Our aim is to exploit the parallels between lung development and disease to understand the pathobiology of lung disease and develop novel regenerative/repair strategies to treat them.
Respiratory diseases are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, however, effective treatments for many respiratory diseases are limited.At the same timne, certain medical interventions aimed at prolonging life, such as mechanical ventilation, can cause injury to the lungs which may lead to acute damage or long-term structural changes.
Our group seeks to understand how developmental, environmental or medical factors contribute to adult lung disease and/or injury and ultimately to discover novel treatments to repair or induce regeneration of the lungs.
See website for more details and our latest news: www.lungdevelopmentandrepair.org
Identifying novel factors important for the repair of diseases or damaged lungs
Many adult lung diseases involve abnormal tissue repair. These diseases are poorly understood and there is an urgent requirement for treatments. Although once thought to be incapable, recent work has shown that adult lungs are abe to repair/regenerate tissue under certain conditions. Our aim is to harness the intrinsic capacity of adult lung cells to repair damaged tissue.
Imaging lung development, injury and repair
We have previously used real-time imaging to enable us to discover details about the role of genes in lung generation, that would not have been possible using 2D/static imaging techniques. We are now using human and mouse precision-cut lung slices (PCLS) along with real-time imaging to:
1) Model lung injury and repair in lung slices, to asess potential novel treatments for repair.
2) Image alveolarisation- the mechanism by which the gas-exchanging units of the lungs (alveoli) develop, are poorly understood. We are using real-time imaging of alveolar development to shed light on this key process.
Mouse models of lung disease susceptibility genes
We are investigating both point mutants and null mutants of human lung disease associated genes in the mouse. This work will enable us to confirm the identity of candidate disease susceptibility genes identified in human studies and to understand the function of these genes (collaboration with Dr Zhang and Professors Lloyd, Moffatt and Cookson, NHLI).