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Interventional Pulmonology

Program Introduction

The Interventional Pulmonology Program at the University of Colorado is the only University-based teaching hospital Interventional Pulmonology Program in the state of Colorado. The program offers a wide variety of patient services including lung cancer screening, nodule clinic, smoking cessation, multidisciplinary clinics with our thoracic surgery and ENT surgery team in complex airway diseases, multidisciplinary clinic with thoracic oncology program in lung and thoracic malignancies, interventional pulmonary clinic and a wide variety of state of the art diagnostic and therapeutic bronchoscopic, pleural and airway procedures.

Our state of the art hybrid interventional pulmonology suite offers a two-in-one, operating room and bronchoscopy suite facility which allows wide range of procedure ranging from simple bronchoscopies under conscious sedation to advance therapeutic rigid bronchoscopies and medical pleuroscopy in one place.

Some of the common procedure routinely performed in our IP program include:

  • ​Minimally invasive lung cancer diagnosis and staging with Navigation Bronchoscopy and Endobronchial Ultrasound
  • Airway recanalization with laser, cryotherapy, and electrocautery
  • Airway stent placement and rigid bronchoscopy
  • Airway valve placement
  • Treatment of tracheal stenosis and tracheobronchomalacia
  • Medical pleuroscopy and indwelling pleural catheter placement
  • Airway Thermoplasty

The Program is run by an internationally renowned Interventional Pulmonologist with more than 16 years of experience in IP, Dr. Ali Musani, who is a board certified interventional pulmonologist with a vast experience in complex airways and pleural procedures. Dr. Musani currently serves as the president of the American Association of Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology and Board of Regents of the World Association of Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology. He has authored numerous research publications in the area of interventional pulmonology and authored text books and edited journals on the topic of IP.

Clinical research is an integral part of our IP program. We offer cutting edge treatments and procedures to our patients before they are available in most of the country. 

Mike Weyant, Thoracic Surgeon, Matt Cleary, ENT Surgeon,  Ali Musani, Interventional Pulmonologist, and Chris Kniese, Interventional Pulmonary Fellow working together on a complex procedure.

Program Leadership

Dr Musani, MD
Program Director

Vice Chair, Global Health. Department of Medicine
Professor of Medicine and Surgery
Director, Complex Airway Pillar of the Center for Lung and Breathing
Division of Pulmonary Sciences & Critical Care Medicine 
University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver

Ellen Volker MD
Assistant Program Co-Director

Dr. Ellen Volker earned her medical degree and Master's of Science in Public Health from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, CO. She then went on to Duke University for her residency and fellowship in PCCM as well as Interventional Pulmonology. Dr. Volker currently serves as the director of IP at National Jewish Health. 


Akrum Al Zubaidi MD
Assistant Program Co-Director

Dr. Akrum Al-Zubaidi, "Dr. Aki” is a graduate of the Medical College of Virginia, where he also completed two years of post-graduate work in Human Genetics. He completed a three year residency and fourth year as Chief Resident at Valley Hospital Medical Center in Las Vegas. Dr. Aki finished his fellowship in Pulmonary Medicine and then continued training at National Jewish Health where has become a key member of the Interventional Pulmonology team. Dr. Aki is also the founder of a technology company Eon