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Dr. Martin Zamora

Professor of Medicine and Medical Director Lung Transplant Program

University of Colorado, Lung Transplant Program

Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine
Colorado Center for Transplantation Care, Research and Education

Dr. Zamora received his M.D. (with honors) in 1983 from the University of Colorado Medical School. He joined the Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine in 1990 and has been the directing pulmonologist for the lung transplant program since its beginning in 1991 and is a United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) certified lung transplant doctor.

Dr. Zamora is board certified in Critical Care, Internal and Pulmonary Medicine and has 27 years of experience.

Dr. Zamora is widely published, in both clinical and basic research fields and is regarded a world expert on lung transplantation, and viral infection complications, in particular cytomegalovirus (CMV). His current research laboratory was founded in 2008.


Laboratory Personnel - Robert Plenter (click on name for more information)

Lung transplantation (LTx) is an effective treatment for patients with end-stage lung diseases including emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, or pulmonary hypertension. Survival following LTx is 85% at 1 year and approx. 30% at 10 years post transplant, rates below other organ transplants. This is partially due to the fact that the lung is the only organ transplanted that is exposed to the outside world - when patients breathe, the airways of the lungs are exposed to environmental agents like pollution, smoke, bacteria or viruses. This puts LTx recipients at high risk for infection or rejection.

At the time of transplantation, the new lungs may become injured by a process called ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI). This occurs when warm blood is recirculated through the new lung while it is still cold from the preservation fluid used when removing it from the organ donor. IR injures the small blood vessels of the lung causing the lung's airsacs to fill with water and not work normally. IRI occurs in most patients to a mild degree, typically is reversible in 1-3 days but occasionally results in severe injury called primary graft dysfunction, which has been linked to poor survival post-transplant and poor lung function in the months to years post-transplant. Very little is yet understood about the exact causes of IRI or how to alleviate the subsequent damage.

The primary goal of the Zamora Lab is to investigate some of the causes of lung IRI and to find ways in which to alleviate the injury. The lab is also investigating novel ways to abrogate mechanisms of rejection.

The Zamora Lab is a key component of the newly formed Colorado Center for Transplantation Care, Research and Education (CCTCARE) and has active collaborations with the Gill, Grazia and Pietra labs.



Grazia TJ, Plenter RJ, Lepper HM, Victorino F, Miyamoto SD, Crossno, JT Jr, Pietra BA, Gill RG, and Zamora MR. Prolongation of Cardiac Allograft Survival by a Novel Population of Autologous CD117+ Bone Marrow-Derived Progenitor Cells. Under Revision for Am J Transplant. June 2010

Grazia TJ, Plenter RJ, Weber SM, Lepper HM, Victorino F, Zamora MR, Pietra BA, Gill RG. Acute cardiac allograft rejection by directly cytotoxic CD4 T cells: parallel requirements for Fas and perforin. Transplantation. 2010 Jan 15;89(1):33-9.

Babu AN, Murakawa T, Thurman JM, Miller EJ, Henson PM, Zamora MR, Voelkel NF, Nicolls MR. Microvascular destruction identifies murine allografts that cannot be rescued from airway fibrosis. J Clin Invest. 2007 Dec;117(12):3774-85.

Murakawa T, Kerklo MM, Zamora MR, Wei Y, Gill RG, Henson PM, Grover FL, Nicolls MR. Simultaneous LFA-1 and CD40 ligand antagonism prevents airway remodeling in orthotopic airway transplantation: implications for the role of respiratory epithelium as a modulator of fibrosis. J Immunol. 2005 Apr 1;174(7):3869-79.

Zamora MR, Stelzner TJ, Panos R, Webb S, Ruff LJ, Dempsey EC.  Endogenous overproduction of endothelin-1 contriburtes to the enhanced growth capacity of pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells from fawn-hooded rats. Am J Physiol 270 (Lung Cell and Mol Physiol 14):L101-L109, 1996.

Yohn JJ, Smith C, Stevens T, Morelli JC, Walchak SJ, Hofmann TA, Kelley KK, Escobedo-Morris A, Yahagisawa M, Kane M, Zamora MR. Autoregulation of endothelin-1 secretion by cultured human keratinocytes via the ETB receptor. Biochem Biophys Acta 1224:454-458, 1994.

Yohn JJ, Smith C, Steven T, Hofmann TA, Morelli JG, Hurt Dl, Yanagisawa M, Kane MA, Zamora MR. Human melanoma cells express functional endothelin-1 receptors. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 201:449-457, 1994.

Bonvallet ST, Zamora MR, Hawanuma K, Sato K, Janasato N, Stelzner TJ. BQ123, and endothelin-A receptor antagonist attenuates the development of hypoxic pulmonary hypertension in vivo in rats. Am J Physiol 244:H1327-H1331, 1994.

Kraft M, Beam WR, Wenzel SE, Zamora MR, O'Brien RF, Martin RS. Blood and bronchoalveolar lavage endothelin-1 levels in nocturnal asthma. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 149:947-951, 1994.

Zamora MR, Dempsey EC, Walchak SJ, Stelzner TJ. BQ123, and ETA receptor, inhibits Endothelin-1 mediated proliferation of human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells. Am J Resp Cell and Mol Biol 9:429-433, 1993.

Bonvallet ST, Oka M, Yano M, Zamora MR, McMurtry IF, Stelzner TJ. BQ123, and ETA receptor, antagonist attenuates endothelin-1 induced vasoconstriction in the rat pulmonary circulation. J Cardiovasc Pharm 22:30-43, 1993.

Yohn JJ, Morelli JG, Walchak S, Norris DA, Zamora MR. Cultured human kerayinocytes synthesize and secrete endohtelin-1. J Invest Derm 100:23-26, 1993.

Rodman DM, Stelzner TJ, Sato K, Zamora MR, O'Brien RF, McMurtry IF. Endothelin-1 increases the pulmonary microvascular pressure and causes pulmonary edema in salt solution but not blood perfused rat lung. J Cardiovasc Pharm 20:658-663, 1992.

Stelzner TJ, O'Brien RF, Sato K, Webb S, Webb S, Zamora MR, Sakuri T, Yanigisawa M, McMurtry IF, Fisher J. Increased endothelin-1 expression in rats with pulmonary hypertension. Am J Physiol 262: (Lung Cell Mol Physiol 6):L614-L620, 1992.

Zamora M, O'Brien RF, Rutherford R, Weil JV. Serum endothelin-1 levels and cold provoction in patients with primary Raynaud's phenomenon. Lancet 336:1144-1147, 1990.


Weinberg A, Lyu DM, Li S, Marquesen J, Zamora MR. Incidence and morbidity of human metapneumovirus and other community-acquired respiratory viruses in lung transplant recipients. Transpl Infect Dis. 2010 Apr 29

Dhillon GS, Zamora MR, Roos JE, Sheahan D, Sista RR, van der Starre P, Weill D, Nicolls MR. Lung Transplant Airway Hypoxia: A Diathesis to Fibrosis? Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2010 Mar 25.

Liu V, Zamora MR, Dhillon GS, Weill D. Increasing lung allocation scores predict worsened survival among lung transplant recipients. Am J Transplant. 2010 Apr;10(4):915-20

Lyu DM, Zamora MR. Medical complications of lung transplantation. Proc Am Thorac Soc. 2009 Jan 15;6(1):101-7. Review.

Chesnutt BK, Zamora MR, Kleinpell RM. Blood cultures for febrile patients in the acute care setting: too quick on the draw? J Am Acad Nurse Pract. 2008 Nov;20(11):539-46. Review.

Reece TB, Mitchell JD, Zamora MR, Fullerton DA, Cleveland JC, Pomerantz M, Lyu DM, Grover FL, Weyant MJ. Native lung volume reduction surgery relieves functional graft compression after single-lung transplantation for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2008 Apr;135(4):931-7.

Stewart S, Fishbein MC, Snell GI, Berry GJ, Boehler A, Burke MM, Glanville A, Gould FK, Magro C, Marboe CC, McNeil KD, Reed EF, Reinsmoen NL, Scott JP, Studer SM, Tazelaar HD, Wallwork JL, Westall G, Zamora MR, Zeevi A, Yousem SA. Revision of the 1996 working formulation for the standardization of nomenclature in the diagnosis of lung rejection. J Heart Lung Transplant. 2007 Dec;26(12):1229-42.

Snell GI, Boehler A, Glanville AR, McNeil K, Scott JP, Studer SM, Wallwork J, Westall G, Zamora MR, Stewart S. Eleven years on: a clinical update of key areas of the 1996 lung allograft rejection working formulation. J Heart Lung Transplant. 2007 May;26(5):423-30. Review.

Zamora MR, Davis RD, Leonard C; CMV Advisory Board Expert Committee. Management of cytomegalovirus infection in lung transplant recipients: evidence-based recommendations. Transplantation. 2005 Jul 27;80(2):157-63. Erratum in: Transplantation. 2005 Aug 27;80(4):545.

Keshavjee S, Davis RD, Zamora MR, de Perrot M, Patterson GA. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of complement inhibition in ischemia-reperfusion injury after lung transplantation in human beings. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2005 Feb;129(2):423-8.

Zamora MR, Nicolls MR, Hodges TN, Marquesen J, Astor T, Grazia T, Weill D. Following universal prophylaxis with intravenous ganciclovir and cytomegalovirus immune globulin, valganciclovir is safe and effective for prevention of CMV infection following lung transplantation. Am J Transplant. 2004 Oct;4(10):1635-42.

Zamora MR. Cytomegalovirus and lung transplantation. Am J Transplant. 2004 Aug;4(8):1219-26. Review.

Zamora MR. Controversies in lung transplantation: management of cytomegalovirus infections. J Heart Lung Transplant. 2002 Aug;21(8):841-9. Review.

Zamora MR. Use of cytomegalovirus immune globulin and ganciclovir for the prevention of cytomegalovirus disease in lung transplantation. Transpl Infect Dis. 2001;3 Suppl 2:49-56. Review.

Weill D and Zamora MR. Comparison of the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of pre-emptive therapy as directed by CMV antigenemia and prophylaxis with ganciclovir in lung transplant recipients. J Heart Lung Transplant 19:815-6, 2000.

Weinberg A, Hodges TN, Li S, Cai G, Zamora MR. Comparison of PCR, antigenemia assay, and rapid blood culture for detection and prevention of cytomegalovirus disease after lung transplantation. J Clin Microbiol 38:768-772, 2000.

Zamora MR, David RD, Keshavjee SH, Schulman L, Levin J, Ryan U, Patterson GA. Complement inhibition attenuates human lung transplant reperfusion injury: a multicenter trial. Chest 116:46S, 1999.

Zamora MR, Warner ML, Tuder R, and Schwarz M. Diffuse alveolar hemorrhage and systemic lupus erythematosus: clinical presentation, histology, survival and outcomes. Medicine 76:192-202, 1997.

Zamora MR, Fullerton DA, Campbell DN, Leone S, Diercks MJ, Fisher JH, Badesch DB, and Grover FL. Use of cytomegalovirus hyperimmune globulin for the prevention of CMV disease in CMV seropositive lung transplant recipients. Transplantation Proceedings 26, Suppl. 1:49-51, 1994.



Cleveland J, Zamora MR and Grover FL. Complications following lung transplantation. In: Current Therapy in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. Ed., Yang SC and Cameron D, Harcourt, Inc., 2001.

Zamora MR. Surgical therapy of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases. Ed. Voelkel N, 2001.

Garg K and Zamora MR. The radiographic Imaging of Lung Transplantation. In: Imaging of Diffuse Lung diseases. Eds. Lynch D and Newell J. B.C. Decker, Inc. Hamilton Ontario, 1999.

Weill D and Zamora MR. Lung transplantation: Early Post-Operative Management. In: Grover FL and Zamora MR., Eds., Seminars In Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Vol. 17, No. 2: pps. 159-166, 1996.

Grover FL and Zamora MR. Eds of: Lung Transplantation. Seminars in Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. March 1996.