Juan C. Celedón, MD, DrPH
Photo: Juan C. Celedón


Elected 2010

Our research group studies the independent effects of and/or interactions among genetic variants, environmental exposures, and behavioral factors on the pathogenesis of obstructive airway diseases (asthma and COPD). We lead or have led research projects on the omics and epidemiology of asthma and COPD in Costa Ricans, Puerto Ricans, and African Americans, three ethnic groups disproportionately affected by obstructive airway diseases. Findings from these studies have been replicated in other cohorts and have led to the identification of potential susceptibility genes for asthma and allergies (TSLP) and asthma severity and COPD (MMP12), as well as to nasal epithelial biomarkers of atopic asthma. In parallel with our genetics work, we have shown that exposure to violence and violence-related chronic stress are environmental/behavioral risk factors for asthma and morbidity from asthma. While broadly applicable, our findings are particularly relevant to racial or ethnic minorities that have been previously underrepresented in biomedical research.