Peter Chen, MD
My lab studies the mechanisms that govern airway repair after injury and how inappropriate repair proceeds to airway fibrosis. A major focus has been basic research into mechanisms regulating airway epithelial cell migration using in vitro and in vivo mouse models of airway injury. Specifically, we have worked on understanding how matrix metalloproteinases (in particular MMP7) facilitate re-epithelialization after injury. Our research has now led us to study how syndecan-1 regulates cell-matrix interactions as the airway epithelium migrates over a wound. Additionally, my lab has another line of investigation into how microRNAs participate in airway repair and fibrosis. This project takes a translational approach by using human airway epithelial cells procured from lung transplant patients. Our goal is to identify putative microRNAs that participate in the pathophysiology of chronic rejection after lung transplantation (i.e., obliterative bronchiolitis).