Faculty ProfilesJames Frank, MD
415-221-4810 ext. 4137
Clinical: I care for critically ill Veterans as Co-Director of the Intensive Care Unit and attending physician at the San Francisco VAMC. I see outpatients in our general pulmonary clinic and direct the Pulmonary Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Clinic, which is part of the SFVAMC Multidisciplinary ALS Team. ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) is twice as common in military veterans than in the general population. Our interprofessional ALS team approaches care with a patient-centered philosophy and treats all aspects of healthcare for our Veterans with ALS. In addition to patient care, I am actively involved in ICU quality improvement, clinical education and research.
Education: I am actively involved in undergraduate and graduate medical education at UCSF because teaching students, residents and fellows is one the best parts of my job. I am a medical student coach in the UCSF Bridges Curriculum, course director for the VA Critical Care Medicine student elective, and teach a variety of topics in small group-format courses, including ethics and point-of-care ultrasound for students, residents and fellows. I develop and coordinate the curriculum for the multidisciplinary ICU rotation for residents from medicine, surgery, anesthesia and emergency medicine. I teach clinical simulation in the ICU as part of the UCSF/SFVA Clinical Simulation Program, and I am an ACLS instructor. I am a core faculty member and member of the program evaluation committee in the UCSF Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship. I teach a variety of fellow-level sessions on mechanical ventilation and non-invasive ventilation. I recently developed a clinical education track within the fellowship program and I am actively involved in redesigning our assessment process for fellows. My interests include several areas of investigation within education, including patient/family communication, interprofessional communication, patient handoffs, and using clinical simulation to teach ICU care.
Research: My laboratory studies how lung epithelial barrier function is controlled, both in health and in disease. The epithelium in the lung is at the front line protecting the inside of the body from the outside world. Problems with the barrier function of the lung epithelium are at the center of several common lung diseases. Our goal is to develop new therapies that beneficially target the regulatory pathways controlling epithelial barrier function in diseases like ARDS, ventilator-associated lung injury, asthma and lung fibrosis.
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Asthma, Critical Care Ultrasound, Epithelial Barrier Function, Mechanical Ventilation, Medical Education, Patient Simulation, Quality Improvement, Ventilator-associated Lung InjuryAwards and Honors
• Michael S. Stulbarg Outstanding Teaching Award, UCSF, 2015
• Haile T. Debas Academy of Medical Educators Excellence in Teaching Award, UCSF, 2014
Related Web Sites
Recent Articles (38)
Sweerus K, Lachowicz-Scroggins M, Gordon E, LaFemina M, Huang X, Parikh M, Kanegai C, Fahy JV, Frank JA. Claudin-18 deficiency is associated with airway epithelial barrier dysfunction and asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2017 Jan; 139(1):72-81.e1.
LaFemina MJ, Sutherland KM, Bentley T, Gonzales LW, Allen L, Chapin CJ, Rokkam D, Sweerus KA, Dobbs LG, Ballard PL, Frank JA. Claudin-18 deficiency results in alveolar barrier dysfunction and impaired alveologenesis in mice. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2014 Oct; 51(4):550-8.
Yang J, Wheeler SE, Velikoff M, Kleaveland KR, LaFemina MJ, Frank JA, Chapman HA, Christensen PJ, Kim KK. Activated alveolar epithelial cells initiate fibrosis through secretion of mesenchymal proteins. Am J Pathol. 2013 Nov; 183(5):1559-70.
LaFemina MJ, Rokkam D, Chandrasena A, Pan J, Bajaj A, Johnson M, Frank JA. Keratinocyte growth factor enhances barrier function without altering claudin expression in primary alveolar epithelial cells. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2010 Dec; 299(6):L724-34.
Wolters PJ, Wray C, Sutherland RE, Kim SS, Koff J, Mao Y, Frank JA. Neutrophil-derived IL-6 limits alveolar barrier disruption in experimental ventilator-induced lung injury. J Immunol. 2009 Jun 15; 182(12):8056-62.
Wray C, Mao Y, Pan J, Chandrasena A, Piasta F, Frank JA. Claudin-4 augments alveolar epithelial barrier function and is induced in acute lung injury. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2009 Aug; 297(2):L219-27.
Kim KK, Wei Y, Szekeres C, Kugler MC, Wolters PJ, Hill ML, Frank JA, Brumwell AN, Wheeler SE, Kreidberg JA, Chapman HA. Epithelial cell alpha3beta1 integrin links beta-catenin and Smad signaling to promote myofibroblast formation and pulmonary fibrosis. J Clin Invest. 2009 Jan; 119(1):213-24.
Briot R, Frank JA, Uchida T, Lee JW, Calfee CS, Matthay MA. Elevated levels of the receptor for advanced glycation end products, a marker of alveolar epithelial type I cell injury, predict impaired alveolar fluid clearance in isolated perfused human lungs. Chest. 2009 Feb; 135(2):269-275.
Zier LS, Burack JH, Micco G, Chipman AK, Frank JA, Luce JM, White DB. Doubt and belief in physicians' ability to prognosticate during critical illness: the perspective of surrogate decision makers. Crit Care Med. 2008 Aug; 36(8):2341-7.
Hirsch J, Niemann CU, Hansen KC, Choi S, Su X, Frank JA, Fang X, Hirose R, Theodore P, Sapru A, Burlingame AL, Matthay MA. Alterations in the proteome of pulmonary alveolar type II cells in the rat after hepatic ischemia-reperfusion. Crit Care Med. 2008 Jun; 36(6):1846-54.
Ganter MT, Roux J, Miyazawa B, Howard M, Frank JA, Su G, Sheppard D, Violette SM, Weinreb PH, Horan GS, Matthay MA, Pittet JF. Interleukin-1beta causes acute lung injury via alphavbeta5 and alphavbeta6 integrin-dependent mechanisms. Circ Res. 2008 Apr 11; 102(7):804-12.
Hirsch J, Hansen KC, Sapru A, Frank JA, Chalkley RJ, Fang X, Trinidad JC, Baker P, Burlingame AL, Matthay MA. Impact of low and high tidal volumes on the rat alveolar epithelial type II cell proteome. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2007 May 15; 175(10):1006-13.
Frank JA, Briot R, Lee JW, Ishizaka A, Uchida T, Matthay MA. Physiological and biochemical markers of alveolar epithelial barrier dysfunction in perfused human lungs. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2007 Jul; 293(1):L52-9.
Su G, Hodnett M, Wu N, Atakilit A, Kosinski C, Godzich M, Huang XZ, Kim JK, Frank JA, Matthay MA, Sheppard D, Pittet JF. Integrin alphavbeta5 regulates lung vascular permeability and pulmonary endothelial barrier function. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2007 Mar; 36(3):377-86.
Frank JA, Wray CM, McAuley DF, Schwendener R, Matthay MA. Alveolar macrophages contribute to alveolar barrier dysfunction in ventilator-induced lung injury. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2006 Dec; 291(6):L1191-8.
Godzich M, Hodnett M, Frank JA, Su G, Pespeni M, Angel A, Howard MB, Matthay MA, Pittet JF. Activation of the stress protein response prevents the development of pulmonary edema by inhibiting VEGF cell signaling in a model of lung ischemia-reperfusion injury in rats. FASEB J. 2006 Jul; 20(9):1519-21.
Frank JA, McAuley DF, Gutierrez JA, Daniel BM, Dobbs L, Matthay MA. Differential effects of sustained inflation recruitment maneuvers on alveolar epithelial and lung endothelial injury. Crit Care Med. 2005 Jan; 33(1):181-8; discussion 254-5.
McAuley DF, Frank JA, Fang X, Matthay MA. Clinically relevant concentrations of beta2-adrenergic agonists stimulate maximal cyclic adenosine monophosphate-dependent airspace fluid clearance and decrease pulmonary edema in experimental acid-induced lung injury. Crit Care Med. 2004 Jul; 32(7):1470-6.
Frank J, Roux J, Kawakatsu H, Su G, Dagenais A, Berthiaume Y, Howard M, Canessa CM, Fang X, Sheppard D, Matthay MA, Pittet JF. Transforming growth factor-beta1 decreases expression of the epithelial sodium channel alphaENaC and alveolar epithelial vectorial sodium and fluid transport via an ERK1/2-dependent mechanism. J Biol Chem. 2003 Nov 07; 278(45):43939-50.
Frank JA, Pittet JF, Lee H, Godzich M, Matthay MA. High tidal volume ventilation induces NOS2 and impairs cAMP- dependent air space fluid clearance. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2003 May; 284(5):L791-8.
Frank JA, Gutierrez JA, Jones KD, Allen L, Dobbs L, Matthay MA. Low tidal volume reduces epithelial and endothelial injury in acid-injured rat lungs. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2002 Jan 15; 165(2):242-9.