Assistant Professor, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy, and Sleep, Department of Medicine and Cardiovascular Research Institute, UCSF
Our laboratory is interested in studying how key developmental pathways continue to persist in adulthood to maintain normal homeostatic organ function. We are particularly focused on the mesenchymal cell types (e.g. fibroblasts, pericytes, and etc.) that are poorly understood and lack precise anatomical definition, but are integral to the structural integrity and function of adult organs such as the lung. Previous work focused on how the Hedgehog pathway directed mesenchymal progenitor differentiation during embryonic development, and much to our surprise, how Hedgehog continues to maintain normal mesenchymal homeostasis during adulthood. We found that cellular quiescence in the adult lung is not a default state, but rather actively maintained by epithelial-mesenchymal crosstalk coordinated by Hedgehog. This suggests that cellular quiescence is tightly regulated by the state of Hedgehog activation within the mesenchyme to regulate cellular turnover during homeostasis and injury, and that dysregulated Hedgehog signaling could lead to maladaptive remodeling and lung diseases. Our projects utilizes sophisticated murine genetic models to manipulate and characterize cellular populations in a temporally/spatially specific manner, dissecting the role of key developmental pathways in regulating adult organ structural integrity, immune homeostasis, and aging.
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, B.A., 05/2000, Biology/Sociology
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, M.D., 05/2006, Medicine
Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, Residency, 06/2009, Internal Medicine
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, Fellowship, 12/2012, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, Postdoctoral research, 07/2015 Cell and Developmental Biology