Regenerative Medicine

Regenerative Medicine research at UCSF at this point in time is a vigorous pre-clinical program with the near-term goal of delineating the major pathways of lung repair following major injury. Findings from UCSF investigators, as well as other researchers, indicate that endogenous lung stem and/or progenitor cells expand and attempt to restore normal lung function after an acute insult. How these processes are regulated, exactly what cells are involved, and how human and rodent model systems compare in their responses to injury are all important questions under active investigation. A longer term goal is to use the detailed cell and molecular signaling roadmaps of stem/progenitor cell-mediated repair to promote regeneration in diseases as diverse as adult respiratory distress syndrome, emphysema, fibrotic lung disease, and cystic fibrosis. A parallel goal is to test the efficacy of cell-based therapies either directly in the treatment of these disorders or as sources of healthy cells incorporated into bio-engineered lung tissue. The overall objective is to exploit the regenerative potential of the lung to benefit patients with chronic, intractable lung disease.

List of faculty and projects directed at the study of lung regeneration at UCSF include:

  • Jason Rock, PhD:Alveolar regeneration after pneumonectomy and identification of airway and alveolar stem/progenitor cell populations of the adult lung .
  • Thiennu Vu, M.D./Ph.D. Identification of lung stem function in vivo using lung organoid development under kidney capsules.
  • Pao-Tien Chuang and Max Krummel. Real time imaging of lung repair using injured lungs with lineage-tagged epithelial stem/progenitor cells.
  • Hal Chapman, M.D. Characterization of distal airway and alveolar stem/progenitor cells in normal or fibrotic mouse and human lungs.