The long-term goal of National Jewish Health (NJH) is to improve the lives of patients with lung disease both through direct patient care, and a synergistic combination of clinical, translational and basic research. The general strategy is to recruit physicians and scientists that focus on lung disease and biology, and to foster strong collaborations. Specifically, last fall, NJH undertook a national search for a physician-scientist with an outstanding research background and an interest in airway biology and disease. As a result of this effort, the Pulmonary Division successfully recruited an outstanding, newly independent physician-scientist to join the faculty and conduct research on glucocorticoid signaling. Dr. Anthony Gerber received his MD/Ph.D. at the University of Washington in 1998, and completed his training at the University of California, San Francisco in 2004. He has recently developed an exciting research program on tissue and promoter specific mechanisms of glucocorticoid signaling. This is an area with significant relevance to airway biology and the goals of NJH. Glucocorticoids are among the most widely used drugs in clinical medicine and are central in the treatment of asthma and other immune-mediated diseases. However, severe side effects and resistance complicate their use in clinical practice. A key issue in glucocorticoid receptor (GR) biology and pulmonary therapeutics is to understand the beneficial and harmful effects of glucocorticoid signaling, in particular cell types within the lung, and to define the molecular mechanisms that control these activities. State-of-the-art multiplexed methods to analyze gene expression will be used to address this research area, methods that are broadly applicable to the study of lung disease. With the funds from the PSO award Dr. Gerber's research programs on glucocorticoid signaling will be advanced, collaborations on disease modifying pathways in the lung and multiplexed analysis of gene expression will be facilitated. This will be accomplished by (1) investments in infrastructure for Dr. Gerber's lab and employing skilled personnel to assist with his investigations, (2) integrating tools and methods for multiplexed gene expression analysis into the investigations of other researchers in the division/core, and (3) forming a committee to oversee Dr. Gerber's progress. NJH is at the forefront of the treatment and research of lung and immune-mediated diseases, which afflict millions of Americans. This project will advance the understanding of glucocorticoid signaling, which is central in the treatment of many diseases. It will also foster collaborations among a group of outstanding scientists focused on lung disease.
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