Pulmonary And Critical Care Research

Our faculty, fellows and students are involved in a wide variety of basic science research in labs, and clinical trials funded by the NIH, non-profit foundations, and industry. Our faculty have labs on the Marquam hill campus of OHSU, and at Portland VA Medical Center. We collaborate with other hospitals in the area, and researchers across the country and around the world. We are justifiably proud of our research programs. Areas of active laboratory and/or clinical research include:

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)

PCCM Research ARDS

Clinical research studies include our role as a major contributor to the studies undertaken by the PETAL clinical trials network. In addition to these studies on ARDS, we are developing and evaluating simulation tools to determine the optimal mechanism of training physicians to deliver best ventilator care in patients with respiratory failure.

Investigators include: Drs. Akram Khan, Stephanie Nonas, Terri Hough

PETAL Network website

Asthma and Airway Inflammation

Image showing a lung with asthma

We apply rigorous scientific approaches to understand how inflammatory cells and peripheral sensory and autonomic nerves influence each other under physiological conditions, and how alterations in these interactions leads to disease. 

Investigators include: Dr. Allison Fryer, Dr. David Jacoby, Dr. Jane Nie, Dr. Matthew Drake

OHSU Asthma Lab website

The Pulmonary Ambulatory Clinical Trials (PACT) group conducts phase 3 drug studies to support development of new treatments for asthma.

PACT website 

Investigators include: Dr. Shyam Joshi

Bacterial Infection and Tuberculosis

pccm research Bacterial Infection

To combat intracellular bacterial infection, the immune system must recognize that the cell is infected. The laboratories of Drs. Lewinsohn, Harriff and Karamooz are focused on understanding how T cells can detect intracellular infection. This work is of direct relevance to the development of improved diagnostics and vaccines against mycobacteria. Within OHSU, there is also a strong group of researchers focused on TB as well as non-TB mycobacteria. 

Investigators include: Drs. David Lewinsohn, Melanie Harriff, and Elly Karamooz.

Oregon Tuberculosis Research Lab

David Lewinsohn Lab

Melanie Harriff Lab

Elly Karamooz Lab

Critical Care Outcomes Research

We have a strong interest in effective and appropriate healthcare delivery in critical care settings. We have developed an ICU outcomes research group that is currently working on how organization of ICU processes impacts outcomes.

Investigators include: Drs. Kelly Vranas, Chris Slatore

Pulmonary Care and Critical Care Research Team - jump to more info

Cystic Fibrosis

OHSU is one of the leading Therapeutic Development Network centers nationally focused on studying new therapies and outcomes in CF. Current studies include a wide range of therapeutic areas, including: CFTR modulators, anti-infectives and anti-inflammatories.

Investigators include: Drs. Aaron Trimble, Gopal Allada, Beth Collins

Cystic Fibrosis Research team and current studies - download (2 pages)

Electronic Health Record Utilization

PCCM Research EHR

The widespread introduction of the electronic health record (EHR) has provided opportunities for us to objectively study optimal use of patient data in real and simulated patient care environments. Our group leverages high-fidelity simulation to understand factors associated with safe and effective use of EHRs, and use this data to both inform training and EHR redesign. We are currently working to determine how physicians and other health care workers might use the EHR to minimize medical errors in the ICU and improve data communication during daily rounds, to use simulation to develop a curriculum for training of medical scribes in safe and effective EHR use across a variety of ambulatory and inpatient specialties, and to leverage EHR simulation to redesign the EHR training system wide.

Investigators include: Dr. Jeff Gold

Lung cancer

PCCM Research Lung Cancer

We study mechanisms at multiple levels of health care delivery, including patient-clinician relationship, health care system, and policy, that are associated with patient-centered outcomes for people the and at-risk for lung cancer. We utilize several different methodologies to provide a robust understanding of these mechanisms including prospective trials, "big data" with advanced bio statistical analyses, survey-based research, and qualitative methodologies.

Investigators include: Drs. Chris Slatore, Don Sullivan

Neuronal Signaling in the CNS

Altered brain function is a harbinger of poor outcome in a large range of illnesses affecting the ICU patient but our understanding and therapeutic armamentarium remains inadequate in a number of conditions. We are attempting to identify novel mechanisms impacting specific forms of neuronal signaling at the cellular and circuit level that may be used to regulate acute pathological disturbances of the brain. The Smith Laboratory, run by Dr. Stephen M. Smith, focuses on neuronal signaling in the mammalian brain and understanding how this is altered in disease states. Major targets of our work include calcium sensing receptors (CaSR) in neuronal somata and terminals, heterogeneity of synaptic transmission at synapses, the regulation of voltage-activated sodium and calcium channels, and the pathogenesis of delirium.

Stephen Smith Lab

Investigators include: Drs. Stephen M. Smith, Salil Rajayer, Timur Tsintsadze

PCCM Research Neuronal Signaling in the CNS

Pulmonary Fibrosis and Pulmonary Hypertension

The Pulmonary Ambulatory Clinical Trials (PACT) group conducts phase 2 and 3 drug studies to support development of novel therapies for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis and Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.

PACT website 

Investigators include: Drs. Jeff Robinson, Daniel Seifer, Sherie Gause, Nalini Colaco

Rare Lung Disease

The Pulmonary Ambulatory Clinical Trials (PACT) group conducts observational and interventional studies in rare lung diseases such as Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, Bronchiectasis, and Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM).

PACT website 

Investigators include: Dr. Alan Barker

Sleep and circadian rhythms

Disturbed sleep and circadian rhythms are associated with many diseases. Our focus is on how sleep modulates neurological, psychiatric, and pulmonary disorders.

Investigators include: Dr. Miranda Lim

Miranda Lim Lab

Surfactant biophysics

pccm research surfactants

Pulmonary surfactant lowers surface tension in the lung. Our goal is to understand how this protein-lipid complex regulates surface tension under a range of conditions. The Hall Laboratory studies the biophysical properties and dynamics of lung surfactant as they pertain to homeostasis and disease.

Investigators include: Dr. Stephen Hall