A major focus of our work involves distinguishing the role of locally-derived complement proteins in the lung from those present in the blood, and how they modulate the development of pneumonia and acute lung injury. We use multiple in vitro and in vivo approaches to dissect the mechanism by which these proteins contribute to cellular survival. We have a robust collaboration with our Airway Epithelial Cell Core (https://research.wustl.edu/core-facilities/airway-epithelial-cell-core/), wherein we work with primary tracheobronchial cells, and the Thoracic Immunobiology lab in the Department of Surgery (https://cardiothoracicsurgery.wustl.edu/research/thoracic-immunology-lab/), with whom we investigate models of experimental lung transplantation. Additionally, we draw upon a robust biorepository of lung tissue, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and DNA from lung transplant recipients to guide and validate our research.
Actively funded projects in the lab include:
- A locally active complement system maintaining airway epithelial cell survival and host defense in severe pneumonia (National Institutes of Health, American Lung Association)
- Harnessing the complement system to mitigate acute lung injury (Children’s Discovery Institute)
- Targeting the pentraxin 3-complement axis to mitigate injury post-lung transplantation (Department of Defense)