Pulmonary Immunity and Infection


The lungs are inevitably exposed to the ambient air and all of its contaminants including microbes, allergens, and pollution, necessitating sophisticated and specialized systems of immune defense.  Pulmonary immunity does a remarkable job in protecting the lungs, most of the time.  However, respiratory infections are frequent and sometimes severe.  Acute lower respiratory infection is the leading cause of death due to infection in the US, and the most common reason for American children to be hospitalized.  Furthermore, the immune pathways that usually protect the lung can become dysregulated – inappropriately activated, mistakenly routed, or ineffectively shut down – leading to pulmonary disease.  Aberrant lung immunity causes or exacerbates acute lung injury (ALI), asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis, sarcoidosis, lung cancer, pulmonary hypertension, cystic fibrosis, and others.  Researchers in the Pulmonary Center are elucidating the cells, molecules, and pathways that protect the lungs from infection or foster disease instead.  These discoveries differentiate subjects at increased risk and identify new pathways to target for preventing and curing pneumonia, acute lung injury, asthma, and more.  Some of our research interests related to pulmonary immunity and infection include:

Acute Lung Injury (Fine, Jones, Mizgerd, Quinton, Walkey)

Adaptive immunity in the lungs (CenterMizgerd, Remick, Valentine)

Allergy (CenterLittle, O’Connor)

Alveolar macrophages (Fine, Jones, Kotton, Kramnik, Mizgerd, Quinton, Wilson)

Asthma (Center, Chen, CohenO’Connor, Remick)

Antibiotics (Walkey)

CD4+ T lymphocytes (Center, Mizgerd, Remick, Valentine)

Epithelial responses to infection (Jones, Mizgerd, Quinton, Ramirez)

Influenza, RSV, and other respiratory viruses (Fearns, Hartshorn, Mizgerd)

Innate immunity in the lungs (Fine, Hartshorn, Jones, Kramnik, Mizgerd, Quinton)

Interleukin-16 (Center)

Neutrophils (Hartshorn, Jones, Mizgerd, Quinton)

Pneumococcal infections (Jones, Mizgerd, Pelton, Quinton)

Pneumonia (Hamer, Jones, Mizgerd, Pelton, Quinton, Remick)

Sepsis (Quinton, Remick, Walkey)

Transcriptional and post-transcriptional cytokine regulation (Jones, Mizgerd, Quinton, Trojanowska)

Tuberculosis (Bernardo, Ellner, Horsburgh, Kramnik, Saukkonen

October 14, 2016
Primary teaching affiliate
of BU School of Medicine