Multidisciplinary Research Training in Pulmonary Medicine (NHLBI T32)

Program Overview

The PACCM T32 Research Training Program offers state of the art, multidisciplinary research training for predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees conducting research related to pulmonary medicine. We provide one to two years of stipend and tuition support with funding from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The T32 offers a broad array of opportunities, encompassing Bench (Molecular/Cellular Biology/Physiology/Immunology), Epidemiology/Outcomes (Cancer Screening/Critical Care Medicine/Bioinformatics), and Translational Medicine (Critical Care/Diagnostics/Bioinformatics). Research mentorship is provided by faculty scientists with wide-ranging research interests and extensive experience in training young scientists. Interactions and synergy among the laboratories and research groups in this program add to the rich and broad training environment. Trainee development is further supported by research seminars, and formal coursework designed to enhance cross-disciplinary skills that extend beyond the scope of an individual project. Our overarching mission is to develop the next generation of scientific leaders in respiratory medicine.

Our program accepts applications on a rolling basis, and appoints trainees several times per year. We appoint three graduate students and three postdocs per year.

The application window for the Pulmonary T32 is now open. Applications for pre- and postdocs are due by March 8, 2024.

Applicants must be NIH training grant eligible (US citizen or green card holder). Candidates should submit the following application items to the T32 administrator:  

  • NIH-formatted biosketch
  • Career Vision Statement: comment on how this training opportunity would fit into overall trajectory in relation to career goals in Pulmonary medicine (2-3 paragraphs)
  • Research proposal/experimental plan (1-2 pages, excluding references)
  • Project narrative (2-3 sentences describing the relevance of the research to public health)
  • Biosketch and letter of support from mentor(s) (contact program administrator for details on expected elements)

Candidates selected by the Executive Committee will be interviewed, with their mentor(s), by the program directors and administrator.

Perspectives in Pulmonary Medicine is a dedicated T32 seminar course that provides trainees and other interested participants with an understanding of pulmonary physiology and pathology, and specifically focuses on research methodologies. The course is offered twice per year, with one set of sessions covering physiology and the other addressing special topics such as lung cancer, infection, airway disease, and lung injury.

Pulmonary Research Conference is a weekly in-person gathering where T32 trainees and faculty mentors, PACCM faculty and fellows, and other members of the pulmonary research community present recent findings and work in progress. The meeting is held on Wednesdays at 11:00, in LBRB 381. Contact: Dr. Elly Karamooz 

Publication Records of Selected Pulmonary T32 Alumni

Matthew Drake, MD              

Melanie Harriff, PhD               

Elly Karamooz, MD    

Pulmonary T32 Leadership

David Lewinsohn
David Lewinsohn, MD, PhD
Christopher Slatore
Christopher Slatore, MD, MS

T32 Executive Committee

Matthew Drake, MD

Allison Fryer, PhD

Melanie Harriff, PhD

Sherie Gause, MD

Elly Karamooz, MD

David Lewinsohn, MD, PhD

Miranda Lim, MD, PhD

Christopher Slatore, MD, MS

2023-2024 T32 Trainees

Photograph of Dr. Brooke Shafer

Dr. Brooke Shafer is a first-year post-doctoral researcher in the Sleep, Chronobiology, and Health Laboratory in the School of Nursing at OHSU. She is co-mentored by Dr. Andrew McHill and Dr. Steven Shea. She is applying her research background in autonomic neural control of the vasculature to investigate how the mistiming of behaviors (i.e., sleeping, eating, activity) with our internal biological timing system may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. The T32 has provided her the training opportunity to learn about the interactive effects between diet and the human circadian system on cardiovascular and metabolic health outcomes.

Photograph of Hilary Le

Hillary Le is a third-year PhD candidate in the Biomedical Engineering program, mentored by Dr. Monica Hinds. She studies the role of cannabinoids on endothelial inflammation and in turn its effects on cardiopulmonary health. The PCCM T32 training grant allows her to understand the interplay of the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems as well as receive guidance from expert clinicians and scientists.

Photograph of Dr. Josh Gonzalez

Dr. Joshua Gonzalez is a third-year postdoctoral fellow in the Clinical Physiology and Chronobiology Program at the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences. He is co-mentored by Drs. Nicole Bowles and Steven Shea. Dr. Gonzalez investigates the influence of nicotine use and cannabis use on sleep physiology, circadian rhythms, and autonomic cardiovascular control. The PACCM T32 training grant has supported Dr. Gonzalez’s investigations into how chronic nicotine/cannabis use influences sleep and circadian phase and the impact of acute THC ingestion on nocturnal cardiac control.

Photograph of Dr. Tim Bates

Dr. Tim Bates is a first-year postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Fikadu Tafesse’s lab in the Molecular Microbiology and immunology department. He generates alpaca nanobodies to study the virulence mechanisms of Mycobacterium tuberculosis proteins and lipids. This builds on his PhD project, also in the Tafesse lab, which included both tuberculosis and COVID-19 research. He is grateful for the many valuable educational resources provided by the T32, as well as the opportunities for travel to international conferences to help share his research and grow his network.

Photograph of Joyce Kim

Joyce Se-Jin Kim is a second-year graduate student in the Program in Biomedical Sciences and MD/PhD Training Program. She is completing her thesis in Dr. David Lewinsohn’s lab in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology. Joyce is studying the role of calcium sensors in intracellular trafficking and antigen presentation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The PACCM T32 training grant will help Joyce to pursue advanced research, receive mentorship from faculty members, and develop collaborations with multidisciplinary fields.

Photograph of Ubaldo de la Torre

Ubaldo De La Torre is a fourth-year PBMS Graduate Student in the OHSU Asthma Lab under the primary guidance of Dr. Matt Drake. His current research focus emphasizes lung development in offspring born from eosinophilic asthmatic mothers. Specifically, he is using an eosinophilic mouse model to investigate the effects of maternal allergen exposure during pregnancy on offspring development with attention to how these maternal-fetal interactions affect airway parasympathetic nerve architecture and function. Through the T32, he hopes to further bridge his understanding of basic and clinical respiratory science while building a network of collaborators.

Photograph of Megan Huber

Megan Huber is a fifth-year graduate student in Dr. Melanie Harriff’s lab, which researches the regulatory pathways governing the airway immune system. Specifically, they study the non-classical antigen-presenting molecule MR1, which binds small molecules made by respiratory pathogens like M. tuberculosis and S. pneumoniae to activate cytotoxic responses from MR1-T cells. Their graduate research projects supported by the PACCM T32 explore how these processes are altered in the context of airway inflammatory diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or inhaled irritants like cigarette smoke. Through this T32, Megan learned about the physiology of pulmonary diseases, received interdisciplinary feedback from pulm onary physicians and clinical scientists on their in-progress research, and had the opportunity to present this work at several key conferences.