Dr. Choudhry is the Lead CoPARC Investigator at the Loyola University Chicago (LUC) site, as well as the Director of the Alcohol Research Program at LUC. Additionally, he is the Program Director of the NIAAA-supported T32AA013527 that provides training in the neuroimmunoendocrine effects of alcohol, and co-director of the T32GM008750 that supports training in burn and trauma research. Dr. Choudhry has theaccessandinfrastructureto contribute clinicalsamples and data obtainedfromburnpatients hospitalizedintheIntensiveCareUnit at Loyola Hospital. His research focus has been to examine the clinical outcomes and immune dysfunction from alcohol exposure in both burn-injured patients and lung transplant recipients. He serves as a member of CoPARC’s steering committee to review Resource requests, and advise/mentor new or junior investigators interested in alcohol research.
Dr. Afshar is a Board Certified Pulmonary and Critical Care physician who routinely cares for critically ill ICU patients. His research focuses on understanding the pathophysiology of respiratory failure in the setting of trauma and burn injury. Through
his past training, he has gained extensive expertise in large data analyses for epidemiologic investigations involving critically ill patients, and has developed a collaborative network to facilitate these projects. His lab identified hazardous alcohol
use in critically ill patients via examination of direct alcohol biomarkers, including phosphatidylethanol (PEth). Further projects characterize and quantify plasma biomarkers in the setting of burn injury on the development of ARDS and respiratory failure.
Dr. Afshar will also be engaged in projects that utilize large or administrative data sets to examine the impact of AUDs on outcomes in cohorts of critically ill patients.
Dr. Bailey will contribute samples for the CoPARC biorepository that are received as part of the UNMC Lung Transplant Database and Biorepository. Her research laboratory studies the regulation of the innate immunity of the lung, particularly how alcohol intake affects lung health in terms of airway diseases such as chronic bronchitis. Dr. Bailey will oversee projects related to TLR expression in bronchial airway epithelial cells, inflammatory markers in bronchoalveolar lavage, and physiologic measures in enrolled CoPARC subjects.
Dr. Brown is a co-investigator for the Emory University site. She has extensive research experience in with laboratory models of chronic alcohol abuse, and as such will ensure that experiments with human samples are an accurate extension of animal observations to optimize utilization of this precious resource. Planned experiments by Dr. Brown and her laboratory will focus on understanding the role of glutathione availability as a mediator of the alveolar macrophage functions, and these cells’ role in acute lung injury. She will also focus research efforts towards understanding the relationship of alcohol to important thiol pairs in lung (e.g. glutathione/oxidized glutathione).
Dr. Burnham is the director (principal investigator) of CoPARC. For the past decade, she has continuously conducted clinical and translational research in patients with alcohol use disorders and controls while developing and maintaining an infrastructure to recruit these subjects. She has also served as a co-investigator for NIH-sponsored clinical trials in critically ill patients, including those with alcohol abuse. She completed a Master of Science in Clinical Research at Emory University, and was previously PI on an NIAAA/NIH K23 award. She is currently the co-director for the NCRR-sponsored KL-2 training program for the Colorado CTSI, and the medical director of the University of Colorado Hospital’s Medical ICU. Her research interests include explaining the predisposition of patients with alcohol use disorders to develop bacterial pneumonia and the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
Dr. Kovacs the Director of Burn Research in the Department of Surgery at the University of Colorado Denver. For more than two decades, her laboratory has been studying models of tissue injury and repair with a focus on the role of leukocytes and inflammatory mediators. She has worked with leukocyte subsets isolated from the blood and lung of burn patients with inhalation injury, smokers, drinkers and lung transplant recipients, as well as the blood, lungs, liver, intestine and skin obtained from mice subjected to injury. Much of her recent work revolves around immune and inflammatory responses in the context of aging. Further, she has been studying the combined insult of binge alcohol and injury, exploring the role of leukocyte subsets, fibroblasts, and endothelial and epithelial cells in end organ damage. The laboratory is actively examining both mechanisms of action and therapeutic interventions designed to manipulate the inflammatory milieu and restore normal tissue architecture.
Dr. Lowery is a Board Certified Pulmonary and Critical Care physician with substantial expertise in care of lung transplant patients. She serves as a Data and Sample Sharing Committee member for the Loyola site, and regularly participates in biorepository teleconferences, in-person meetings, and other planned educational events. Cytokine assays assessing the levels of inflammatory mediators in plasma and bronchoalveolar lavage samples will be performed in the Lowery Lab. Experiments involved in this proposal include measuring inflammatory responses, both systemically and in the airways of heavy alcohol use lung donors in comparison to lung donors who did not use alcohol or used alcohol minimally. She participates in burn-injured patient screening and enrollment at Loyola University Medical Center to populate the CoPARC biorepository. Biospecimen collection from this site includes blood and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid.
Dr. Welsh received training in Internal Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center before completing a fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care at LSU. He oversees the HIV Chest Clinic and provides inpatient clinical care at LSU affiliated facilities.
The research in Dr. Wyatt's laboratory is directed toward the understanding of airway epithelial cell function under physiologic and disease conditions. He is interested in the mechanistic signal transduction pathways that define ciliary beating, pro-inflammatory cytokine production, remodeling and wound repair, and cell adhesion under conditions of cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption. His studies aim to define the role of serine-threonine protein kinases and the second messengers that regulate these enzymes in lung epithelial function. Dr. Wyatt has extensive experience in animal models of alcohol consumption that are invaluable to establishing mechanistic investigations tested with CoPARC samples.
Dr. Yeligar is a faculty member with interests and expertise in alveolar macrophage biology as it is affected by alcohol-induced oxidative stress, with expertise in murine models of alcohol-associated lung disease. Dr. Yeligar will oversee the project performance of the Emory component of this project, including serving on the Data and Sample Sharing Committee (DSSC) to help determine current and future plans and trajectories for CoPARC.