Professor in Medicine, Cell Biology, Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care
Dr. Stripp’s research interests focus on understanding cellular and molecular mechanisms of lung injury and repair. Defects in the maintenance and differentiation of epithelia lining small airways are commonly observed in chronic lung disease and represent a therapeutic target for interventions aimed at restoring lung function. His laboratory has defined microenvironments within bronchiolar airways that maintain a population of adult tissue stem cells. Current research is aimed at understanding the molecular regulation of the bronchiolar stem cell hierarchy. Signaling mediated by conditional stabilization of ß-catenin was found to expand the pool of lung stem cells in vivo. Future studies are aimed at understanding molecular mechanisms by which stablizied ß-catenin regulate the stem cell comparment and to exploit this strategy for development of cell and molecular therapies to correct epithelial reparative disorders. Related studies in Dr. Stripp’s laboratory are investigating Clara cell-macrophage interactions involved in regulation of lung inflammatory responses. These studies again relate to the observation that Clara cell secretory function is compromised in the setting of chronic inflammatory lung diseases. Recent findings demonstrate a role for Clara cell secretions in the modulation of endotoxin-elicited TNF-a release by lung macrophages.