Archive: 2012

Assistant Professor Matt Jones and colleagues report in PLOS Geneticsevidence that a novel mechanism of gene regulation (involving miRNA uridylation) matters to mammals, which may apply to many settings including pulmonary diseases. In this case, they found that deficiency of the enzyme Zcchc11 leads to fewer miRNAs with uridine modifications, decreased growth factor expression, and failure to thrive during the neonatal period.

Assistant Professor Hasmeena Kathuria is featured in a video on the U.S. Department of Defense website, describing her lung cancer studies being pursued as part of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program.

Several Pulmonary Center faculty have had perspective or opinion pieces published recently. In the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Professor Jay Mizgerd argued for the importance of lung immunity to pulmonary disease, and Associate Professor Darrell Kottonpresented the promise of regenerative medicine for future patients. In JAMA, Professor George O’Connor considered the varied strategies of optimally dosing corticosteroid therapy for asthma patients. In the Annals of Internal Medicine, Professor Jeff Berman provided an overview of sarcoidosis.

Assistant Professor Arjun Guha, Professor Wellington Cardoso, and colleagues report in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) the discovery of molecular pathways involved in early cell fate decisions and the production of secretory cells in airway neuroepithelial bodies, poorly understood anatomical structures which are relevant to multiple diseases including neuroendocrine hyperplasia of infancy, diffuse idiopathic pulmonary neuroendocrine cell hyperplasia, and bronchopulmonary dysplasia.

Assistant Professor Renda Soylemez Wiener and colleagues report inCHEST that patients often interpret the presence of a pulmonary nodule as cancer, and how doctors communicate about such nodules can have substantial impacts on patient anxiety and understanding.

Professor Bill Cruikshank is taking on exciting new roles at BUSM. He is the new Director of the PhD training program from the Department of Medicine at BUSM, formerly known as Molecular Medicine and soon to be renamed as the Graduate Program in Translational Biomedicine. In addition, he is a new Assistant Dean in the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs.

Professor George O’Connor has agreed to become a Contributing Editor for JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.  In this capacity, he will have responsibility for submissions related to pulmonary disease.

Associate Professor Darrell Kotton and colleagues report in Cell Stem Cell the ability to turn stem cells into lung cells and tissue, advancing developmental biology concepts and empowering the generation of lung-relevant samples from patient cells, opening up new avenues for investigating pulmonary disease.

Assistant Professor Lee Quinton and colleagues report in the Journal of Clinical Investigation the first ever complete ablation of the hepatic acute phase response, revealing that during pneumonia it enhances bloodstream defenses to prevent dissemination of infection from the lung.

Professor David Center receives the 2012 Trudeau Award from the American Thoracic Society, presented at the San Francisco ATS meeting in May. This award is a major honor, given to one individual a year to recognize “lifelong major contributions to prevention, diagnosis and treatment of lung disease through leadership in research, education, or clinical care.” A truly exceptional accomplishment!

Assistant Professor Lee Quinton is a new editor for the American Journal of Physiology – Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, and Alexander Graham Bell Professor Avrum Spira has become an editor for theAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. Congratulations and thanks from the rest of the lung community!