The division’s research activities include clinical trials of drugs (mycophenolate vs. oral cyclophosphamide) in treatment of Scleroderma interstitial lung disease, developing countermeasures for chemical warfare agents (using various agents to hasten repair of wounds in animal models of chemical weapons injury), determining the effects of environmental exposures in bronchial asthma and COPD and determining the mechanisms behind the central ventilatory response to hypoxia.
Research by Dr. Riley could improve the course and outcomes of Scleroderma interstitial lung disease by showing the greater efficacy of mycophenolate mofetil (as opposed to the current therapy of choice, cyclophosphamide) in scleroderma interstitial lung disease. A second study involves looking into Bosentan in similar conditions. Dr. Neubauer and Sunderram’s studies documenting heme-oxygenase involvement in central hypoxic responses provide a paradigm for further investigations on how the brain responds to and adapts to hypoxia. Dr. Hussain’s studies quantifying specific environmental influences on airway obstruction in COPD and bronchial asthma and their mechanisms should help clinicians better understand the role of the environment in exacerbations of lung disease. Finally, a better understanding of the evolving pulmonary problems of World Trade Center 9/11 first responders is being uncovered by Dr. Sotolongo in collaboration with Dr. Udasin in EOHSI.