Over the last 20 years, the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine has been fortunate to have a robust research mission under the direction of Dr. Elizabeth Jacobs. Dr. Jacobs has been NIH funded to investigate the role of cytochrome P450 metabolites in modulation of pulmonary vascular biology, with an emphasis on correlating expression and function of these isoforms using vertically integrated models. She is now in the process of moving investigations of these models of lung injury into translational studies, probing the potential to protect tissue injured by ischemia reoxygenation (IR) from apoptosis and cell death. Her lab has adapted a rodent lung IR model to survival, and is one of the first groups to work on determining the role of mitochondrial dysfunction underlying this pulmonary injury, to develop innovative technology to monitor mitochondrially-dependent lung damage in vivo, as well as to describe the potential of translational agents to protect against this injury. Her collaborators are bioengineers from Marquette University and University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, surgeons from MCW, and international experts from across the country and around the world. She has a long history of mentoring- faculty, fellows, residents and students. At present she serves as mentor for two K12 awardees.
Dr. Jacobs, as well as the collaborators mentioned above perform much of their imaging research utilizing state of the art imaging equipment in The Keck Functional Imaging Laboratory (KFIL.) The KFIL is a facility involving collaborators from the Medical College of Wisconsin, Marquette University and Zablocki VAMC. The two primary components of the lab are the unique open-design micro-CT and micro-SPECT systems for studying small animals, excised organs and tissue specimens. The x-ray source is ~3 microns which also enables high-resolution dynamic (30 frames/sec) planar imaging. Principal investigators in the laboratory use the systems primarily for the study of pulmonary physiology but it is adaptable for imaging many different biological phenomena. The facility is located at Zablocki VAMC and was built and maintained with support from the W. M. Keck Foundation. (Read More about KFIL)
In addition, the division boasts a continually growing clinical research program under the newly appointed direction of Dr. Julie Biller. Since the inception of our formalized program three years ago, the division has been able to move forward with more than 50 clinical research projects. Currently our Clinical Research Coordinators oversee roughly 10 pharmaceutical trials at various stages and several investigator-initiated studies. In the recent past, the division has taken part in initiatives involving contributions to another institution's genetic bank; case-report-based research; the design and implementation of a patient health behavior assessment, and multiple clinical- and quality improvement- databases.