Justin Oldham, M.D.
Research Awards Nationwide Recipient (2016-2017)
University of California, Davis
Probing the Genetic Underpinnings of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) results in profound scarring of the lung. While the genetic factors that influence one's risk of developing IPF have begun to be delineated, those genetic factors that contribute to IPF progression remain largely unknown. This study aims to identify specific genes and gene variants associated with IPF disease activity. This will be done by applying cutting-edge genomic technology to previously collected blood samples from patients with IPF. We will identify gene expression patterns that change as pulmonary function declines and identify variants within genes that increase an individual's risk of dying from IPF. This research has the potential to identify new targets for IPF therapy.
Update: We have identified 79 genetic variants strongly associated with IPF mortality. We are now validating our findings in independent IPF populations to arrive at our final list of gene variants. We have also identified a preliminary set of genes associated with pulmonary function decline and now plan to validate these findings in an independent IPF population.
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