As a physician-scientist, I perform human subjects’ research in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine.
I have a broad background in clinical and translational research, with an emphasis on bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) as a tool to study lung immunology and biomarker discovery.
My current studies exclusively utilize primary human lung and blood cells in culture, for flow cytometry, and biobanking for –omics studies.
I maintain a funded lab which allows me to perform longitudinal translational studies, correlating immunological findings and the lung microbiome with clinical disease in the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). With the help of my collaborators, we utilize lung cells obtained from BAL for biomarker and gene expression studies. We have been interested in correlating the microbiome/virome and inflammatory responses to clinical phenotypes in HIV as part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded consortium known as INHALD (Investigating HIV-Associated Lung Disease). The chronic inflammation we see in HIV is likely providing the substrate for several pulmonary diseases. In addition, we have projects related to Valley Fever and how to achieve a more rapid diagnosis for patients living in the endemic area of Arizona.