High-throughput patient-oriented lung disease research

IPF slice

Advances in biology and medicine have resulted in newer approaches to patient studies that are extraordinarily high-throughput.  Whereas science in prior years tended to be built incrementally, one observation per patient and one patient at a time, today’s Pulmonary Center investigators collect and interrogate huge quantities of data: thousands, tens of thousands, even millions of observations from a single patient sample; thousands, tens of thousands, even millions of people included in a study. These high-throughput approaches are providing unprecedented windows into lung disease.  Pulmonary Center researchers use genomics and metabolomics to analyze all of the genes and metabolites, including millions of variations across thousands of subjects, to identify which changes may influence disease susceptibility or progression.  Factors are being discovered which impact asthma, COPD, and the decline in lung function that typically occurs with aging.  Bioinformatics approaches allow tens of millions of pieces of data to be collected from a single biological specimen collected from a patient or other subject, and the computational analyses of such huge data sets yield unbiased and powerful new views of disease processes.  Innovative applications of these approaches drive deeper insights into pneumonia, COPD, and lung cancer.  Finally, the spread of electronic medical records has led to massive administrative databases containing medical information on millions of patients, and Pulmonary Center researchers are pioneering investigations of such databases to improve the prevention and treatment of pulmonary and critical care diseases, especially for intensive care unit issues (like ARDS) and for lung cancer.  Some of our research interests related to high-throughput patient/population-oriented lung disease research include:

Acute lung injury (Fine, Jones, Mizgerd, Quinton, Walkey)

Amyloidosis (Berk)

Asthma (Ai, Center, Chen, Cohen, CruikshankO’Connor, Remick)

Cigarette smoking (Brody, Schembri, Spira, Steiling)

Clinical trials (Berk, Farber, Schembri, Sloan, Theodore, Walkey)

COPD (Brody, Kotton, O’Connor, Schembri, Spira, Steiling, Wilson)

Computational science (Lenburg, Schembri, Spira, Steiling)

Deep sequencing (Jones, Lenburg, Spira)

Genome-wide association studies (O’Connor)

Health services (Walkey, Wiener)

Lung cancer (Brody, Kathuria, Schembri, Spira, Steiling, Wiener)

Patient iPS cells (Ikonomou, Kotton, Mostaslovsky, Murphy, Wilson)

Outcomes research (Walkey, Wiener)

Pulmonary hypertension (Farber, Klings, Trojanowska)

Sickle cell disease (Klings)

Transcriptional profiling (Brody, Kotton, Lenburg, Mizgerd, Quinton, Ramirez, Spira, Steiling)

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December 2, 2013
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of BU School of Medicine