Faculty members in the Section on Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy and Immunological Diseases lead a range of clinical, translational and molecular research programs.
Airways Disease Research
Ongoing clinical research activities in airways disease are focused on the detailed characterization of patients with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cystic fibrosis.
The Wake Forest Airways Disease Research Group has internationally-recognized expertise in the identification of specific disease subgroups with the use of detailed clinical and genomic data for the development of personalized precision therapeutic interventions.
These studies range from industry-sponsored clinical trials evaluating novel therapeutic drugs to large multicenter networks conducting innovative clinical trials with detailed clinical and genomic characterization of individuals with airways disease.
Studies are performed in the Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine Research at Wake Forest School of Medicine.
Areas of focus include:
- Network-based, multicenter clinical and genomic characterization studies of asthma cohorts enriched for severe disease as a clinical site for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)-sponsored Severe Asthma Research Program (SARP).
- Network-based, multicenter clinical and genomic characterization studies of unaffected smokers and individuals with a broad range of COPD severity as a site for the NHLBI Subpopulations and Intermediate Outcome Measures in COPD Study (SPIROMICS).
- Genetic studies investigating the genetic basis for disease severity and drug response in asthma and COPD as a site for the NHLBI-sponsored Exome Sequencing Program (ESP), Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) Program and Consortium on Asthma Among African Ancestry Populations in the Americas (CAAPA).
- Cystic fibrosis clinical trials as a Therapeutics Development Center (TDC) for the Cystic Fibrosis Therapeutics Development Network (TDN) sponsored by Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics.
- COPD inpatient therapeutic pathway program to reduce readmissions for exacerbations.
- Industry-sponsored clinical trials.
Critical Care Research
Ongoing research activities in critical care focus on the resolution of lung injury and functional recovery of the critically ill patient using everything from basic science through implementation science methodologies. Many of these activities are facilitated through interaction with the Wake Forest Critical Illness, Injury and Recovery Research Center.
Areas of focus include:
- Clinical trials in critical care focused on the prevention and early treatment of lung injury, sponsored through activity in the NHLBI PETAL Network.
- Translational science, clinical trials and quality improvement in the field of early mobility and functional outcomes in critical care.
- Lung injury and injury resolution with a focus on surfactant injury, innate and adaptive immune responses and metabolism.
- Patient-centered recovery research, including the Wake Forest ICU Recovery Clinic and participation in the PCOR-ICU and SCCM Thrive networks.
- Industry-sponsored critical care trials.
Ongoing Research Activities
Lung cancer and interventional pulmonology research includes:
- Lung cancer screening
- Precision medicine
Ongoing partnerships in this area include participation in industry-sponsored trials in lung cancer and bronchoscopy.
Sleep medicine research includes:
- An institutional sleep apnea screening system and sleep registry aimed at early-identification sleep-disordered breathing to improve patient outcomes.
- Clinical trials in sleep screening, both inpatient and outpatient services.
- Epidemiologic research in physician reporting of sleep apnea nationwide.
Allergy and immunology research includes:
- genetic characterization of immune-mediated disorders
- vocal cord dysfunction
- epinephrine shortages
Other areas of active investigation include complications from asbestos exposure and opiate injection drug use, which are both problems of high prevalence in our region.