Current Research and Scholarly Interests
My lab is interested in understanding how alveolar epithelial type (AT) 1 and AT 2 cells are generated during lung development and replaced in adult life during aging and following injury. We use mouse genetic tools to specifically mark and fate-map AT 1 and AT 2 cells, in order to understand their differentiative potential and the lineage hierarchies that operate during alveolar epithelial turnover. By genetically deleting or mis-expressing transcription factors and other genes in AT 1 and AT 2 cells, we are also seeking to elucidate the specific role each gene plays in these cells and indirectly in the lung overall. We are interested not only in the role for AT 1 and AT 2 cells in health, but in exploring how their depletion or dysregulation may contribute to specific diseases, such as adenocarcinoma, emphysema, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and fibrotic diseases of the lung.