Rui Xiao, PhD
Research Awards Nationwide Recipient (2015-2016)
Funded in Partnership with the Alpha-1 Foundation
Investigating Effect of Smoke Exposure in Alpha-1 Antitryptin Deficiency
Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) results in an inherited form of emphysema due to lack of alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) that protects the lung from proteolytic enzymes. In individuals with AATD, additional environmental stressors, such as cigarette smoke, can further aggravate the lung damages. We will use a newly developed mouse model of AATD to provide insights into how cigarette smoke leads to lung inflammation and destruction. The findings can potentially be used to identify new therapies in AATD and in COPD.
Update: We have been exposing mice with and without AATD to cigarette smoke. We also developed a computerized method that allows us to precisely detect and analyze changes in the lungs of both sets of mice. We are proceeding to study more mice, and we have begun analyzing the data we have so far.