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Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine Division

The Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine has a broad spectrum of research activity funded by the NIH, State of Florida and a variety of private institutions as well as pharmaceutical companies.

The division provides basic science research laboratory space that is shared in a cooperative way, focusing on airway biology. Foci of interests of different PIs are asthma, chronic bronchitis, alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency, and cystic fibrosis in addition to lung cancer.

Basic Sciences: To study different aspects of the airways we use a model of primary human airway epithelial cells growing at the air liquid interface. This model recreates the native epithelium in the dish and allows the study of several components of mucociliary clearance and different aspects of lung cancer. We also examine the influence of cigarette smoke on the airway by using a smoke robot. Furthermore, these cultures can be used to study the differentiation of airway epithelial cells.

Translational and clinical sciences: Our division is recruiting patients for investigator-initiated projects as well as for trials sponsored by pharmaceutical companies. We are currently enrolling patients in about 30 different clinical studies with a focus on cystic fibrosis, non-CF-bronchiectasis, non-tuberculous mycobacteria, COPD, asthma, and alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency. These centers of excellence are recognized by the cystic fibrosis foundation designating our site a “Therapeutic Development Center” of their “Therapeutic Development Network” the American Lung Association designating our site an “Asthma Clinical Research Center”.

To conduct these clinical studies we have a strong multidisciplinary team of study coordinators and supportive staff. The team is led by Eliana Mendes, M.D., and is compromised of 1 respiratory therapist, 2 physical therapists and 2 research associates with collaborations to pediatrics offering an additional study coordinator.

If you are interested to learn more about our clinical trials and consider participating, please call our research team at 305-243-5545