The New York Academy of Sciences
Advances in Pulmonary Fibrosis: Beyond the Fibroblast
Posted May 28, 2020
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic, progressive lung disease with few treatment options. Research on IPF and other interstitial lung diseases has historically focused on fibroblasts and the importance of TGF-beta-driven epithelial to mesenchymal transition. Recently, new data have highlighted key roles for additional cell types, including alveolar epithelial cells and endothelial cells, in the development or maintenance of lung fibrosis. Moreover, cellular senescence and immune pathways have also been found to contribute to IPF pathogenesis. This eBriefing showcases emerging biological mechanisms underlying the etiology of pulmonary fibrosis and explores novel ways to remove, repair or regenerate damaged lung.
In This eBriefing, You’ll Learn
- The importance of cellular senescence and immune signaling in IPF
- The roles of endothelial cells and alveolar epithelial cells, which are emerging as key drivers of disease
University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus
Ohio State University
University of Arizona
University of Toronto
University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine
University of Pittsburgh
Scientific Organizing Committee
The New York Academy of Sciences
The New York Academy of Sciences
Oliver Eickelberg, MD, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus
Dr. Eickelberg is currently Professor of Medicine, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. He studied medicine at the Medical University of Lübeck, Germany, and the University of Vienna in Austria, after which he performed scientific studies and clinical rotations at the University Hospital Basel in Switzerland. He then received a prestigious Feodor-LynenFellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt-Association, which enabled him to study lung and kidney fibrosis at Yale University School of Medicine from 1998 to 2002. Following these studies, Dr. Eickelberg accepted a faculty position at the University of Giessen School of Medicine in 2002, where he established his independent research group, as well as the International Graduate Program “Molecular Biology and Medicine of the Lung (MBML)”. He accepted a professorship at the University of Munich (LMU) and the Helmholtz Center Munich in 2008, where he was the founding chairman of the Comprehensive Pneumology Center (CPC), a translational medicine center. Dr. Eickelberg’s leadership in building the center and recruiting outstanding faculty has enabled the CPC to be one of most distinguished centers of excellence in respiratory medicine around the globe to date. In 2016, Dr. Eickelberg moved to Colorado, where he currently holds the rank of Tenured Professor.
Dr. Eickelberg is a long-standing associate editor of the most prestigious journal in the field, the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (since 2010). He serves as founding section editor “Lung Biology and Disease” for PLoS One since 2007. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology since 2007, Thorax since 2008, and Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group) since 2006. Dr. Eickelberg served the European Respiratory Society as Chairman of its 2014 International Conference, as Seminars and Conferences Director from 2010 through 2013, and as Chair of the ERS Lung Science Conference in Estoril from 2011 to 2013. He is a member of the American Thoracic Society (ATS) since 1998 and served the ATS as member of the Program Committee for 3 years and member of the Planning Committee for 2 years. He was elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation in 2016.
Louise Hecker, PhD, University of Arizona
Dr. Hecker received her B.A. in biology from Hartwick College (2000), M.A. in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior from Binghamton University (2002), M.S. in Cell and Developmental Biology (2007) and Ph.D. in Applied Physics (2008) from the University of Michigan. Dr. Hecker’s broad research interest is in regenerative biology and medicine – a common theme that spans all of the diverse projects within her research portfolio. In 2014, Dr. Hecker accepted a position at the University of Arizona. She has published in high impact journals including Nature Medicine, Science Translational Medicine, and the Journal of Clinical Investigation. She is currently the PI of funded awards from the NIH, DoD, Dept of Veterans Affairs, and pharmaceutical industry. She is an inventor on 12 patents and is the founder of two companies.
James Kirkland, MD, PhD, Mayo Clinic
James L. Kirkland, M.D., Ph.D., is the director of the Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging at Mayo Clinic and Noaber Foundation Professor of Aging Research. Dr. Kirkland’s research is on cellular senescence, age-related adipose tissue and metabolic dysfunction, and development of agents and strategies for targeting fundamental aging mechanisms to treat age-related chronic diseases and disabilities. He published the first article about drugs that clear senescent cells – senolytic agents. He is a scientific advisory board member for several companies and academic organizations. He is President of the American Federation for Aging Research, has been a member of the National Advisory Council on Aging of the National Institutes of Health, and past chair of the Biological Sciences Section of the Gerontological Society of America. He holds honorary appointments at Boston University and the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. He is a board-certified specialist in internal medicine, geriatrics, and endocrinology and metabolism.
Ana L. Mora, MD, University of Pittsburgh
Ana L. Mora received her MD from Universidad Nacional de Colombia Medical School in Bogota, Colombia. After Research Trainee and Research Associate in Immunology in Colombia, Dr. Mora had her postdoctoral training as a Fellow in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Mora moved to Emory University in 2002 as faculty in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine of the Emory University Department of Medicine, and in 2010 she joined the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine and the Vascular Medicine Institute at the University of Pittsburgh. Since 2018, Dr. Mora is faculty member of the Aging Institute of the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Mora’s research is focused in the elucidation of the pathogenic mechanisms involved in the disrepair and fibrosis in the lung and importantly, how aging-related cell perturbations contribute to this pathogenic process. Her pioneered aging studies showed that vulnerability and persistence of ER stress responses are key components of the age-related susceptibility to injury and lung fibrosis; and elucidated the novel concept that alterations in mitochondrial homeostasis have a key role in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis pathogenesis. Her work has been published in more than 80 peer review publications, several book chapters and editorial comments.
Stijn De Langhe, PhD, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine
Wonder P. Drake, MD Vanderbilt University
Dr. Wonder Drake is a Professor and Director of the Sarcoidosis Center of Excellence at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (VUSOM) in the Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, with a secondary appointment in the Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology. She also serves as the Director of the Vanderbilt Sarcoidosis Center of Excellence and holds the Robert Goodwin, Jr. Directorship. Dr. Drake began her medical education at VUSOM, followed by an Internal Medicine residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital, then returned to VUSOM to complete an Infectious Diseases Fellowship. She became interested in one of the most challenging clinical problems encountered in Medicine, effective treatment for sarcoidosis patients. She has spent the past 20 years conducting basic and translational research, investigating the relevant immunomolecular mechanisms driving sarcoidosis lung progression. Her basic and translational research is used to identify new therapeutics. She also leads clinical trials, along with Dr. Gordon Bernard, investigating potential therapeutics to halt loss of sarcoidosis lung function.
Megan Ballinger, PhD
Ohio State University
Dr. Megan Ballinger is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at the Ohio State University. She graduated with a PhD in Immunology from the University of Michigan where she studied how lipid mediators regulate macrophage and neutrophil host defense functions during bacterial pneumonia. Dr. Ballinger remained at the University of Michigan for her postdoctoral studies in which she was awarded a Parker B. Francis Fellowship to examine the role of toll-like signaling in regulating innate immunity in the setting of non-infectious lung injury. In 2014, she moved to the Ohio State University and began studying how toll-like receptor signaling affects macrophage activation in
pulmonary fibrosis. Dr. Ballinger was awarded the Jo Rae Wright award for outstanding science from the American Thoracic Society. Recently, she was recently awarded her first NIH R01which focuses on mechanisms by which macrophages are recruited to the lung during injury and their contribution toward identifying and taking up collagen fragments.
Boris Hinz, PhD
University of Toronto
Boris Hinz is University of Toronto Distinguished Professor in Tissue Repair and Regeneration with primary appointment in the Faculty of Dentistry, Matrix Dynamics Group. He is cross-appointed with the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgery and the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Hinz holds a PhD degree (1998) in Cell Biology and Theoretical Biology from the University of Bonn, Germany. From 1999 to 2002, he was postdoctoral fellow of Dr. Giulio Gabbiani, Department of Experimental Pathology, University of Geneva, Switzerland. Dr. Hinz then moved to lead a research group at the EcolePolytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, joining Cell Biology, Biophysics, and Bioengineering. He was nominated Maître d'enseignement et de recherche (Assistant Professor level) in 2006 and moved to Toronto in 2009 with Associate Professor appointment.
Dr. Hinz has been president and board member of the European Tissue Repair Society and was board member of the Wound Healing Society. He is secretary and inaugural board member of the Canadian Connective Tissue Society, board member of the International Dupuytren Society and the Canadian Dupuytren Society. He is Senior Editor of the journal “Wound Repair and Regeneration,” Associate Editor of “Biochemistry and Cell Biology,” editorial board member of “Matrix Biology,” and Associate Member of the Faculty of 1000.
His research led to the creation of two startup companies specialized on anti-fibrotic coatings for silicone implants and novel “soft” cell culture devices. Dr. Hinz’ research is currently funded by a multi-project Foundation Grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), CIHR operating funds, the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the Ontario Research Foundation (ORF), and MITACS (Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems).