Smoking and Respiratory Infection
Research goal: Develop therapeutics to combat COPD
exacerbations caused by infections.
The lung is the target for a number of inhaled pathogens including numerous viral and bacterial species. In those with underlying diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), infections can lead to exacerbations of disease symptoms which lead to hospitalization, lung function decline, and death. Our lab is interested in studying the impact of the inhalation of smoke, generated from cigarettes or other biomass sources, on the immune response to pathogen challenge. Our lab utilizes a state-of-the-art inhalation facility to recapitulate smoke exposure in air-liquid interface cultures, 3D lung slice cultures, as well as a well characterized mouse model. Our current goal is to elucidate the effects of smoke exposure on the immune response in the context of bacterial (nontypeable haemophilus influenzae) and viral (influenza A) infection.
The long term goal is to use our smoke-exposure models to develop and test therapeutic compounds to prevent pathogen mediated exacerbations in high risk patients. Techniques and areas of investigation: inhalation facility, primary cell culture, animal models, ELISA, western blot, immunofluorescence staining, viral infection.