We study a group of airway epithelial cells called pulmonary neuroendocrine (NE) cells. They are normally a rare cell type in the lung with sensory, neurosecretory, and stem cell functions. Some NE cells can be located at branchpoints in highly innervated clusters called neuroepithelial bodies (NEBs), which are abnormal in several pediatric and adult respiratory diseases. We use single cell genetic approaches to study NE cell development and function. We are currently studying human NE cells both in health and disease to understand how perturbations lead to disorders of NE cell origin, including some of the most aggressive human lung tumors arising from NE cells.
Dr. Cornfield's lab addresses several large thematic issues. The areas of concentration include: (i) regulation of pulmonary vascular tone; (ii) oxygen sensing in the lung; (iii) biological determinants of preterm labor focusing on myometrial smooth muscle cells; (iv) developmental regulation of barrier function in the lung; and (v) the role of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 in lung development. In addition, there is an active translational research component.
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is one of the most common genetic (inherited) diseases in America. It is also one of the most serious. It mainly affects the lungs and the digestive systems in the body, causing breathing problems and problems digesting foods. It is a chronic disease that currently has no cure.
The CF Center at Stanford is an integrated disease management program that follows patients from diagnosis through adulthood.
With the current longer life expectancy for patients with Cystic Fibrosis, our clinic population includes patients of all ages. More than half the patients followed by the Stanford CF Center are adults aged 18 years or older.