Professor Christopher Waters Receives $1.5 Million Grant for Lung Injury Research

Dr. Christopher Waters and his research team (from left, Kristina Wilhelm, PhD, Bin Teng, PhD, and Charlean Luellen) have received a $1.5 million grant from the NIH that will allow them to understand the repair process associated with various lung injuries.

Dr. Christopher Waters and his research team (from left, Kristina Wilhelm, PhD, Bin Teng, PhD, and Charlean Luellen) have received a $1.5 million grant from the NIH that will allow them to understand the repair process associated with various lung injuries.

Christopher Waters, PhD, professor and vice chair in the Department of Physiology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), has received a grant totaling $1.5 million from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a subsidiary of the National Institutes of Health. His research seeks to understand the repair process associated with various lung injuries.

The award will be used to support a project titled, “CXCR4 Signaling in Lung Epithelial Repair.” The award will be distributed over a four-year period.

Patients with severe lung injury can develop a disease called Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). This disease is one of the most frequent causes of admission into the intensive care unit. It can be caused by different types of injury to the lungs, including infections and exposure to toxic substances.  A major feature of this disease is injury to the epithelial cells that line the respiratory tract and that normally protect the lungs from harmful substances in the inhaled air. Repair of the injured cells is important for recovery from the disease.

The patients are treated with supplemental oxygen and mechanical ventilation. Unfortunately, many patients do not survive. While this treatment is essential for survival, mechanical ventilation itself can contribute to additional lung injury and may affect the repair processes.  It was recently discovered that a particular substance called CXCL12 is released by injured lung cells, and that CXCL12 is important for the repair of the lungs.  Dr. Waters and his research team are studying the mechanisms of how this substance binds to its receptor (CXCR4) and promotes lung repair. In addition, they are studying how this repair process is affected by mechanical ventilation. If successful, these studies will provide new information about how lungs repair during mechanical ventilation that could potentially lead to new treatments for ARDS patients.

“ARDS is a devastating disease with very high mortality and limited treatment options,” said Dr. Waters. “The mechanisms of repair following injury are still not well understood, and this project from NIH will allow us to examine a new pathway that has not previously been studied in the lungs. We are excited to continue our studies of lung repair that we hope will lead to new treatments for ARDS patients.”

Drs. Schwarz and McCarthy-Maeder of the Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology Receive $1,002,883 Grant for Literacy and Language Outcomes Project

The Department of Education has awarded Drs. Ilsa Schwarz (left) and Jillian McCarthy-Maeder (right) with a $1,002,883 grant that will allow them to train master’s-level students in the areas of language and literacy outcomes.

The Department of Education has awarded Drs. Ilsa Schwarz (left) and Jillian McCarthy-Maeder (right) with a $1,002,883 grant that will allow them to train master’s-level students in the areas of language and literacy outcomes.

Two researchers at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Ilsa Schwarz, PhD, CCC-SLP, FASHA, professor emeritus, and Jillian McCarthy-Maeder, PhD, CCC-SLP, assistant professor in the Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology, received a grant totaling $1,002,883 from the Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. [Read more...]

Ophthalmic Society Honors Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Petros Konofaos

Dr. Petros Konofaos

The American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery has presented its 2014 Lester Jones Surgical Anatomy Award to Dr. Petros Konofaos for his outstanding contributions to ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery. He is a plastic surgeon at UT Medical Group Inc. and an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC). [Read more...]

Surgeon and Assistant Professor Min Yoo of UTHSC Recognized by American Society of Transplant Surgeons

Dr. Min Yoo was recognized by the American Society of Transplant Surgeons for her research in kidney transplantation.

Dr. Min Yoo was recognized by the American Society of Transplant Surgeons for her research in kidney transplantation.

Min Yoo, MD, an assistant professor of surgery at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) and a transplant surgeon with the Methodist University Transplant Institute, has been recognized by the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS) for her research related to pediatric en-bloc kidney transplantation. [Read more...]

Gustavo Miranda-Carboni of UTHSC Receives $158,232 Grant for Breast Cancer Research

Dr. Gustavo Miranda-Carboni and his research team have been awarded a $158,232 grant by the NIH that will allow them to develop targeted therapeutics to treat or prevent lung metastasis for triple negative breast cancer patients.

Dr. Gustavo Miranda-Carboni and his research team have been awarded a $158,232 grant by the NIH that will allow them to develop targeted therapeutics to treat or prevent lung metastasis for triple negative breast cancer patients.

Gustavo Miranda-Carboni, PhD, assistant  professor in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), has received a grant totaling $158,232 from the National Cancer Institute, a subsidiary of the National Institutes of Health, to study triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). [Read more...]

Jeffrey A. Towbin, MD, Tapped as Pediatric Cardiology Chief

Jeffrey A. Towbin, MD

Jeffrey A. Towbin, MD

Jeffrey A. Towbin, MD, has been named co-director of the Heart Institute at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, chief of Cardiology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and chief of Pediatric Cardiology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC). [Read more...]

Herb Kosten Foundation Donates for Pancreatic Cancer Research

The UTHSC Pancreatic Cancer Research team: back row, from left Swati Balkrishna, Neeraj Chauhan, Murali M. Yallapu, Rishi K. Gara, Saif Zaman, M. D. Sikander, Sheema Khan, Aditya Ganju, Vaibhav Gandhi, Sonam Kumari and Saini Setua. In center, Meena Jaggi and Subhash Chauhan

The UTHSC Pancreatic Cancer Research team: back row, from left Swati Balkrishna, Neeraj Chauhan, Murali M. Yallapu, Rishi K. Gara, Saif Zaman, M. D. Sikander, Sheema Khan, Aditya Ganju, Vaibhav Gandhi, Sonam Kumari and Saini Setua. In center, Meena Jaggi and Subhash Chauhan.

As a part of its ongoing effort to support pancreatic cancer research, the Herb Kosten Foundation has donated $30,000 to the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC). [Read more...]

Jeffery Klco of UTHSC Receives $700,000 Burroughs Wellcome Career Award for Medical Scientists

Assistant member in Pathology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Jeffery Klco, M.D., Ph.D., works with research lab specialist Tami Lamprecht at the bench. Klco and his team are investigating how disrupting signals in the bone marrow can influence blood stem cells, which give rise to all the other blood cells of an animal. Photo by Seth Dixon, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Assistant member in Pathology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Jeffery Klco, MD, PhD, works with research lab specialist Tami Lamprecht at the bench. Klco and his team are investigating how disrupting signals in the bone marrow can influence blood stem cells, which give rise to all the other blood cells of an animal. Photo by Seth Dixon, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Jeffery M. Klco, MD, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Pathology in the College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), has received a Burroughs Wellcome Career Award for Medical Scientists (CAMS). [Read more...]