I am a pulmonary and critical care physician-scientist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the Department of Veterans Affairs. My long-term goal is to become a leader in mechanistic and translational studies of ARDS and non-pulmonary organ dysfunction during sepsis. I aim to define the fundamental cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate alveolar capillary barrier permeability, rapidly translating therapeutically promising knowledge into pre-clinical studies. I have been building my research program since 2005 using a translational framework of Discovery -> Mechanism -> Translation to identify and study clinically relevant biologic mechanisms of lung and organ dysfunction. My lab has specific projects studying the effects of cell-free hemoglobin in sepsis and ARDS, defining the non-coagulant and protective role of alveolar epithelial Tissue Factor and understanding the role of lung epithelial heparan sulfate in modulating lung injury. We also have collaborative projects studying the mechanisms that drive delirium during sepsis, the metabolomic signatures of ARDS, and the systemic response to traumatic brain injury. We use a broad array of experimental models from traditional cell culture to microfluidic "lung on a chip" systems to murine models to the ex vivo human lung. Our mechanistic work is heavily informed by careful observational and biomarker studies in patients. We have several human biobanks including a large bank of exhaled lung fluid captured in Heat Moisture Exchange filters that offers us a glimpse into the airspace during ARDS. Fundamental to my research program is a commitment to mentorship at all levels from undergraduates to junior faculty. As my research program grows, I hope to deepen our understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of lung injury, delirium and other organ dysfunction during sepsis and critical illness and help train the next generation of translational scientists.
Julie Anne Bastarache, MD