Dr. Desai focuses his research efforts on understanding how the gas exchange region of the lung develops, and how stem cells maintain the health of this tissue throughout life. His laboratory group is particularly interested in understanding how stem cell dysfunction contributes to diseases like IPF and lung cancer.  Ultimately, they hope to gain a comprehensive understanding of how lung stem cells are regulated, so that medications that improve their function, or transplantation of healthy lung stem cells, can be used to treat patients with IPF, COPD, and potentially other causes of respiratory failure.