Pulmonary Immunology

Pulmonary Immunology Research has deep roots at UCSF, replete with past successes and with ongoing broad strengths in basic, translational and clinical investigation involving numerous members of the faculty of the Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy and Sleep Medicine Divisions at UCSF’s major campuses. The investigators in these Divisions benefit from deep ties with immunology-focused investigators in other clinical and basic science Divisions and Departments, including Infectious Diseases, Rheumatology, Surgery, Anatomy, Pathology, Microbiology/Immunology, and Biochemistry/Biophysics. Several of the Division’s investigators connect to Immunology PhD Programs as part of UCSF’s Biomedical Sciences (BMS) graduate program. The historically large bequest leading to founding of the Nina Ireland Lung Disease Program (NILDP) facilitated recent expansion of immunological research activities in theme areas of Lung Transplantation, Interstitial Lung Disease, and Global Health.

Active research activities in Pulmonary Immunology include:

  • Basic investigations of the role of immune cells in apoptotic cell and collagen clearance in mouse models of health and disease.
  • Basic, translational and clinical investigations of the autoimmune basis of fibrotic interstitial lung diseases.
  • Basic studies of the roles of immune cell cysteine cathepsins and serine proteases in antigen presentation, lymphocyte selection, lymphangiogenesis and host defense against airway pathogenic bacteria.
  • Basic, translational and clinical/pharmaceutical studies of the roles of integrins adhesion molecules in host defense, immune cell function, and allergen sensitization.
  • Mouse and human genetic studies of the immunopathogenesis of asthma.
  • Basic and translational studies of the roles of platelet and neutrophil aggregation in transfusion-associated immune lung injury.
  • Translational studies of predictors, biomarkers, and immune mechanisms of primary graft dysfunction and bronchiolitis obliterans in human lung allograft recipients.
  • Basic and human genetic studies of roles of mast cells, mast cell proteases and genetic variation in host defense against pathogens and allergic airway disease.
  • Studies of contributions of microRNA expression to immunophenotypes in allergic airway inflammation and other lung diseases in humans and in mouse models of disease.
  • Studies of the airway microbiome, including known and novel pathogens involved in exacerbations and persistence of obstructive lung diseases and lung allograft rejection