I focus on functional characterization of airway epithelial cells at homeostasis and after injury and regeneration using advanced imaging techniques such as laser scanning confocal microscopy and optical coherence tomorgraphy. My hope is to understand the pathogenesis in airway diseases such as cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis, and how we can apply lessons in stem cell and developmental biology to tissue engineering.

Vlad Vinarsky, MD

I am interested in understanding the biological basis of metaplastic tissue transformation in human disease and the earliest molecular basis of the transition from normal tissue to metaplasia to neoplasia (cancer). Squamous metaplasia is believed to be a first step in a multistep progression to neoplasia (cancer) in lung cancer. My project will focus on determining the genes and non coding RNAs that are misregulated in the development of squamous metaplasia and also analyze the genetic and epigenetic changes that are present at serial stages of cancer progression, starting with the earliest metaplasias.

Manju Shivaraju, PhD

I am working on the transcriptional networks that study plasticity and cell fate decisions of the lung and airway epithelium in both normal lung development and disease conditions such as IPF. We want to better understand the pathways that regulate the cell fate choices in cell autonomous and non-cell autonomous manner. We aim to expand our study to understand misregulation of gene expression in injury and disease models..

Avinash Waghray, PhD