Research

The Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine (PCCSM) strives towards excellence in all three academic missions, providing exceptional clinical care, robust basic and clinical research programs and outstanding opportunities for training of the next generation of clinicians in our highly sought after fellowship programs. Division faculty and fellows provide services in seven Intensive Care Units, two at LAC+USC, four at Keck Hospital, and one at Norris.

Research areas in the Division include airway and alveolar epithelial cell biology, gene regulation in lung injury and repair, lung cancer, nanoparticle trafficking across the alveolar epithelium, pulmonary fibrosis, stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, outcomes in critical care, cystic fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension and sleep.

Faculty Research Areas

Ahmet Baydur, MD
Mechanical properties and breathing patterns of the respiratory system in health and disease.
Disorders involving the nerves and muscles and how they affect breathing.
Exercise testing in respiratory and cardiovascular conditions, and its use in the evaluation of the mechanisms of shortness of breath.

Zea Borok, MD
Transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms regulating alveolar epithelial stem cell function and differentiation
Lung alveolar epithelial cell plasticity and epithelial-mesenchymal transitions
Transport and barrier properties of lung alveolar epithelium
Functional and phenotypic characterization of alveolar epithelial type I cells

Richard Castriotta, MD
Non-apneic breathing problems in obesity
The connection between heart rhythm problems (atrial fibrillation) and breathing problems during sleep
Dream enactment (REM sleep behavior disorder) and early detection of Parkinson’s disease
Treatment of complex sleep apnea, central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea
Body temperature and sleep

Ching-Fei Chang, MD
Lung cancer in women
Lung cancer in Asian patients
Cost-effectiveness of new bronchoscopic and pleural techniques (EBUS, EMN, IPC, BT, endobronchial valves) in ethically- and economically-diverse populations

Ya-Wen Chen, PhD
Stem cell
Lung
Regenerative medicine
Development

Edward Crandall, PhD, MD
Imaging approaches
Mathematical modelling
Environmental impact
Mechanisms of chronic lung diseases

Sivagini Ganesh, MD
New treatments for patients with pulmonary hypertension
Outcomes in patients who have undergone lung transplantation

Aarya Kafi, MD
Immunosuppression in lung transplant recipients
Treatment of pulmonary fibrosis

Santhi Iyer-Kumar, MD
Quality
Safety
Critical care
Teamwork and communication

Kwang Jin Kim, PhD
Transport of water, small solutes and proteins across mammalian lung alveoli epithelial cells
Nanoparticle interaction/processing with/in mammalian lung alveolar epithelial cells
Mechanisms and pathways of pulmonary drug delivery

May Lee, MD
Exploring and implementing best practices and innovative curricula in graduate medical education
Use of social media in graduate medical education
Exploring hypoxemia in non-ARDS patients

Janice Liebler, MD
Critical care medicine
Lung injury, repair after lung injury and the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis
Lung transplant outcomes

Brett Lindgren, DO
Management of patients receiving mechanical ventilation
Outcomes of patients with the adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
Extracorporeal mechanical support (ECMO) procedures
Advanced Bronchoscopy

Adupa Purush Rao, MD
Novel drug treatments for cystic fibrosis patients
Optimization of care for patients with advanced lung disease

Amy Ryan (Firth), PhD
Cystic Fibrosis: Gene correction and epithelial repair
Rare lung diseases: Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM), Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD)
Mechanisms of mucociliary transport
Stem cell models of disease: pluripotent, induced and adult stem cells and tissue regeneration

Arnold Sipos, PhD, MD
Interaction of the alveolar epithelial cells and nanoparticles
Studying the biological effects of nanoparticle exposure on airway epithelial cells.
Identifying the molecular link between nanoparticle exposure and chronic lung diseases (e.g., chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis)
Exploring the involvement of autophagy in response to nanoparticle exposure

Bassam Yaghmour, MD
Physiologic abnormalities and innovative medical treatments in pulmonary arterial hypertension
Clinical assessment of endothelial dysfunction in pulmonary vascular disease.
Interventional pulmonology
Critical care medicine and quality improvement in intensive care medicine

Beiyun Zhou, PhD
Role of endoplasmic reticulum stress in alveolar epithelial abnormalities during development and in pulmonary fibrosis
Transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of pulmonary alveolar epithelial cell differentiation and plasticity
Epithelial plasticity and epithelial-mesenchymal cross-talk in the context of lung injury, repair and fibrosis
Hippo-YAP signaling in regulation of pulmonary stem/progenitor cell proliferation/differentiation