Research Summary

Dr. Arjomandi grew up in Ahvaz, a small city in Southwestern Iran, and moved to the United States in 1986 in the aftermath of Iranian revolution (1979), Iraq invasion of Iran (1980-88), and his family displacement inside Iran (1980-83). When in California, he began his higher education at Los Angeles Pierce College before transferring to University of California San Diego in 1988, where he obtained a bachelor degree in molecular biology and completed a senior honors thesis in developmental biology in Dr. Richard Firtel’s lab. He then attended Stanford University School of Medicine in 1991, completing two predoctoral research fellowships in Dr. Etienne Emile Beaulieu’s lab at INSERM in Paris, France, and Dr. John Cooke’s vascular biology lab at Stanford. Dr. Arjomandi then completed a residency in internal medicine at UCLA (1996-99) and a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care at UCSF (2000-03). He completed three additional years of research fellowship funded by the American Lung Association and Chest Foundation before successfully competing for an NIH K23 award in 2006 and then joining the pulmonary and critical care faculty at UCSF and San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH). In 2008, he obtained a joint appointment at San Francisco VA Medical Center (SF VA).

Currently, Dr. Arjomandi is Professor of Medicine in the Divisions of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy, and Sleep Medicine and Occupational and Environmental Medicine at UCSF with a joint appointment at SF VA. He is Director of the UCSF Human Exposure Laboratory at SFGH, Director of Environmental Medicine Clinic at SF VA, Site Director for the SF VA Airborne Hazard Exposure Study Center of Excellence, an investigator at the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, and a member of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Research Interests

The lung is constantly exposed to various environmental pollutants, allergens, and toxins, which interact with airways and alveoli and result in inflammation, injury, and disease. My laboratory primary research interest has been centered on the paradigm that respiratory exposures to pollutants and toxicants contribute to development and progression of chronic lung diseases, and may further yield systemic effects well beyond lungs. Under this paradigm, my research activities have focused on understanding the physiologic and immunologic mechanisms via which environmental exposures contribute to chronic lung diseases and how knowledge of these mechanisms could be translated to ways to better define, prognosticate, and manage disease burden at both individual and societal levels.

I have dedicated my efforts to (1) investigate the biology of airway immune cells using inhalational exposure to ozone in humans as a model of lung injury simulating exacerbation in chronic lung disease, and (2) characterize the early cardiopulmonary changes due to exposure to tobacco smoke and the pathophysiology and biology associated with those changes.

Research Funding

  • July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2023 - Occult Cardiovascular Disease with Chronic Exposure to Secondhand Tobacco Smoke , PI . Sponsor: Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute (FAMRI), Sponsor Award ID: SFGH Foundation
  • July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2022 - Circulating Tumor DNA in Patients at High Risk for Lung Cancer , PI . Sponsor: Guardant Health, Inc., Sponsor Award ID: NCIRE-2062
  • April 1, 2019 - March 31, 2022 - Characterization of Innate Immunity in Pollution-induced Exacerbation in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (CO3PD Study) , PI . Sponsor: California TRDRP, Sponsor Award ID: T29IR0715
  • March 1, 2020 - February 28, 2022 - Lung Macrophage Populations and Functions in COPD-Susceptible Smokers (Pre-COPD Study) , PI . Sponsor: Department of Defense, Sponsor Award ID: W81XWH-20-1-0158


University of California, San Diego, BA, 06/1991, Molecular Biology
Stanford University, MD, 06/1996, MD Program
University of California, Los Angeles, Residency, 06/1999, Internal Medicine
University of California, San Francisco Fellowship, 06/2003, Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine
University of California, San Francisco, Certificate, 06/2003, Advanced Training in Clinical Research
Veterans Affairs Cooperative Study Program, Certificate, 08/2009, Clinical Trial Design Course
University of California, San Francisco, Certificate, 05/2010, Mentor Development Program
The Jackson Laboratories (NIH/NHLBI), Certificate, 10/2010, Genetic Approaches to Complex Heart, Lung and Blood Diseases
University of California, San Francisco, CA, 2018, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Champion Training

Honors & Awards

  • 1988
    Mathematics Scholarship, Los Angeles Pierce College
  • 1989 &1990
    Dean's honors list, University of California San Diego
  • 1990
    Pre-doctoral Research Fellow, Ronald McNair Student Fellowship, University of California San Diego
  • 1992
    Pre-doctoral Research Scholar, La Societe pour Aider les Amis de Science, INSERM at University of Paris, France
  • 1992
    Pre-doctoral Research Scholar, Steward Traveling Medical Scholars Award, Stanford University
  • 1993
    Pre-doctoral Research Scholar, Stanford Medical Scholars Award, Stanford University
  • 2003
    Research Award, Chest Foundation Clinical Research Trainee Award
  • 2003 & 2004
    Research Award, American Lung Association Research Fellowship Award
  • 2006
    Research Award, NIH/NHLBI Mentored Patient-oriented Career Development Award (K23)
  • 2015
    Research Award, Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute Individual Research Award
  • 2015
    Breathe California Clean Air Award- Research Category

Selected Publications

  1. Mustra Rakic J, Zeng S, Rohdin-Bibby L, Van Blarigan EL, Liu X, Ma S, Kane JP, Redberg RF, Turino GM, Oestreicher Stock E, Arjomandi M. Elastin Degradation and Lung Function Deterioration with Remote Secondhand Tobacco Smoke Exposure in Never-smokers. Chronic Obstr Pulm Dis. 2022 Jun 13.  View on PubMed
  2. Zeng S, Dunn M, Gold WM, Kizer JR, Arjomandi M. Remote exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke is associated with lower exercise capacity through effects on oxygen pulse, a proxy of cardiac stroke volume. BMJ Open Respir Res. 2022 May; 9(1).  View on PubMed
  3. Ronish BE, Couper DJ, Barjaktarevic IZ, Cooper CB, Kanner RE, Pirozzi CS, Kim V, Wells JM, Han MK, Woodruff PG, Ortega VE, Peters SP, Hoffman EA, Buhr RG, Dolezal BA, Tashkin DP, Liou TG, Bateman LA, Schroeder JD, Martinez FJ, Barr RG, Hansel NN, Comellas AP, Rennard SI, Arjomandi M, Paine Iii R. Forced Expiratory Flow at 25%-75% Links COPD Physiology to Emphysema and Disease Severity in the SPIROMICS Cohort. Chronic Obstr Pulm Dis. 2022 Apr 29; 9(2):111-121.  View on PubMed
  4. Seedahmed MI, Mogilnicka I, Zeng S, Luo G, Whooley MA, McCulloch CE, Koth L, Arjomandi M. Performance of a Computational Phenotyping Algorithm for Sarcoidosis Using Diagnostic Codes in Electronic Medical Records: Case Validation Study From 2 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers. JMIR Form Res. 2022 Mar 02; 6(3):e31615.  View on PubMed
  5. Zeng S, Arjomandi M, Luo G. Automatically Explaining Machine Learning Predictions on Severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Exacerbations: Retrospective Cohort Study. JMIR Med Inform. 2022 Feb 25; 10(2):e33043.  View on PubMed
  6. Peloso GM, Tcheandjieu C, McGeary JE, Posner DC, Ho YL, Zhou JJ, Hilliard AT, Joseph J, O'Donnell CJ, Efird JT, Crawford DC, Wu WC, Arjomandi M, VA Million Veteran Program COVID-19 Science Initiative, Sun YV, Assimes TL, Huffman JE. Genetic Loci Associated With COVID-19 Positivity and Hospitalization in White, Black, and Hispanic Veterans of the VA Million Veteran Program. Front Genet. 2021; 12:777076.  View on PubMed
  7. Zeng S, Arjomandi M, Tong Y, Liao ZC, Luo G. Developing a Machine Learning Model to Predict Severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Exacerbations: Retrospective Cohort Study. J Med Internet Res. 2022 01 06; 24(1):e28953.  View on PubMed
  8. Frampton MW, Balmes JR, Bromberg PA, Arjomandi M, Hazucha MJ, Thurston SW, Alexis NE, Ganz P, Zareba W, Koutrakis P, Thevenet-Morrison K, Rich DQ. Effects of short-term increases in personal and ambient pollutant concentrations on pulmonary and cardiovascular function: A panel study analysis of the Multicenter Ozone Study in oldEr subjects (MOSES 2). Environ Res. 2022 04 01; 205:112522.  View on PubMed
  9. Yee N, Markovic D, Buhr RG, Fortis S, Arjomandi M, Couper D, Anderson WH, Paine R, Woodruff PG, Han MK, Martinez FJ, Barr RG, Wells JM, Ortega VE, Hoffman EA, Kim V, Drummond MB, Bowler RP, Curtis JL, Cooper CB, Tashkin DP, Barjaktarevic IZ. Significance of FEV3/FEV6 in Recognition of Early Airway Disease in Smokers at Risk of Development of COPD: Analysis of the SPIROMICS Cohort. Chest. 2022 Apr; 161(4):949-959.  View on PubMed
  10. Chen J, Weldemichael L, Zeng S, Giang B, Geerts J, Ching WC, Nishihama M, Gold WM, Arjomandi M. Actigraphy informs distinct patient-centered outcomes in Pre-COPD. Respir Med. 2021 10; 187:106543.  View on PubMed
  11. Liu Q, Tian X, Maruyama D, Arjomandi M, Prakash A. Lung immune tone via gut-lung axis: gut-derived LPS and short-chain fatty acids' immunometabolic regulation of lung IL-1β, FFAR2, and FFAR3 expression. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2021 07 01; 321(1):L65-L78.  View on PubMed
  12. Fortis S, Comellas AP, Bhatt SP, Hoffman EA, Han MK, Bhakta NR, Paine R, Ronish B, Kanner RE, Dransfield M, Hoesterey D, Buhr RG, Barr RG, Dolezal B, Ortega VE, Drummond MB, Arjomandi M, Kaner RJ, Kim V, Curtis JL, Bowler RP, Martinez F, Labaki WW, Cooper CB, O'Neal WK, Criner G, Hansel NN, Krishnan JA, Woodruff P, Couper D, Tashkin D, Barjaktarevic I. Ratio of FEV1/Slow Vital Capacity of < 0.7 Is Associated With Clinical, Functional, and Radiologic Features of Obstructive Lung Disease in Smokers With Preserved Lung Function. Chest. 2021 07; 160(1):94-103.  View on PubMed
  13. Vasudevan S, Vásquez JJ, Chen W, Aguilar-Rodriguez B, Niemi EC, Zeng S, Tamaki W, Nakamura MC, Arjomandi M. Lower PDL1, PDL2, and AXL Expression on Lung Myeloid Cells Suggests Inflammatory Bias in Smoking and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2020 12; 63(6):780-793.  View on PubMed
  14. Rich DQ, Thurston SW, Balmes JR, Bromberg PA, Arjomandi M, Hazucha MJ, Alexis NE, Ganz P, Zareba W, Thevenet-Morrison K, Koutrakis P, Frampton MW. Do Ambient Ozone or Other Pollutants Modify Effects of Controlled Ozone Exposure on Pulmonary Function? Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2020 05; 17(5):563-572.  View on PubMed
  15. Sotolongo A, Falvo M, Santos S, Johnson I, Arjomandi M, Hines S, Krefft S, Osterholzer J. Military Burn Pits. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2020 04 01; 201(7):P13-P14.  View on PubMed
  16. Rich DQ, Frampton MW, Balmes JR, Bromberg PA, Arjomandi M, Hazucha MJ, Thurston SW, Alexis NE, Ganz P, Zareba W, Koutrakis P, Thevenet-Morrison K. Multicenter Ozone Study in oldEr Subjects (MOSES): Part 2. Effects of Personal and Ambient Concentrations of Ozone and Other Pollutants on Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Function. Res Rep Health Eff Inst. 2020 Mar; (192, Pt 2):1-90.  View on PubMed
  17. Blagev DP, Collingridge DS, Rea S, Carey KA, Mularski RA, Zeng S, Arjomandi M, Press VG. Laboratory-based Intermountain Validated Exacerbation (LIVE) Score stability in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. BMJ Open Respir Res. 2020 02; 7(1).  View on PubMed
  18. Barjaktarevic IZ, Buhr RG, Wang X, Hu S, Couper D, Anderson W, Kanner RE, Paine Iii R, Bhatt SP, Bhakta NR, Arjomandi M, Kaner RJ, Pirozzi CS, Curtis JL, O'Neal WK, Woodruff PG, Han MK, Martinez FJ, Hansel N, Wells JM, Ortega VE, Hoffman EA, Doerschuk CM, Kim V, Dransfield MT, Drummond MB, Bowler R, Criner G, Christenson SA, Ronish B, Peters SP, Krishnan JA, Tashkin DP, Cooper CB, NHLBI SubPopulations and InteRmediate Outcome Measures In COPD Study (SPIROMICS). Clinical Significance of Bronchodilator Responsiveness Evaluated by Forced Vital Capacity in COPD: SPIROMICS Cohort Analysis. Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2019; 14:2927-2938.  View on PubMed
  19. Arjomandi M, Zeng S, Barjaktarevic I, Barr RG, Bleecker ER, Bowler RP, Buhr RG, Criner GJ, Comellas AP, Cooper CB, Couper DJ, Curtis JL, Dransfield MT, Han MK, Hansel NN, Hoffman EA, Kaner RJ, Kanner RE, Krishnan JA, Paine R, Peters SP, Rennard SI, Woodruff PG, SPIROMICS Investigators. Radiographic lung volumes predict progression to COPD in smokers with preserved spirometry in SPIROMICS. Eur Respir J. 2019 10; 54(4).  View on PubMed
  20. Balmes JR, Arjomandi M, Bromberg PA, Costantini MG, Dagincourt N, Hazucha MJ, Hollenbeck-Pringle D, Rich DQ, Stark P, Frampton MW. Ozone effects on blood biomarkers of systemic inflammation, oxidative stress, endothelial function, and thrombosis: The Multicenter Ozone Study in oldEr Subjects (MOSES). PLoS One. 2019; 14(9):e0222601.  View on PubMed

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