surgeries for emphysema and interstitial lung diseases. As human lung tissue is increasingly used to characterize cellular and molecular abnormalities of the lung, adequately preserved and characterized tissue is essential to tissue analysis. The current emphasis on genomic and proteonomic characterization of actual human lung diseases (not animal diseases), has increased the urgency of tissue collection to keep pace with research demands. We have collected lung tissue from four clinical centers (University Colorado Denver, University of Pittsburgh, University of Michigan, and The Mayo Clinic) over the past 5 years and have a tissue bank of specimens from approximately 2000 patients. This tissue is de-identified, but linked to radiology and clinical data. The tissue is free to investigators and can be accessed via: www.ltrcpublic.com.
In addition to lung tissue collection, banking and distribution, we are involved in various aspects of translational research in both severe pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP). We have completed three-dimensional reconstruction studies using human lung tissue from patients with PAH and UIP. We also collaborate with many of the investigators from the Pulmonary and Critical Care Science Division. Our latest endeavor has been to rehydrate and diagnose mummified lungs from the 1800s. We are also currently analyzing the change in gene expression that occurs over time in non-neoplastic lungs collected as part of a multi-institutional tissue bank.