Interstitial Lung Research
In addition to providing outstanding patient care, members of the Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) Center also seek to advance the understanding of interstitial lung diseases, particularly those that result in pulmonary fibrosis (i.e. scarring), with the ultimate goal of helping to develop new, more effective treatments for these diseases.
We continue to be an active participant in clinical trials for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
The Elias and Chun Laboratories at Brown University
For more than a decade, the laboratories of Jack Elias, MD and Chun Geun Lee, MD have been working to define the mechanism of pulmonary fibrosis by generation and characterization of transgenic and null mutant mice and other genetically modified mice. As an animal model of pulmonary fibrosis, the Elias and Chun labs developed triple TGF-b1 transgenic mice that are expressed only in the lung in an inducible fashion. The studies using these mice identified that TGF-b induces extensive airway and alveolar remodeling with fibrosis and emphysema. A transcription factor Egr-1 is implicated in this TGF-b-apoptotic tissue response, which is critical to the subsequent generation of TGF-b-induced fibrotic and emphysematous responses. Genetic factors or modifiers and other mediators that control TGF-b-stimulated pulmonary fibrosis are now being actively investigated using a variety of animal models. The findings made in these laboratories are now extensively tested in the group of patients with pulmonary fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in collaboration with physician scientists at Brown University.