Kentucky Research Alliance for Lung Disease (K-RALD)

Principal Investigators

How to Join

If you are interested in joining, learning more about the biobank, or attending our monthly research meetings, please contact one of the following:

Summary

Lung disease is the third leading cause of death in the United States and a significant health problem in Kentucky. The incidence of asthma in the state is among the highest in the nation, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major cause of death for Kentuckians. In addition, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a severe form of acute lung injury (ALI), is one of the most frequent causes of admission into the intensive care unit. While there are many outstanding scientists and clinicians at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine who address specific aspects of lung disease, there has not been a unified program to bring lung disease researchers together.

With funding from the UK College of Medicine’s Alliance Research Initiative, the Kentucky Research Alliance for Lung Disease (K-RALD) will draw together scientists and clinicians from a wide range of specialties to promote translational lung research from the bench to the bedside and into the community.

K-RALD will be led by Chris Waters, PhD, professor in the department of physiology, and Peter Morris, MD, professor in the department of internal medicine. Dr. Waters and Dr. Morris both are committed to developing a transdisciplinary, translational platform of lung disease investigation. Dr. Waters has a long-standing interest in understanding the pathophysiological mechanisms that contribute to ARDS/ALI and inflammation, as well as the mechanisms of lung repair following injury. Dr. Morris is a site-principal investigator within the PETAL clinical research network (Prevention and Early Treatment of Acute Lung injury) and has conducted clinical prospective studies in ALI, ARDS, and sepsis within the adult critical care unit.

The members of K-RALD, led by Jamie Sturgill, PhD, assistant professor in the department of internal medicine, have created a lung biobank for use in research. Until now, no biobank on campus collected lung tissue, blood, and/or alveolar fluid in the context of any lung diseases other than lung cancer. The newly formed lung biobank includes biosamples from a wide range of lung diseases, supporting research into additional forms of pulmonary dysfunction. Basic and clinical scientists will be able to collaborate with the lung biobank in small pilot studies made possible by Alliance Research Initiative funds, leading to new research, the development of more effective treatments, and improved care of all lung patients in Kentucky and beyond.

Alliance Members

  • Paul Adams, MD, Fellow – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Warren J. Alilain, PhD, Associate Professor – Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center
  • Michael Anstead, MD, Professor – Department of Pediatrics
  • Kristin Ashford, PhD, Associate Dean and Professor – College of Nursing
  • Cherry Ballard Croft, PhD, Assistant Professor – Department of Surgery
  • Hubert O. Ballard, MD, Associate Professor – Department of Pediatrics
  • Chelsea Barrett, PhD – Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry
  • John A. Bauer, PhD, Professor – Department of Pediatrics
  • Maher Baz, MD, Professor – Department of Surgery
  • Brittany Bissell, PharmD, PhD, Assistant Professor – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Christine Brainson, PhD, Assistant Professor – Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology
  • Steven Browning, PhD, Associate Professor – College of Public Health
  • David Burgess, PharmD, Chair and Professor – College of Pharmacy
  • Leigh Ann Callahan, MD, Professor – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Evan Cassity, Program Coordinator – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Said Chaaban, MD, Assistant Professor – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Radmila Choate, PhD, Assistant Professor – College of Public Health
  • Warren Christian, PhD, Assistant Professor – College of Public Health
  • Audrey Darville, PhD, Associate Professor – College of Nursing
  • Zach DeVries, PhD, Assistant Professor – College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment
  • Sanjay Dhar, MD, Associate Professor – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Brittany Dong, Scientist – Department of Physiology
  • Samuel Dos Santos Valenca, PhD – Department of Physiology
  • Esther Dupont-Versteegden, PhD, Professor – College of Health Sciences
  • Becky Dutch, PhD, Chair and Professor – Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry
  • Whei-Mei T. Fan, PhD, Professor – Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology
  • David Feola, PhD, PharmD, Associate Professor – College of Pharmacy
  • Alexander Flannery, PharmD, Assistant Professor – College of Pharmacy
  • Beth A. Garvy, PhD, Associate Dean for Biomedical Education – Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics
  • Anil Gopinath, MD, Associate Professor – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Elizabeth Gordon, PhD, Scientist – Department of Physiology
  • Timothy Hadden, Education Staffing Specialist – Respiratory Therapy
  • Ellen Hahn, PhD, Professor – College of Nursing
  • Jimmi Hatton Kolpek, PharmD, Professor – College of Pharmacy
  • Luke Heil, Medical Student
  • Richard Higashi, PhD, Professor – Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology
  • Gerhard Hildebrandt, MD,  Division Chief – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Edward Hirschowitz, MD, Associate Professor – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Melissa Hollifield, Scientist – Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics
  • Neil Horsley, Medical Student
  • Emily Huffman, Student – Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center
  • Benjamin Hughes, Nursing 
  • Anna Kalema, MD, Assistant Professor – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Jamshed Kanga, MD, Chief – Department of Pediatrics
  • Mehdi Khosravi, MD, Clinical Faculty – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Jonathan Kinder, Student – Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry
  • Andrew Lane, PhD, Professor – Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology
  • Lu-Yuan Lee, PhD, Professor – Department of Physiology
  • Feng Li, DVM, PhD, Professor - College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment
  • Jing Li, MD Assistant Professor – Department of Internal Medicine 
  • An-Hsuan Lin, Post-Doc – Department of Physiology
  • Ashish Maskey, MD, Assistant Professor – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Beverly May, DrPH – College of Public Health
  • Kirby Mayer, DPT, PhD, Assistant Professor – College of Health Sciences
  • James McCormick, MD, Professor – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Ashley Montgomery, MD, Associate Professor – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Peter Morris, MD, Professor – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Kannabiran Nandakumar, PhD, Assistant Professor – Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
  • Jessica Newton, Graduate Research Assistant – Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center
  • Javier Neyra Lozano, MD, Assistant Professor – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Barbara Nikolajczyk, PhD, Professor – Department of Pharmacology/Nutritional Sciences
  • Krishna Pancham, MD, Assistant Professor – Department of Pediatrics
  • Sara Pasha, MD, Assistant Professor – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Gabriella Pugh, Graduate Research Assistant – Department of Pharmacology/Nutritional Sciences
  • Danielle Ray, Program Coordinator – College of Nursing
  • Shahnaz Rehman, MD, Assistant Professor – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Hiroshi Saito, PhD, Professor – Department of Surgery
  • Parijat Sen, MD, Assistant Professor – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Preetha Shridas, PhD, Assistant Professor – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Kerri Slaughter, Student – Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry
  • Ethan Strattan, Graduate Research Assistant – Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics
  • Elizabeth Stumpf, PhD, Assistant Professor – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Jamie Sturgill, PhD, Assistant Professor – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Patrick Sullivan, PhD, Regular Faculty – Department of Neuroscience
  • Gerald Supinski, MD, Regular Faculty – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Melissa Thompson Bastin, PharmD – Pharmacy Services
  • Christine Trinkle, PhD, Associate Professor – College of Engineering
  • Juan Uriate Diaz, PhD, Post-Doc – Department of Physiology
  • Dongfang Wang, MD, Professor – Department of Surgery
  • Qingjun Wang, PhD, Assistant Professor – Department of Ophthalmology
  • Christopher Waters, PhD, Professor – Department of Physiology
  • Lisa Wright, Respiratory Therapy
  • Mark Wurth, MD, PhD, Fellow – MD/PhD Program
  • John Yannelli, PhD, Associate Professor – Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics
  • Scott Yee, MD, Resident – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Guigen Zhang, PhD, Professor – College of Engineering
  • Shulin Zhang, MD, PhD, Professor – Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
  • Joseph Zwischenberger, MD, Professor – Department of Surgery
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