Targeted de-epithelialization as a novel therapeutic strategy for lung repair in ARDS.

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Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), the most severe form of acute lung injury, usually presents with severe lung damage with inflammation, and dysfunctional lungs that are collapsed or filled with fluid. A low blood oxygen level (hypoxemia) and the inability to restore oxygen to normal levels are the hallmarks of this syndrome. Unfortunately, 20% of patients succumb to refractory hypoxemia, developing lung fibrosis and debilitating end-stage lung disease. 

The goal of the project is to optimize and apply the recently developed lung de-epithelialization method (Dorrello et al., Science Advances 2017) in a rat ARDS model in vivo, and evaluate its potential as a therapeutic procedure for preventing chronic fibrosis and promoting lung regeneration. I will use different immunohistochemistry assays to examine the effectiveness of epithelium removal and the preservation of vasculature and extracellular matrix, as well as the inflammatory status of the treated lungs. I will also set up longitudinal experiments to investigate the recovery of treated lungs compared to controls (ARDS, but not subject to de-epithelialization) over time. Finally, I will evaluate the mechanical properties and gas exchange efficiency in those lungs. 

Lab: Laboratory for Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering

Direct Supervisor: Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic

Position Dates: 5/20/2019 - 8/12/2019

Hours per Week: 40

Paid Position: Yes

Credit: No

Qualifications: Tissue culture, small animal training and surgical procedures

Eligibility: Master's (SEAS only)

Sue Halligan, sph2130@columbia.edu