Kaganov Research Initiative Seminars

MEDx hosts regular Kaganov Research Initiative in Pulmonary Medicine and Engineering Seminars, which feature experts in lung function and disease.

Upcoming Seminars

April 1, 2021 12-1 p.m.| Barry Stripp, Ph.D, Epithelial Progenitor Cell Dysfunction in Progressive Lung Fibrosis

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Dr. Barry Stripp's research focuses on lung stem/progenitor cell biology and defining mechanisms of normal tissue maintenance, repair and remodeling in disease. The Stripp Laboratory is particularly interested in understanding epithelial defects that contribute to the development of fibrotic lung disease and identifying new therapeutic approaches to help patients afflicted with these lung disorders.

April 22, 2021 | Jeffrey J. Fredberg, Ph.D, The Unjamming Transition (UJT) is Fundamental to Wound Healing, Embryonic Development, and Cancer Invasion

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 Dr. Jeffrey Fredberg's laboratory investigates physical processes expressed by the eukaryotic cell, such as its deformability, contractility, malleability, and motility. His team turned attention more recently from the single cell in isolation to the cellular collective as it might pertain, for example, to disruption of the bronchial epithelial layer in asthma or tumor invasion in breast cancer. To probe these physical processes at the levels of the single cell and the cellular collective, his team developeda series of novel microscale technologies that now include magnetic twisting cytometry, Fourier-transform traction microscopy, monolayer traction microscopy, and monolayer stress microscopy. Using this suite of technologies, the team was first to show that cells comprising an epithelial collective can jam much as do coffee beans that become jammed a chute. Or instead, they can unjam and migrate, invade and spread. Taken together, this body of work has illuminated relevant but poorly understood physical processes that underlie asthma, wound healing, development, and cancer. Dr. Fredberg has served on the scientific advisory committee of the Parker B. Frances Foundation, as a full time member on three standing NIH study sections (RAP/RIBT, program project HLBP, T32 institutional training mechanism NITM), and on two NIH committees (NSF/NIH interagency panel on Research at the Interface of Life and Physical Sciences; and the Study Section Boundary Team, Pulmonary Sciences IRG). He also has significant experience in mentoring trainees for transition to academic independence.

May 27, 2021 | Kambez Benam, D.Phil, Microengineering Human Lung: Now and Future

Dr. Kambez Benam is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Bioengineering at University of Colorado. He is the founder of Lung Microengineering Lab which brings together researchers from the engineering, biology, biopharmaceutical industry, clinical and business communities with the aim of developing new technologies that recreate complex human organ pathophysiology in vitro, and applying them to discover novel therapeutics and personalized biomarkers. His research focuses on applying disruptive technologies that enable his team to elucidate cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern tissue pathology or offer protection during lung injury and host-environment interaction. Dr. Benam has been the recipient of multiple awards including Society of Toxicology IRSS, Baxter and Lush Young Investigator Awards and his work has received extensive press coverage (BBC, STAT News, Harvard Gazette, Washington Times, IEEE Spectrum, etc.). He has published in leading scientific journals (Nature Methods, Cell systems, JCI Insight, Nature Protocols, etc.) and is a co-inventor on twelve pending patent applications and multiple reports of invention.

Past Seminars

December 3, 2020 | Naftali Kaminski, M.D., The Single Cell RNA Guide to Pulmonary Fibrosis

Dr. Kaminski, Boehringer-Ingelheim Endowed Professor of Internal Medicine and Chief of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, at Yale School of Medicine, is an internationally renowned expert in genomics of Pulmonary Fibrosis and other advanced chronic lung disease, biomarkers discovery and molecular mechanisms of Pulmonary Fibrosis. Before joining Yale, Kaminski was a tenured professor of Medicine, Pathology, Computational Biology and Human Genetics, and the founding director of the Dorothy P. and Richard P. Simmons Center for Interstitial Lung Disease in the University of Pittsburgh. Dr Kaminski received his medical degree from the Hebrew University - Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem, Israel, and completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Hadassah Mount-Scopus University Hospital in Jerusalem, and a fellowship in pulmonary medicine at Sheba Medical Center in Tel-Hashomer, Israel. 

February 4, 2020 | Carla Kim, Ph.D., Regulation of Lung Progenitors and their Microenvironment

Dr. Carla Kim is a Professor of Genetics at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Kim has a Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of Wisconsin—Madison and performed postdoctoral research at the MIT Center for Cancer Research. Dr. Kim pioneered the use of stem cell biology approaches for the study of adult lung progenitor cells and lung cancer. The Kim Lab developed an organoid co-culture technique that can be used to study the interactions of lung progenitors, endothelial cells and mesenchymal cells. These advances provide new ways to uncover mechanisms of lung disease and possible new therapeutic approaches.

January 24, 2020 | Thomas Barker, Ph.D., Mechanotransduction In Disease: More Than Just Stiffness

Barker is a Professor in the departments of Biomedical Engineering and Cell Biology at the University of Virginia and the Director of the UVA Fibrosis Initiative. Dr. Barker’s research activities center cell-extracellular matrix biology, mechanobiology, and biotechnology focused primarily on fibroblast-ECM interactions that drive tissue repair, regeneration, and fibrosis. His research integrates engineering applications and basic cell and molecular biology approaches to understand and control cell phenotype through cell engineering/synthetic biology and ECM engineering. 

March 26, 2019 | Wellington Cardoso, M.D., Ph.D., Ontogeny and regulation of the airway stem cell pool in the lung

Cardoso is the Director of the Columbia Center for Human Development, as well a professor of both medicine and genetics. His research focuses on the mechanisms that regulate lung development and regeneration-repair of the lung. For nearly two decades his laboratory has been making relevant contributions to the field, providing insights into how developmental signals, such as retinoic acid, Fgf, Tgf beta and Notch control lung progenitor cell development, airway branching and epithelial differentiation. These studies have also contributed to the understanding of mechanisms controlling lung regeneration-repair and of the impact of prenatal fetal exposures in the adult lung function and susceptibility to disease.

March 19, 2019 | Alan Fine, M.D., Ciliated Cell Heterogeneity in the Lung

Fine is a practicing Pulmonologist, bench researcher and bioethicist. For the past 30 years, he has led an NIH funded research program that examines basic biological questions regarding how the lung grows, develops and responds to injury.

March 5, 2019 | James Hagood, M.D., Making or Breaking the LungsL Fibroblasts in Alveolar Development and Fibrosis 

Hagood is a pediatric pulmonologist specialzing in rare lung disease. His “Lung Repair Lab” studies the molecular regulation of fibroblast phenoty[es in pulmonary fibrotic disease and lung alveolarization. He also studies the roles of regulation of Thy-1, a critical modulator of cellular phenotype, and epigenetic/epigenomic alterations in lung development and disease, as well as targeted therapy for diffuse lung diseases. 

December 11, 2018 | Tushar Desai, M.D., Lung stem cells and Wnts in health and fibrosis

Desai is a pulmonary physician-scientist who studies the basic biology of lung alveolar development, maintenance and repair. He investigates how proliferation and differentiation of the alveolar epithelial type II (AT2) stem cell is regulated and how these stem cells can participate in diseases like lung adenocarcinoma and IPF. Dr. Desai is also interested in harnessing the regenerative capacity of lung stem cells for the treatment of diseases like cystic fibrosis and IPF. 

May 29, 2018 | Thomas Peterson, M.D., Ph.D., Exosomes and Tissue Engineering: Developing Novel Therapies for Lung Disease

Petersen is Vice President of Regenerative Medicine and United Therapeutics in Research Triangle Park, N.C. As part of his graduate and postdoctoral work, he developed the first transplantable and functional engineered lung, and the results of this innovative work were published in Science. His work was recognized by TIME magazine as one of the best inventions of 2019 and by CNN as a Top Innovation of 2010. Currently, his team is developing cell- and tissue-based therapies for lung diseases with a particular focus on pulmonary hypertension and bronchopulmonary dysplasia.