UCSF has been a prominent site for research on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases (COPD), including Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema, for more than 40 years. Our faculty are involved in studies of the basic pathogenetic mechanisms of COPD, genetics, epidemiology, early diagnosis, and treatment, as well as studies on the role of smoking, air pollution, and exposure to fumes from biomass fuels. UCSF was one of ten sites selected by the NHLBI to participate in the COPD Clinical Research Network, and one of six in the SPIROMICS network.

Current COPD research at UCSF includes:

  • Demonstration of early physiologic, anatomic, and inflammatory changes in humans with COPD.
  • Effects of second-hand smoke in the development of COPD.
  • Use of cardio-pulmonary exercise testing to identify early physiologic involvement.
  • Effects of air pollution and wood smoke on development of COPD.
  • Gene expression and miRNA profiling in blood cells and plasma to develop diagnostic tests for COPD.
  • Airway epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) in the lung in the context of injury, including emphysema.
  • Role of the airway epithelium in modulating innate immune responses that lead to chronic airway inflammation and mucus hypersecretion.
  • Role of integrins in the development of emphysema.
  • Mast cell-derived peptidases and the pathogenesis of COPD.
  • Identification of molecular phenotypes of COPD.
  • Development of intermediate outcome measures that can be used in clinical trials of COPD
  • Clinical studies of novel therapeutic approaches to COPD, including macrolide antibiotics and statins.

If you are interested in learning more about our research on COPD, or participating, please click HERE