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Research and Clinical Trials
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Lungs (Pulmonary Medicine)

Research and Clinical Trials

Research directed at practical clinical, translational, and fundamental questions is incorporated into the very essence of the Montefiore-Einstein Pulmonary Medicine Division. Fulltime members of the Pulmonary Medicine Division are actively engaged in basic, translational, and clinical research endeavors, ranging from studies of functional and population genetics and epigenetics, to respiratory and vascular physiology to clinical investigations on pathophysiology and treatment. More extensive listings are available at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine website. In brief, current research areas include:

  • Asthma: Dr. Sumita Sinha's main clinical research interest is in refractory asthma management, and associated clinical trials. She is a key member of the new multi-disciplinary Montefiore Asthma Center, along with Adult and Pediatric Allergy, and Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine divisions.
  • Asthma/Environmental Respiratory Diseases: Dr. David Prezant's interest in determining the mechanisms responsible for accelerated decline in inhalation injury, and longitudinal pulmonary function changes among WTC firefighters. Studies in disaster medicine are active.
  • Asthma, COPD, Pleura/Clinical Issues: Dr. Chang Shim's analysis of hospitalized patients with troublesome cough, adverse effects of systemic corticosteroids in hospitalized diabetic patients with acute COPD, and fibrinolysis for management of complicated pleural effusions.
  • Cough/Outcome Studies: Dr. Peter Dispinigaitis's comprehensive evaluation of antitussive products against acute viral cough, and authoritative studies on chronic cough etiology and therapy.
  • Functional Genetics/Basic Investigations: Dr. Weiguo Han's studies of epigenetic regulation of lung cell gene expression in vitro.
  • Hypoxia and Sickle Cell Disease/Physiology: Dr. Thomas Aldrich's novel studies on nocturnal hypoxemia in sickle cell disease and noninvasive positive pressure breathing as adjunctive therapy for it, as well as the oxygen affinity of sickle hemoglobin. Other studies in pulmonary physiology and mechanics are ongoing.
  • Interventional Pulmonary Medicine: Dr. Maria Cirino's commencing studies in outcomes in interventional pulmonary medicine, using endobronchial ultrasound, fluorescence, magnetic 3D navigation, laser, photocoagulation, stents, valves and other technologies.
  • Lung Cancer Disparities/Outcome Studies: Dr. Andrew Berman's studies of assessment of racial and ethnic differences in presentation and treatment of specific stages of lung cancer, and disparities in end-of-life care of patients with advanced lung cancer.
  • Lung Cancer/Biomarkers: Dr. Simon Spivack's translational discoveries of individual candidate susceptibility markers through exploration of airway functional genetic and epigenetic phenotypes, and other features, are ongoing.
  • Pulmonary Hypertension: Dr. Josanna Rodriguez-Lopez's main clinical research interest is in pulmonary hypertension, and associated clinical trials. She is, along with Dr. Ronald Zolty (Cardiology), assembling a Montefiore multi-disciplinary Pulmonary Hypertension Center.
  • Sleep-Morbidity/Outcome Studies: Dr. Shah's studies of obstructive sleep apnea as an independent risk factor for coronary events and death, is being pursued.
  • Sleep/Physiology: Dr. Appel's sleep apnea physiology, and cough and restless leg syndrome research with post-gastric bypass patients.
  • Stem Cells/Basic Investigations: Dr. Yakov Peter's studies of regenerative cells of the mammalian airway.
  • Tuberculosis: Dr. Max O'Donnell's main clinical research interest is in the tracking, and therapeutic outcomes, of extensively (XDR) and multi-drug resistant (MDR) tuberculosis, as a co-infection with HIV, in South Africa. He also has an interest in non-tuberculous mycobacteria.

Fellows may work in any of these laboratories, as well as in a variety of epidemiology, clinical trial, translational research, and basic science endeavors outside of the Division, at Montefiore Medical Center or at the medical school (Einstein).