Martha Kidd, Mentor: Karen Ridge, Ph.D., Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. Martha Kidd was a predoctoral candidate in the Biomedical Engineering Department who performed her primary laboratory work with Dr. Karen Ridge in the Pulmonary and Critical Care Division. Her work has focused on the role of intermediate filaments as a signaling scaffold for activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome. She has found that these intermediate filaments play a critical role in the development of inflammasome related lung injury and fibrosis. She has a manuscript in preparation as a first author and is a contributing author for several other publications.
Abbye McEwen. Mentor: Cara Gottardi, Ph.D., Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. Abbye was admitted to the MSTP program at Northwestern and joined the laboratory of Dr. Cara Gottardi. Dr. Gottardi has discovered a novel phosphorylation site in alpha catenin, a major component of the epithelial adherens junction. Abbye’s seeks to understand how cadherin-based adhesion is regulated by phosphorylation, particularly at the level of the -catenin/cadherin binding interface. Understanding the signals of this phosphorylation may provide a method to manipulate barrier function in the injured and regenerating lung.
Michael Schieber, Mentor: Navdeep Chandel, Ph.D. Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. Michael joined the Driskill Graduate Program at Northwestern University after receiving his B.A. degree in Biology and Chemistry from Northwestern. Michael is addressing the question of why the maximal oxidative capacity of the mitochondria in cells is 10 fold higher than the highest level of ATP consumption. It is known that with aging, this oxidative capacity falls dramatically but still is more than adequate to meet metabolic demands, even under stress conditions. Michael’s early work suggests that the loss of mitochondrial signaling with aging might play a role in the development of some aging phenotypes.
Ariel Jaitovich, MD. Mentor: Jacob Sznajder, MD. Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Jaitovich is in his third year of fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. He is an underrepresented minority who received his MD from the Universidad de Buenos Aires after which he performed research at the Laboratory of Oxygen Metabolism in Argentina. He published several papers based on his research work in excellent journals including Hepatology and FASEB Journal. Interested in a career in research based academic medicine, he completed an internal medicine residency at the John Stroger Cook County Hospital before joining our fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Jaitovich has been working on an exciting project with Dr. Sznajder. Recognizing that much of the morbidity associated with acute lung injury is related to neuromuscular dysfunction, Dr. Jaitovich is seeking to understand the molecular mechanisms by which sepsis and acute lung injury induce the ubiquitin mediated degradatation of key skeletal muscle myocytes. The results of this project will be presented at the American Thoracic Society Meeting
Michael Keller, MD. Mentor: Jacob Sznajder, MD., Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Keller is a third year fellow in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. He obtained his MD from the University of Iowa and went on to become one of the top residents in the Northwestern Program. During his residency, Mike works in the laboratory of Dr. Sznajder examining the regulation of the Na, K-ATPase during hypercapnia. Working with Dr. Murali Prakriya, who discovered the molecular basis for CRAC channels, he found high levels of expression of CRAC channels in alveolar epithelial cells. Dr. Keller is now completing a project examining the role played by CRAC channels in the regulation of plasma abundance and activity of the Na, K-ATPase in alveolar epithelial cells.Dr. Keller has submitted an application for an Individual NRSA to support a fourth year of training and he continues his research work in Dr. Sznajder’s laboratory.
Molly Rossow, Ph.D. Mentor: Vladimir Gelfand, Ph.D., Department of Cell and Molecular Biology. Dr. Rossow obtained her Ph.D. from the University of California at Irvine in the laboratory of Dr. Enrico Gratton, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Physics. She was recruited for a post-doctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Vladimir Gelfand where she has been working to generate new methodologies as part of a collaborative project with Dr. Sznajder to identify the molecular motors that regulate the intracellular transport of the Na, K-ATPase in alveolar epithelial cells. Dr. Rossow has generated both new fluorescent microscopy reagents and techniques and written software to achieve a sophisticate analysis of the protein trafficking in these cells. Her work has been published in Nature Protocols and she has another paper in revision. Dr. Rossow continues her post-doctoral training in Dr. Gelfand’s laboratory.
Clara Shroedl, MD. Mentor: Ravi Kalhan, MD, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Shroedl’s interest in lung disease research developed when she worked as a research technician in the laboratory of Dr. Navdeep Chandel after graduating with Honors in Biology from the University of Chicago in the year before starting Medical School at Northwestern. She went on to complete her residency in internal medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and was selected to be chief resident after which she joined our fellowship program. Her research has focused around methods to improve resident education in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. In addition to her primary mentorship by Dr. Kalhan, Dr. Shroedl has collaborated closely with Thomas Corbridge, Co-Chair of the Scientific Basis of Medicine Course and has played a role in the revision of the Medical School Curriculum. Dr. Shroedl has published several papers related to her ongoing work in simulation based education in Critical Care Medicine.
Sean Smith, MD. Mentor: Richard Wunderink, MD. Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. Sean received his MD and completed his residency in internal medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. He is now a second year fellow in our Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Fellowship where his research project is off to a strong start. With Dr. Wunderink, Dr. Smith aims to improve the classification of patients with ARDS. He has established a protocol to obtain aliquots of non-bronchoscopic BAL fluid specimens from all patients in the intensive care unit on which they are clinically indicated. Based on algorithms developed as part of Dr. Wunderinks recently completed study of community acquired pneumonia with investigators at the Centers for Disease Control, he will performed microbiologic analysis to find evidence for viral or bacterial pathogens. The goal of this project is to link these analyses with clinical decisions with respect to antibiotic and other adjunctive therapies for patients with lung injury. He is also partnering with other investigators in the Division to provide aliquots of these specimens to investigators of the Program Project Award.