Lung Biology and Disease Branch

The Lung Biology and Disease Branch supports research and research training in pulmonary vascular biology and pulmonary hypertension, lung development and repair, acute lung injury and critical care, pulmonary fibrosis and other interstitial lung diseases, rare lung diseases, lung transplantation, and lung responses to HIV/AIDS and other infections.

Our Programs

Acute Lung Injury/Critical Care Program

The Acute Lung Injury/Critical Care Program supports research on pathogenesis, treatment, and prevention of acute lung injury, the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and other lung-related critical illnesses. Research topics include investigation of cellular responses to inflammation, fluid exudation and resorption, and interactions of coagulation pathways with inflammatory mediators in the lung. In addition, investigation of mechanisms of lung injury including innate immune responses, stretch and mechanically-induced damage, as well as oxidant, cytokine, and enzyme-induced molecular mediators. Research topics also include identification of candidate genes and genetic factors predisposing to acute lung injury and ARDS, and the biology of lung injury resolution and lung repair. The program also supports the development of new diagnostic tools for detection of acute lung injury, artificial lung development, implementation research, and clinical trials of therapies for ARDS and lung-related critical care initiated by investigators or by the NHLBI PETAL Network. View funding information for the Acute Lung Injury/Critical Care Program.


Interstitial Lung Disease/Fibrosis Program

The Interstitial Lung Disease/Fibrosis Program supports research on the genetic predisposition, pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of interstitial lung diseases including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, sarcoidosis, occupational and environmental lung diseases, as well as lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) and other rare lung diseases. Research areas include investigations into the role that genetics, epithelial and mesenchymal cells, extracellular matrix components, and immune and inflammatory mediators have in initiating or regulating the development of interstitial lung disease. This program also supports clinical studies to establish well-phenotyped patient cohorts, assess the safety and efficacy of interventional treatments, and validate the use of biomarkers and clinical endpoints to monitor disease onset and progression. View funding information for the Interstitial Lung Disease/Fibrosis Program.


Lung Transplantation Program

The Lung Transplantation Program supports basic and clinical studies in lung transplantation including research focused on the immunologic determinants of acute cellular and antibody mediated rejection, factors that contribute to primary graft dysfunction, and aspects of chronic lung allograft dysfunction including bronchiolitis obliterans and restrictive allograft syndromes. This program also supports the study of donor and recipient interventions, assessment methods, surgical approaches, and clinical management strategies that seek to improve patient outcomes. View funding information for the Lung Transplantation Program.


Lung Vascular Biology Program

The Lung Vascular Biology Program supports investigations of pulmonary vascular biology and disease. Research topics include the etiology, pathogenesis, and pharmacogenetics of pulmonary hypertension and associated right ventricular disease, prospective studies of pulmonary embolism pathogenesis and diagnosis, and molecular and physiologic regulation of the pulmonary vasculature and lymphatics. The program also includes research on the regulation of the barrier function of pulmonary endothelial cells and regulation of lung permeability and fluid balance. View funding information for the Lung Vascular Biology Program.

Contact: Lei Xiao, M.D., Ph.D., Program Director,


Lung Developmental Biology/Neonatal and Pediatric Lung Diseases Program

The Lung Developmental Biology program supports research on the temporal/spatial relationships of molecular determinants of lung development; the growth factors and cytokines that regulate lung development, growth, and regeneration; and identification and understanding of the therapeutic potential for lung stem/progenitor cells. The Neonatal and Pediatric Lung Diseases program supports mechanistic, translational, and clinical research in pulmonary diseases in neonates, infants, and children, including bronchopulmonary dysplasia; congenital and developmental anomalies of the central airways and the lung; ventilatory control; neonatal and pediatric pulmonary hypertension; chronic respiratory insufficiency and ventilator dependence due to neuromuscular disease; and acute lung injury/ARDS. View funding information for the Lung Development Biology/Neonatal and Pediatric Lung Disease Program.


Contact Lung Biology and Disease Branch