Diseases such as asthma, COPD/emphysema, and lung injury involve altered and abnormal structure and function of the airway. Indeed, even lung abnormalities during development can lead to significant morbidity and mortality (e.g., pediatric asthma, bronchopulmonary dysplasia). In the Airway Biology laboratory, we study signal transduction mechanisms that regulate structure and function of airway smooth muscle during development and in adulthood. The major focus is on mechanisms that regulate smooth muscle contractility, and their role in clinically-relevant problems such as asthma and airway inflammation. The long-term goal of these studies is to help formulate more effective and safer therapies for use in the operating room and intensive care medicine that will alleviate symptoms of bronchospasm and bronchoconstriction. The laboratory uses a variety of state-of-the-art techniques to study human and animal airway cells and tissues, including real-time multicolor fluorescence microscopy, real-time calcium and other intravital imaging, muscle mechanics, immunohistochemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, and genetic approaches.
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