David M. Center MD

Associate Provost of Translational Research

Gordon and Ruth Snider Chair, Pulmonary, Allergy, Sleep & Critical Care Medicine

72 E. Concord Street | (617) 638-4860
David Center

Pulmonary, Allergy, Sleep & Critical Care Medicine


Pulmonary Center

Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research


Dr. Center is Boston University’s Associate Provost for Translational Research and the Director of the Clinical and Translational Research Institute funded by the NIH. He directs Boston University’s efforts to facilitate translational research and advance team science, with a focus on the use of innovative methods for drug and device discovery and delivery and developing creative tools to expedite and retool traditional research processes. He is Chief of Pulmonary, Allergy, Sleep and Critical Care Medicine in the Department of Medicine with an extensive experience in mentoring MDs and PhDs interested in Pulmonary Medicine and Lung Research. He was the Principal Investigator of the NHLBI sponsored Pulmonary Training Grant (T32) for over 20 years. In addition to his role in Pulmonary Medicine and Lung Research he directs the BU Clinical and Translational Science Institute, building infrastructure for clinical trials and translational research, including building links to entrepreneurship.

His own laboratory is interested in two major themes which revolve around roles for Interleukin-16, co-discovered with Bill Cruikshank in 1982. The first theme relates to the functions of IL-16 as a immunomodulatory cytokine. Over the past several years, in collaboration with Bill Cruikshank, he has studied the role of IL-16 in recruitment and development of Regulatory T cells and demonstrated that it plays a key role in tolerance to airborne allergens. Utilizing transgenic knockout and overexpressing mice his laboratory is involved in demonstrating the patterns of CD4+ T cell trafficking through lymph nodes and lung parenchymal in normal and immunologically challenged lungs and identifying potential therapeutic implications of altering recruitment patterns of Regulatory T cells.

The second major emphasis of his laboratory relates to the functional properties of the precursor protein for IL-16, Pro-IL-16 as a tumor suppressor gene. In these studies he has shown that Interleukin-16 is synthesized as a precursor which is present in cytoplasm and nucleus of resting T cells. It contains a phosphorylation regulated nuclear localization motif and binds a nuclear chaperone hsc70 which is essential for transport to the nucleus where its presence induces arrest of the cell cycle at G0/G1. It inhibits the cell cycle by acting as a scaffolding protein that assembles a histone deacetylase complex targeted via binding to GA-BP to the Skp2 promoter using intermolecular PDZ binding motifs. Skp2 is an essential member of the ubiquitin ligase protein degradation pathway responsive for degrading the cell cycle cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor p27. In the presence of pro-IL-16, the complex inhibits Skp2 transcription, which in turn decreases p27 degradation resulting in rises in p27 levels and arrest of the cell cycle in G1. Current studies are directed at identifying mutations in Pro-IL-16 that predispose to T cell malignancies and determining its role is permissive exit from G1 in normal T cell activation and proliferation following antigen stimulation.

Other Positions


MD, Boston University School of Medicine

BA, Boston University


Published on 5/1/2023

Center DM, Mizgerd JP. In Memoriam: Jerome S. Brody, M.D., A Red Journal Founder. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2023 May; 68(5):465-466. PMID: 36780672.

Published on 9/1/2021

Traber KE, Center DM. Toward a More Precise Solution to Asthma Therapy. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2021 09; 65(3):241-242. PMID: 34153196.

Published on 2/6/2020

Center DM. Ligelizumab for Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria. Reply. N Engl J Med. 2020 02 06; 382(6):580. PMID: 32023387.

Published on 10/3/2019

Center DM. A Better IgE Trap to Control Urticaria. N Engl J Med. 2019 10 03; 381(14):1376-1377. PMID: 31577881.

Published on 10/1/2017

Ravid K, Seta F, Center D, Waters G, Coleman D. Catalyzing Interdisciplinary Research and Training: Initial Outcomes and Evolution of the Affinity Research Collaboratives Model. Acad Med. 2017 Oct; 92(10):1399-1405. PMID: 28445220.

Published on 11/3/2014

Curiel-Lewandrowski C, Yamasaki H, Si CP, Jin X, Zhang Y, Richmond J, Tuzova M, Wilson K, Sullivan B, Jones D, Ryzhenko N, Little F, Kupper TS, Center DM, Cruikshank WW. Retraction: Loss of nuclear pro-IL-16 facilitates cell cycle progression in human cutaneous T cell lymphoma. J Clin Invest. 2014 Nov; 124(11):5085. PMID: 25365075.

Published on 2/1/2014

Richmond J, Tuzova M, Cruikshank W, Center D. Regulation of cellular processes by interleukin-16 in homeostasis and cancer. J Cell Physiol. 2014 Feb; 229(2):139-47. PMID: 23893766.

Published on 5/31/2012

Center DM, Schwartz DA, Solway J, Gail D, Laposky AD, Lin QS, Gan W. Genomic medicine and lung diseases. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2012 Aug 1; 186(3):280-5. PMID: 22652029.

Published on 3/27/2012

Shamoon H, Center D, Davis P, Tuchman M, Ginsberg H, Califf R, Stephens D, Mellman T, Verbalis J, Nadler L, Shekhar A, Ford D, Rizza R, Shaker R, Brady K, Murphy B, Cronstein B, Hochman J, Greenland P, Orwoll E, Sinoway L, Greenberg H, Jackson R, Coller B, Topol E, Guay-Woodford L, Runge M, Clark R, McClain D, Selker H, Lowery C, Dubinett S, Berglund L, Cooper D, Firestein G, Johnston SC, Solway J, Heubi J, Sokol R, Nelson D, Tobacman L, Rosenthal G, Aaronson L, Barohn R, Kern P, Sullivan J, Shanley T, Blazar B, Larson R, FitzGerald G, Reis S, Pearson T, Buchanan T, McPherson D, Brasier A, Toto R, Disis M, Drezner M, Bernard G, Clore J, Evanoff B, Imperato-McGinley J, Sherwin R, Pulley J. Preparedness of the CTSA's structural and scientific assets to support the mission of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). Clin Transl Sci. 2012 Apr; 5(2):121-9. PMID: 22507116.

Published on 11/14/2011

Curiel-Lewandrowski C, Yamasaki H, Si CP, Jin X, Zhang Y, Richmond J, Tuzova M, Wilson K, Sullivan B, Jones D, Ryzhenko N, Little F, Kupper TS, Center DM, Cruikshank WW. Loss of nuclear pro-IL-16 facilitates cell cycle progression in human cutaneous T cell lymphoma. J Clin Invest. 2011 Dec; 121(12):4838-49. PMID: 22080865.

View full list of 155 publications.