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Pediatrics / Pediatric Research Newsletter / October 2009 / Pediatric Research Newsletter (6)

October 2009 Newsletter

Michael O’Reilly, Ph.D.

The O’ Reilly laboratory investigates mechanisms controlling lung epithelial cell survival and differentiation in response to oxidative stress caused by exposure to high oxygen (hyperoxia). Although hyperoxia is often used to treat patients with respiratory distress, it stimulates cell death in adults and permanently disrupts lung development in neonates. Research in the laboratory focuses on understanding how hyperoxia activates the p53-dependent expression of the cell cycle inhibitor p21 and how p21 controls cell growth, survival, and inflammation and understanding how neonatal exposure to hyperoxia stimulates differentiation of alveolar epithelial progenitor cells and why this leads to long-term susceptibility to subsequent respiratory insults.