Research

UCSF has long been a world leader in basic, clinical and translational pulmonary and critical care research.

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UCSF Lab Our program attracts the best and the brightest research trainees from around the United States and the world to work in more than 2 dozen research programs that investigate all aspects of pulmonary and allergy biology and disease. We participate in virtually every nationally funded pulmonary disease research network and have well-funded and highly productive research programs at each of 5 UCSF campuses. Our faculty also play important roles in many of the premiere inter-disciplinary research and training programs at UCSF, including the Cardiovascular Research Institute, the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Center for Global Health Sciences, the Immunology Program, the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program, the Program in Biological Sciences and the Program in Human Genetics. Division faculty members also play leadership roles in the American Thoracic Society (5 former Presidents) and in advising the National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization. Research initiated in our division has already been translated into new therapies for asthma, acute lung injury, pulmonary fibrosis and tuberculosis.

Airwary Disease/Allergy/Environmental Disease

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UCSF has a long history of research in allergy and asthma and especially in mechanisms of airway inflammation in asthma. Over the past 50 years, multiple faculty members at UCSF have contributed importantly to current knowledge of the specific cells and mediators that drive allergic inflammation and asthma. Seminal discoveries at UCSF have provided rationale for the treatment of asthma with inhaled anticholinergic drugs and anti-inflammatory drugs such as corticosteroids, leukotriene receptor antagonists, and anti-cytokine therapies (especially anti IL13). UCSF has also been a leader in identifying molecular subtypes of asthma and in developing biomarkers for specific asthma subtypes.

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Interstitial Lung Disease

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UCSF has an active research program conducting both clinical and basic research in the pathogenesis of lung fibrosis. Through the generosity of our patients, who collaborate with our world-class physician scientists, we have developed a better understanding of the fundamental, cellular and molecular mechanisms of interstitial lung disease. The clinical research involves both observational studies and clinical trials that use the knowledge gained in basic research to study the benefits of novel treatments in patients with lung fibrosis. Click the link for a list of publications related to clinical and translational research achievements from our program in which our patients have participated.

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LUNG TRANSPLANTATION 

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Over the last three decades, lung transplantation has grown exponentially. Today, it aims to improve survival and health-related quality of life for patients suffering from advanced non-malignant lung diseases. Driven by these two overarching aims, our group of investigators at UCSF are focused on advancing the practice of lung transplantation and understanding the mechanisms driving key clinical outcomes including chronic allograft rejection and malignancies after transplant.

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Critical Care/Lung Injury 

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Critical Care Medicine research at UCSF includes Acute Lung Injury and Sepsis. Both are a major focus for basic and clinical research. The research opportunities include molecular, cell and organ based studies as well as patient based research.  In addition, there is an opportunity to participate in phase 2 and 3 clinical trials. UCSF has a long tradition of NIH supported research in sepsis and acute lung injury with a history of being one of the major national and international leaders in both basic and clinical research and pivotal clinical trials.

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Infection/Global Health

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San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH), now Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (ZSFG), has a long history as a leading center in caring for tuberculosis (TB) patients, dating back to its days as a TB sanatorium and later hospital in the 19th and early 20th centuries. UCSF is home to the Curry International Tuberculosis Center and is also part of the CDC’s Tuberculosis Trials Consortium (TBTC). In 2019, UCSF established the UCSF Center for Tuberculosis (https://tb.ucsf.edu) to integrate and enhance collaboration opportunities for the collective of faculty, fellows and trainees involved in TB activities across UCSF schools, departments and programs. 

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Cancer

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Sleep

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Sleep research at UCSF is closely integrated with the UCSF Sleep Disorders Center, an active clinical program with an 8-bed sleep laboratory for overnight polysomnography.

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Basic Biology

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