Gary "Matt" Hunninghake, MD, MPH
Our research is focused on identifying the factors that will help to diagnose early stages of IPF. The ultimate goal is to target the groups most likely to progress to pulmonary fibrosis with the hope preventing the more advanced stages of this incurable disease. To date, this work has demonstrated that there are substantial numbers of undiagnosed people with specific patterns of increased lung densities on chest computed tomography (CT) which we termed interstitial lung abnormalities (ILA). Individuals with ILA are more likely to have respiratory symptoms and physiologic decrements (e.g. reduced lung volumes, exercise capacity and diffusion capacity of carbon monoxide) and genetic abnormalities apparent in patients with the most common form of ILD, IPF. In total our evidence suggests that IPF may be part of a much more common pulmonary fibrosis syndrome. To perform this work we lead projects, or have developed collaborations with, the COPDGene, the Framingham Heart, the Evaluation of COPD Longitudinally to Identify Predictive Surrogate End-Points (ECLIPSE) and the Age, Gene/Environment Susceptibility–Reykjavik studies.