Archive: 2011

Assistant Professor Kevin Wilson and colleagues report in The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine that the data are less than compelling for many clinical practices used as performance measures in treatment of community-acquired pneumonia, questioning their utility as indicators for assessing quality of care.

Associate Professor Darrell Kotton and colleagues report in The Journal of Clinical Investigation that cells induced to become pluripotent stem cells have a similar capacity as embryonic stem cells to transition through development to become lung progenitors, supporting further research into the potential of cell-based therapies for lung disease.

Professor George O’Connor and colleagues report in Nature Genetics the results of a major international collaboration identifying genetic loci associated with pulmonary function, analyzing results from nearly 50,000 individuals to implicate 16 gene regions as potential modifiers of lung disease.

Professor Wellington Cardoso and colleagues report in Development that the transcription factor Notch prevents cells in the airway from becoming goblet cells which secrete mucus, identifying a signaling pathway which may contribute to the pathophysiology of COPD, asthma, and other chronic lung diseases.

Assistant Professor Renda Wiener and colleagues report in the Annals of Internal Medicine that transthoracic needle lung biopsy confers considerable risks of pneumothorax and chest tube placement, of especial significance since CT chest screening is anticipated to increase demand for such biopsies.

Several PhD students have recently accomplished the critical milestone of thesis defense, including Dan Green (mentored by Bill Cruikshank), Constantina Christodoulou (mentored by Darrell Kotton), and Matt Blahna (mentored by Jay Mizgerd). Congratulations to the new doctors!

Assistant Professor Karin Sloan and her husband are featured in a Boston Globe article about gender issues and work-life balance, discussing spousal roles and the sometimes differing expectations for men and women with family responsibilities.

Assistant Professor Allan Walkey and colleagues report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that the onset of atrial fibrillation during sepsis associates with significantly increased risks of stroke and of death, identifying a major new factor for prognostication and management of sepsis patients.

Professor William Cruikshank and colleagues report in the Journal of Clinical Investigation that patients with cutaneous T cell lymphoma have defects in the pro-IL-16 protein that increase proliferation of T cells, suggesting that pro-IL-16 and its downstream factors are potential new drug targets for this disease.