Trainee Triumphs

Several of our current or recent trainees have received exciting news. Congratulations to the following for these fellowship or faculty transition awards:


“Microbial Dysbiosis and Epithelial Dysfunction in Vitamin A-deficient Lungs”
F31 Predoctoral Fellowship, NIH
Date of Award: 2/20/2023


Kiloni Quiles-Franco
PhD Candidate – Molecular and Translational Medicine
Pulmonary Center and Section of Computational Biomedicine
Mentor: Felicia Chen

The F31 fellowship will fund an expansion of my current work with vitamin A-deficient mouse lungs. While our previous work has been mostly characteristic, the research to be performed under the F31 will be primarily mechanistic, with a focus on longitudinal changes to host-microbe interactions as it relates to lung health and disease in chronic VAD lungs.


“Pluripotent stem cell-based cell therapy for lung disease”
Parker B. Francis Fellowship in Pulmonary Research
Francis Families Foundation


Michael Herriges, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
Mentor: Darrell Kotton

The Parker B. Francis Fellowship is a three-year fellowship intended to support the transition to independent investigator for researchers embarking on careers in science related to pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine. My application focused on developing new methods to model pulmonary cell therapy in mice and using these methods to establish a clinically-relevant model for cell therapy of progressive pulmonary diseases.

 “Role of Regional Left Ventricular Strain Patterns in Systemic Sclerosis-related Pulmonary Hypertension”
American Heart Association Career Development Award
Date of Award: 3/13/2023


Justin K. Lui, MD, MS
Assistant Professor

This is a 3-year $231,000 career development award investigating the role of regional patterns of longitudinal left ventricular strain in predicting and prognosticating patients with systemic sclerosis-related pulmonary hypertension.


“Origin and Function of Lung Lymphatic Endothelial Cell Subsets During Influenza-induced Lymphangiogenesis”
American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship


Erin Crossey, MD, PhD
Pulmonary Fellow
Mentors: Alan Fine and Matt Jones

This AHA Postdoctoral Fellowship (23POST1022559) supports a mentored trainee by providing salary coverage for 2 years.

Hypothesis / Aims: We plan to test the hypothesis that multiple lymphatic endothelial cell (LEC) subsets with distinct lineages and functional roles reside in the adult lung. We propose to use lineage tracing strategies to identify the cellular origins and proliferative properties of lung LECs during homeostasis and influenza infection. Further, we optimized a novel single nuclei sequencing methodology to characterize lung LEC subsets and phenotypes. Finally, we will define the role of Hippo signaling in lung LEC regulation using genetically modified mice. This work will expand our understanding of the basic biology of lung LECs.


“Corticosteroids in Acute Exacerbations of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis: Practices and Outcomes”
Date of Award: TBD


Divya Shankar, MD
Pulmonary Fellow
Mentors: Allan Walkey and Anica Law

Acute exacerbations are a common complication of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis that can lead to critical illness and are associated with high mortality (AE-IPF). Management frequently involves corticosteroids based on case reports of benefit; use patterns and outcomes with corticosteroids for AE-IPF remain understudied. My project aims to describe patterns of corticosteroid use for AE-IPF in the United States and to explore the association of dosing strategies with patient outcomes in order to improve management and outcomes for critically ill patients with AE-IPF.