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O'Reilly Lab

Developmental Origins of Cardiopulmonary Disease

The O’Reilly lab consists of an interactive group of senior scientists and physicians, graduate students, technicians, and summer undergraduate scholars interested in understanding how an abnormal oxygen environment at birth affects cardiopulmonary health later in life.

It is widely accepted that gene-environment interactions during critical stages of fetal and postnatal development can profoundly shape health later in life. One of the most profound environmental factors that the developing lung will ever experience is oxygen as it transitions at birth from a fetal to air environment. While the term lung is developmentally prepared for oxygen, the preterm lung is exposed too soon and often to excess amounts used to maintain appropriate oxygen saturations. This early exposure to excess oxygen can disrupt lung development and the host response to respiratory viral infections. It may also cause pulmonary hypertension and heart failure in young adults. Hence, there is an urgent need to understand how an abnormal oxygen environment at birth disrupts postnatal development of the lung and heart.

Using human datasets and the mouse as a model system, we are studying how high levels of oxygen at birth alter growth and differentiation of epithelial progenitor cells required for proper lung development and regeneration. We then investigate how these progenitor cells and oxygen-induced DNA damage signaling influences how the lung responds to respiratory viral infections. Recognizing the growing concern that young adults born preterm are at risk for developing cardiovascular disease, we also study how oxygen at birth promotes pulmonary hypertension and causes heart failure later in life. Our research has produced important and novel insights into disease processes that we hope will lead to new biomarkers needed to predict risk and guide development of novel therapies designed to improve health of people who were born preterm.

Michael A. O'Reilly, Ph.D.

Michael A. O'Reilly, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

O'Reilly Lab News

  • Min’s AJRCMB paper on oxygen-depletion of AEC2s affecting response to flu was given an editorial review.
  • Rachel’s poster at the NY State Immunology Conference was selected as a talk.
  • Min’s recent paper on cardiomyocytes published in AJP Lung was selected as an APS select article.
  • Min and Will received best poster awards at one of our Lung Biology Research and Trainee Days.
  • Our NIH grant is likely to be awarded for its third consecutive time.
  • Congratulations to Andrew and Ivana on the birth of their son Nikolas! And Lukas, you are a big brother now!
 

Contact Us

O'Reilly Lab
Department of Pediatrics, Box 850
601 Elmwood Avenue
Rochester, NY 14642

Shipping Address

University of Rochester Medical Center
Dept of Pediatrics
ATTN: Dr. Michael O'Reilly
575 Elmwood Avenue (Room 3-11301 MRBX)
Rochester, NY 14642

Contact Lab Members

Email: Michael_Oreilly@URMC.Rochester.edu or email a specific lab member

Main Phone: (585) 275-5948
Labs: (585) 275-1450, (585) 273-4381, (585) 273-3118
Fax: (585) 756-7780

Personnel