Maureen R. Horton, MD is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr Horton’s comprehensive research program encompassing basic, translational and clinical research has focused on deciphering the immunologic mechanisms promoting lung inflammation and fibrosis. Her lab focuses on 4 major areas: defining the role of the extracellular matrix in driving lung inflammation, deciphering the role of aberrant cellular processes in lung inflammation and fibrosis, defining the ability of immunotherapy and immunometabolic therapy to reverse lung inflammation and fibrosis and through the translation of her bench research to the bedside, discovering effective therapeutic interventions for cough in patients with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). Her early work helped define the ability of the extracellular matrix component hyaluronan to induce inflammation via TLR2 and served to support the “Danger Theory” of immunity and identify hyaluronan as an endogenous danger signal. This spurred her research examining the aberrant cellular processes involved in lung inflammation that has provided important fundamental insight into the mechanisms governing the role of innate and adaptive immunity in promoting fibrosis. Specifically, she has identified a critical role for mTORC2 and metabolic reprogramming in not only regulating M2 macrophage differentiation but also as a novel critical regulator of tissue resident macrophages. In addition, Dr. Horton recently demonstrated the ability of immunotherapy to both arrest and reverse lung fibrosis via induction of Tissue Resident Memory T cells. Additionally, she has successfully translated her bench research in lung fibrosis into the first clinical trial to demonstrate improvement in quality of life by suppressing cough in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.
Maureen Renee Horton, MD