Farrah Kheradmand, MD
My research is focused on understanding the role of innate and adaptive immune cells in the pathogenesis of obstructive lung diseases in particular, in human COPD and in asthma. Our ongoing research has elucidated the critical role that is played by several members of the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family in lung inflammation. We have made several seminal observations in the field of allergic airway inflammation and COPD that include identifying the distinct contributions of MMP2 and MMP9 in regulating clearance of allergic inflammatory cells in the lung. In addition to work on experimental asthma, my laboratory has successfully established human translational research studies in COPD and emphysema. Our recent studies have shown the critical role for T cells and Th1 cytokines and chemokines in particular, gamma interferon and CXCL-10 (IP-10), in upregulation of MMP12 that is linked to the development of COPD and emphysema. Our human translational studies aim to dissect the more proximal molecular and cellular events that lead to the pro-elastolytic lung environment induced by tobacco smoke. Our published studies are among the first to suggest an adaptive immune basis to human COPD/emphysema.