Past and Present

Notable discoveries and contributions to modern medicine from the Boston University School of Medicine Pulmonary Section:

  • Description of a device for timed vital capacity measurements: the spirometer and use of the FEV1 as a clinical tool for assessing obstructive lung disease. (Gaensler EA. Science 1951;114:114)
  • Description of the criteria for removal of lung parenchyma in emphysema: the origins of lung reduction surgery. (Gaensler E. Ann Thorac Surg 1965;1:332–362)
  • Description of the xray findings and response to steroids of eosinophilic pneumonia. (Jederlinic PJ, Sicilian L, Gaensler EA. Chest 1975;68:665-71)
  • Differentiation of the pathologic entities of UIP and DIP. (Carrington CB, Gaensler EA, Coutu RE, et al. N Engl J Med 1978; 298:801)
  • Description of the first reproducible small animal models of emphysema with pancreatic elastase: the chemical origins of the protease-anti-protease balance theory. (Karlinsky JB, Snider GL. Am Rev Respir Dis 1978;117:1109–1133)
  • Description of the first reproducible small animal model of pulmonary fibrosis and acute lung injury with bleomycin. (Snider GL, Hayes JA, Korthy AL. Am Rev Respir Dis 1978; 117: 1099-1108)
  • Description of the first instrument for sterile sampling of the lower respiratory tract during fiberoptic bronchoscopy: the protected brush. (Wimberley N, Faling LJ, Bartlett JG. Am Rev Respir Dis. 1979 Mar;119(3):337–343)
  • Description of spurious hypoxemia in patients with high white blood cell counts: leukocyte larceny. (Fox MJ, Brody JS, Weintraub LR. Am J Med 1979;67:742-746)
  • Description of the entity of chronic necrotizing pulmonary aspergillosis infection. (Binder RE, Faling, LJ, Pugatch, RD, et al. Medicine 1982;61,109-124)
  • Description of the first lymphocyte specific chemotactic cytokine: cloning of Interleukin-16. (Cruikshank WW and Center, DM .J Immunol. 1982 Jun;128(6):2563-8)
  • Description of the Clinical entity Bronchiolitis Obliterans Organizing Pneumonia: BOOP. (Epler GR, Colby TV, McLoud TC, Carrington CB, Gaensler. EA. N Engl J. Med 1985;312:152–8)
  • First description of biologic effects of protein products of HIV-1 independent of infection: the chemotactic and activating functions of gp120. (Kornfeld, H,Cruikshank, WW, Pyle, SW; Berman, J. S.; Center. D. M. Nature, 1988, 335, 445-448)
  • Description of engraftment of stem cell-derived populations in the injured lung (Kotton DN, Ma BY, Cardoso WV, Sanderson EA, Summer RS, Williams MC, Fine A. Development. 2001 Dec;128(24):5181-8.
  • Description of fundamental mechanisms controlling early embryonic lung development (reviewed in:Cardoso WV, Lü J. Development. 2006 May;133(9):1611-24)
  • Description of the airway transcriptome as a tool for determining genes associated with lung cancer and COPD. (Spira,A., Beane,J., Shah,V., Liu,G., Schembri,F., Yang,X., Palma,J. and Brody, PNAS 2004 101 27 10143-10148. Spira A, Brody JS et al..Nat Med. 2007 Mar;13(3):361-6)

To see where our trainees are now, to review our awards and grant funding, or to read about the storied history of our section which begins in the old Boston City Hospital, please click on the navigation bar links from the top of this page.