George T. O’Connor, MD, MS


Professor of Medicine


MD, Boston University School of Medicine

General field of research:

Asthma; COPD; sleep apnea; epidemiology; genetic epidemiology

Affiliations other than medicine:

Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research

Contact information:

Pulmonary Center, Room R 304, 72. E. Concord St, Boston, MA 02118
Phone: (617) 638-4470

Other research websites:

Sleep Heart Health Study

Framingham Heart Study

Inner-city Asthma Study

Research group information

Key faculty collaborators at Boston University:
Daniel Gottlieb, MD, MPH
Jemma Wilk, DSc
Suzanne Steinbach, MD
Megan Sandel, MD, MPH
Bob Walter, MD, MPH
William Cruikshank, PhD
Aviva Lee-Parritz, MD
Ron Iverson, MD, MPH
Bela Suki, PhD

Ting-hsu Chen, MD, MPH
Mark Granada, MD
Allan Walkey, MD


Asthma; COPD; Sleep apnea; Inner city Epidemiology; Genetic epidemiology

Summary of research interest:

My research focuses on epidemiologic and clinical investigations of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and sleep apnea. He is the Boston University principal investigator of several NIH-funded multi-center investigations including the Sleep Heart Health Study, the Inner-City Asthma Consortium, and the Feasibility of Retinoid Therapy for Emphysema Study. He also conducts research on the genetic risk factors for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and he participates in research on lung disease in the Framingham Heart Study.

Recent publications:

Himes B.E., G.M. Hunninghake, J.W. Baurley, N.M. Rafaels, P. Sleiman, D.P. Strachan, J.B. Wilk, S.A. Willis-Owen, B. Klanderman, J. Lasky-Su, R. Lazarus, A.J. Murphy, M.E. Soto-Quiros, L. Avila, T. Beaty, R.A. Mathias, I. Ruczinski, K.C. Barnes, J.C. Celedón, W.O. Cookson, W.J. Gauderman, F.D. Gilliland, H. Hakonarson, C. Lange, M.F. Moffatt, G.T. O’Connor, B.A. Raby, E.K. Silverman, S.T. Weiss. 2009. Genome-wide association analysis identifies PDE4D as an asthma-susceptibility gene. Am J Hum Genet. 84(5):581-93. PubMed PMID: 19426955; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2681010.

Gern J.E., C.M. Visness, P.J. Gergen, R.A. Wood, G.R. Bloomberg, G.T. O’Connor, M. Kattan, H.A. Sampson, F.R. Witter, M.T. Sandel, W.G. Shreffler, R.J. Wright, S.J. Arbes Jr., W.W. Busse. 2009. The Urban Environment and Childhood Asthma (URECA) birth cohort study: design, methods, and study population. BMC Pulm Med. 9:17. PubMed PMID: 19426496; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2689166.

Wilk J.B., T.H. Chen, D.J. Gottlieb, R.E. Walter, M.W. Nagle, B.J. Brandler, R.H. Myers, I.B. Borecki, E.K. Silverman, S.T. Weiss, G.T. O’Connor. 2009. A genome-wide association study of pulmonary function measures in the Framingham Heart Study. PLoS Genet. 5(3):e1000429. PubMed PMID: 19300500; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2652834.

O’Connor G.T., B. Caffo, A.B. Newman, S.F. Quan, D.M. Rapoport, S. Redline, H.E. Resnick, J. Samet, E. Shahar. 2009. Prospective study of sleep-disordered breathing and hypertension: the Sleep Heart Health Study. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 179(12):1159-64. Epub 2009 Mar 5. PubMed PMID: 19264976.

Coogan P.F., J.R. Palmer, G.T. O’Connor, L. Rosenberg. Body mass index and asthma incidence in the Black Women’s Health Study. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 123(1):89-95. Epub 2008 Nov 2. PubMed PMID: 18980776.

Szefler S.J.,H. Mitchell, C.A. Sorkness, P.J. Gergen, G.T. O’Connor, W.J. Morgan, M. Kattan, J.A. Pongracic, S.J. Teach, G.R. Bloomberg, P.A. Eggleston, R.S. Gruchalla, C.M. Kercsmar, A.H. Liu, J.J. Wildfire, M.D. Curry, W.W. Busse. 2008 Management of asthma based on exhaled nitric oxide in addition to guideline-based treatment for inner-city adolescents and young adults: a randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 372(9643):1065-72. PubMed PMID: 18805335; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2610850.

O’Connor G.T., L. Neas, B. Vaughn, M. Kattan, H. Mitchell, E.F. Crain, R. Evans 3rd, R. Gruchalla, W. Morgan, J. Stout, G.K. Adams, M. Lippmann. 2008. Acute respiratory health effects of air pollution on children with asthma in US inner cities. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 121(5):1133-1139.e1. Epub 2008 Apr 11. PubMed PMID: 18405952.

Gottlieb D.J., G.T. O’Connor, J.B. Wilk. 2007. Genome-wide association of sleep and circadian phenotypes. BMC Med Genet. 8 Suppl 1:S9. PubMed PMID: 17903308; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1995620.