Mark M. Wurfel

Associate Professor


Faculty Web Page

Authored articles (PubMed)

Last Updated:  February 4, 2011


Research Focus

Dr. Wurfel’s laboratory uses techniques in genetics, genomics, and molecular biology to identify host susceptibility factors altering risk for Sepsis, Acute Lung Injury (ALI), and Acute Kidney Injury (AKI).  Current studies use high-throughput genotyping and sequencing technology to characterize common and rare genetic variation in large cohorts of critically ill patients with these disease processes.  They also use high-throughput multiplex immunoassay technology to link genotype with variability in biomarker expression.  Their ultimate goals are to develop novel molecular and genetic predictors of Sepsis, ALI, and AKI and to identify new potential therapeutic targets.  His group is also interested in the host factors leading to inter-individual variability in innate immune responses and how this variability might relate to clinical outcomes in airways disease such as cystic fibrosis and responses to exposure select agents such as Yersinia pestis.  On a more basic level, his laboratory uses genome-wide screens to identify genetic variation controlling the transcriptional response to Toll-like receptor-mediated responses in cell culture systems. His group works closely with investigators in the UW Department of Genome Sciences, the Kidney Research Institute (KRI), the Northwest Institute for Genomic Medicine (NWIGM), and Seattle Variation Discovery Resource (SeattleSNPs)


Relevant Publications

Wurfel MM, Park WY, Radella F, Ruzinski J, Sandstrom A, Strout J, Bumgarner RE, Martin TR.  Identification of high and low responders to lipopolysaccharide in normal subjects: an unbiased approach to identify modulators of innate immunity.   J. Immunol. 2005;175:2570-2578.

Storey JD, Madeoy J, Strout JL, Wurfel MM, Ronald J, Akey JM.  Gene-expression variation within and among human populations.  Am J Hum Genet 2007;80:502-509.
Wurfel MM.  Microarray-based analysis of ventilator-induced lung injury.  Proc Am Thorac Soc 2007;4:77-84.

Matute-Bello G, Wurfel MM, Lee JS, Park DR, Frevert CW, Madtes DK, Shapiro SD, Martin TR.  Essential role of MMP-12 in Fas-induced lung fibrosis.  Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 2007, Aug;37(2):210-21.

Wurfel MM, Gordon AC, Holden T, Radella F, Strout J, Kajikawa O, Ruzinski J, Rona G, Black RA, Stratton S, Jarvik GP, Hajjar AM., Nickerson DA., Rieder M, Sevransky J, Maloney JP., Moss M, Martin G, Shanholtz C, Garcia JGN, Gao L, Brower R, Barnes KC, Walley KR, Russell JA, Martin TR.  TLR1 polymorphisms affects innate immune responses and outcomes in sepsis.  Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2008; 178(7):710-720.

Wurfel MM. Genetic insights into Sepsis: What have we learned and how will it help? Curr Pharm Des. 2008. 14(19):1900-1911.

Solti I, Cooke CR, Xia F, Wurfel MM.  Automated Classification of Radiology Reports for Acute Lung Injury: Comparison of Keyword and Machine Learning Based Natural Language Processing Approaches.  Proceedings (IEEE Int Conf Bioinformatics Biomed). 2009 Nov;2009:314-319. 

Ko DC, Shukla KP, Fong C, Wasnick M, Brittnacher MJ, Wurfel MM, Holden TD, O'Keefe GE, Van Yserloo B, Akey JM, Miller SI.  A Genome-wide In Vitro Bacterial-Infection Screen Reveals Human Variation in the Host Response Associated with Inflammatory Disease. Am J Hum Genet. 2009 Aug 5(2):214-27. Epub 2009 Aug 6.

Glavan BJ, Holden TD, Goss CH, Black RA, Neff MJ, Nathens AB, Martin TR, Wurfel MM ARDSnet Investigators. Genetic Variation in the FAS Gene and Associations with Acute Lung Injury. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2010 Sep 2. PMID: 20813889

Munshi R, Johnson A, Siew E, Ikizler TA, Ware LB, Wurfel MM, Himmelfarb J, Zager RA. Monocyte Chemoattractant Protein-1 and Associated Gene Activating Histone Marks as tools for studying experimental and clinical Acute Kidney Injury.  J Am Soc Nephrol. 2010


Active Funding

Funding source

Project Title

Investigator Role

Funding dates


Genetic Determinants of ALI in the iSPAAR Consortium


9/2009 - 8/2011


Genetic Control of Gene Expression during Innate Immune Activation


9/2007 - 7/2012


Lung Exome Project


9/2009 - 8/2011


Genetic Determinants of Acute Kidney Injury Outcomes


9/2007 - 7/2012


WWAMI RCE for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research Project 10 Variation in Human Innate Immunity


9/2003 - 2/2014

CF Foundation

TLR-mediated Innate Immune Responses and Pulmonary Phenotype


4/2008 - 3/2011

Microsoft Research

Extracting Critical Illness Phenotypes from Electronic Medical Records


2/2011 - 1/2014

Current Mentees




Brad Glavan

MPH (expected)

Genetic Variation in FAS and ALI Outcomes

Shane O’Mahoney


Rare Coding Variants and ALI Risk

Carmen Mikacenic


Genetic Variation affecting TLR1/2 Responses

Balaji Laxmanan


Genetic Risks for VAP and Infections in Critically Ill

Christine Hsu

MPH (expected)

Genetic Risks for AKI in ALI Populations

Past Mentees



Current title


Barry Plant



University College
Cork, Ireland

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