Schwartz | Yang Laboratory

Our group investigates the genetic and biological determinants of diseases that are influenced by the environment. Our previous research focused on the lungs and the immune system, trying to understand why environmental agents cause lung disease and infections in some people but not others. We have discovered that a variant of the gene TLR4 makes some people more susceptible to adverse effects of bacteria, that epigenetic mechanisms may be important in the development of asthma, and that a variant in a mucus producing gene (MUC5B) in the lung markedly enhances the risk of developing pulmonary fibrosis. Understanding the mechanistic basis of how the gain-of-function MUC5B promoter variant leads to development of pulmonary fibrosis and identification of additional variants associated with pulmonary fibrosis are currently a strong focus in the laboratory. We are also studying epigenetic mechanisms that contribute to the development of environmental lung disease. Human cohorts, in vitro studies, and animal models are used to pursue these studies. Our research in these areas has the potential to develop biomarkers for early identification of susceptible individuals, lead to novel concepts about the prevention and pathogenesis of these diseases, and to transform therapy in these diseases.



Lab Address

Schwartz/Yang Laboratory

University of Colorado Denver
12700 East 19th Avenue, 8611
Research Complex 2, Rm 3480
Aurora, CO 80045 

Pulmonary Sciences (SOM)

CU Anschutz

Research Complex II

12700 East 19th Avenue


Aurora, CO 80045


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