My research interest is in the area of acute lung injury, with a focus on two specific aspects that maintain the integrity of the alveolar epithelial barrier: (1) the regulation of tight junctions in the alveolar epithelium and (2) mechanisms that involve reabsorption of alveolar fluid edema. Recently I have added another area of interest related to the use of e-cigarettes and vaping. Since 1996 I have been involved in studying the mechanisms of lung injury including the regulation of vascular permeability and alveolar fluid clearance. Currently, my laboratory is interested in developing strategies that will preserve the integrity of the epithelial barrier by stabilizing the alveolar epithelial tight junctions and by up-regulating the mechanisms involved in the alveolar fluid clearance. Also, my research interest includes the study of airway innate immunity and lung injury. Currently, my laboratory has been investigating the effects of ambient particulate matter impairment of airway antimicrobial activity. Also, I am studying mechanisms of lung injury and repair. I have a broad background in clinical pulmonary and critical care medicine. I am also the Clinical Director of several COPD studies at the University of Iowa, and principal investigator of several COPD clinical trials, including NIH and industry. I am also the site PI for COPDGene and Spiromics. Our group has created an extensive data base of COPD subjects, all at different stages of their disease.
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