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Dr. Bailey, a co-investigator at the University of Nebraska site, is the recent recipient of an NIAAA-sponsored K08 award. Her research interests are to examine TLR-2 mRNA and protein expression in bronchial cell brushings and examine functional changes of these cells in the context of alcohol consumption.
Dr. Brown is a co-investigator for the Emory University site. She has extensive research experience in with laboratory models of chronic alcohol abuse, and as such will ensure that experiments with human samples are an accurate extension of animal observations to optimize utilization of this precious resource. Planned experiments by Dr. Brown and her laboratory will focus on understanding the role of glutathione availability as a mediator of the alveolar macrophage functions, and these cells’ role in acute lung injury. She will also focus research efforts towards understanding the relationship of alcohol to important thiol pairs in lung (e.g. glutathione/oxidized glutathione).
Dr. Burnham is the director (principal investigator) of CoPARC. For the past decade, she has continuously conducted clinical and translational research in patients with alcohol use disorders and controls while developing and maintaining an infrastructure to recruit these subjects. She has also served as a co-investigator for NIH-sponsored clinical trials in critically ill patients, including those with alcohol abuse. She completed a Master’s of Science in Clinical Research at Emory University, and was previously PI on an NIAAA/NIH K23 award. She is currently the co-director for the NCRR-sponsored KL-2 training program for the Colorado CTSI, and the medical director of the University of Colorado Hospital’s Medical ICU. Her research interests include explaining the predisposition of patients with alcohol use disorders to develop bacterial pneumonia and the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
My research focuses on intensive care unit (ICU) survivors with alcohol abuse and dependence (alcohol use disorder or AUD). Up to one out of three of patients admitted to an ICU have an AUD. Although the presence of an AUD independently increases the risk of poor outcomes for multiple diseases frequently encountered in the critical care setting, the majority of ICU patients with an AUD survive their critical illness. Despite the high prevalence of AUDs in ICU patients, no studies have focused on the outcomes of ICU survivors with AUDs. My preliminary research suggests that an ICU admission may be an opportune time to intervene. My ongoing projects aim to define the morbidity and understand how change occurs in this unique population. Defining morbidity and understanding the process of change will help shape the content and define the goals targeted interventions.
Dr. Gamelli will serve as a collaborator for the proposed research. He has extensive prior experience in murine models of burn injury and infection, as well as decades of experience conducting clinical research, including studies relating to alcohol and burn injury.
Dr. Guidot is a co-investigator at the Emory University site. He has extensive experience in translational research in the area of lung and alcohol, and is the lead PI for Emory’s Alcohol and Lung Biology Center as well as its T32 program. Planned experiments by Dr. Guidot and his lab include measuring zinc levels in human samples to determine if deficiencies amenable to correction are present.
Dr. Kovacs is the lead co-investigator for the Loyola University site, and a member of the data and sample sharing committee. She has performed extensive prior investigations in murine models of burn injury/alcohol to establish immunologic effects of these co-morbidities on the development of pneumonia. Her research interests for this proposal center on the effect of AUDs on pulmonary and systemic cytokines in the absence of burn injury, and how these relate to cytokine levels and infectious outcomes in patients with burn injury stratified by alcohol use.
Dr. LeVan is Director of the Facility for Mutation and Methylation Analysis at University of Nebraska Medical Center. She will operate the Sequenom and conduct genotyping from blood samples to identify scavenger receptor (SR) SNPs as they relate to University of Nebraska projects.
Erin Lowery is a pulmonary/critical care trained physician whose research interests include pulmonary effects of alcohol, particularly in the context of lung transplantation. Currently she is investigating lung donors alcohol use and how it effects the lung allograft following transplantation, including effects on graft dysfunction immediately following lung transplantation, and possible long-term implications including risk for developing chronic rejection.
Dr. Martin is the lead co-investigator for the Emory University site and a member of the data safety/sharing committee. He has extensive expertise in patient-oriented research, including multi-site investigations, and will help in protocol design for the consortium. He will oversee the Emory group to ensure uniformity in the management of enrolled subjects with alcohol use disorders at Emory University and Grady Hospital in collaboration with the University of Colorado group, including consistency in sample collection, storage, and processing.
Alcohol abuse is a major burden on society and chronic alcohol ingestion can have serious health implications including a predisposition to pneumonia and acute lung injury. Our research has shown in an experimental animal model that moderate daily alcohol ingestion for as little as six weeks causes oxidative stress and zinc deficiency in the lung, which result in impairment of the alveolar macrophage, the resident immune cell in the lungs of healthy individuals. Further, in this same animal model, we found that adding either zinc or antioxidants to the diet prevents these problems and preserves lung health even during daily alcohol ingestion. Currently, there are no treatments to combat the pulmonary consequences of alcoholism. The primary goal of my research is to determine if therapeutic options such as the antioxidant S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) and zinc supplements can augment lung immune defenses in otherwise healthy alcoholics and thereby decrease the risk of lung injury and infection.
Dr. Moss is the Roger S. Mitchell Professor of Medicine and Head of Critical Care for the Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine. During his fellowship training, Dr. Moss became interested in identifying factors that distinguish critically ill patients who develop specific acute organ dysfunction. In a study of 351 patients, he identified a positive association between alcohol abuse and the susceptibility for acute lung injury. This initial observation distinguished alcohol abuse as the first co-morbid condition that was associated with the development of acute lung injury. Since that time, Dr. Moss has been utilizing translational methods to determine how alcohol abuse increasing susceptibility for the development of acute lung injury. In addition, he is identifying novel therapies that may decrease the risk of acute lung injury in patients with a history of alcohol abuse. Dr. Moss serves as the Program Director for the Education, Training, and Career Development core of the Colorado Clinical Translational Sciences Institute, and he is one of the principal investigators for the NHLBI funded ARDS network. Dr. Moss is also the recipient of a K24 award from the NHLBI, and an R0-1 grant from the NCRR.
Dr. Sisson, a co-investigator at the University of Nebraska site, is an international expert in ciliary biology, and is the author of numerous publications describing the effects of alcohol on ciliary function. Dr. Sisson proposes to examine nitric oxide levels in BAL fluid and correlate this with ciliary beat frequency from bronchial ciliated cell brushings.
Dr. Welsh is team leader and co-investigator for the LSU site. He also will serve on the data and sample sharing committee, where he will be responsible for coordinating data and sample acquisition and distribution for LSU. His research interests include defining the lung immunome in alcohol use disorders and its relationship to systemic inflammatory parameters.
Dr. Wyatt is the lead co-investigator for this University of Nebraska site, and a member of the data safety/sharing committee that coordinates distribution of subject data and samples. He has a long-standing research interest in alcohol’s effects on the bronchial epithelium. With samples from this resource, he will perform experiments to determine alcohol’s effects on MAA adducts in lavage fluid, and examine SR-A polymorphisms, as well as correlation of these with severity of lung inflammation and tobacco use.
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