Recent News

Ashare named 2014 Asthma Foundation Scholar

May 23, 2014

Dr. Ali Ashare has been named a 2014 American Asthma Foundation Scholar. This prestigious award provides three years of funding for high risk translational research studies involving asthma. Her project entitled "Mechanisms of Increased Asthma Severity secondary to Polymorphisms in the ACE Gene" will investigate the mechanism by which a specific polymorphism in the human angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) gene causes more severe asthmatic lung disease.

Walk Raises $17,000 for CF Research

May 17, 2014

On Saturday, May 17th, fifty-five walkers and runners, including Dartmouth researchers, clinicians and CF families, participated in the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Great Strides Walk at Storrs Pond in Hanover. Great Strides is the CF Foundation's largest nationwide fund raising event and this year the Hanover walk raised over $17,000 for CF research and drug development! Walkers enjoyed snacks from Panera Bread, Woodstock Cookies and Moe's before and after a 3 mile trek through the Storrs Pond hiking trails. Lebanon, NH native Robert Plante was named honorary chair of the walk in recognition of his incredible fundraising efforts for CF research. Over the past 25 years, Robert has raised $250,000 in honor of his childhood friend who had CF. The Hanover Great Strides walk was organized by Deb Hogan, Katie Price, Kelli Hvorecny, Sharon Littlefield and Lindsay Gilbert.

2014 Pilot Awards

April 2, 2014

The Dartmouth Lung Biology Center requests applications for Pilot Project Program (P^3) Awards. We seek to fund basic, translational, and clinical research that will advance the understanding and treatment of lung disease, strengthen interdisciplinary faculty interactions, and leverage extramural funding opportunities. For details, please see the RFA announcement. The deadline is April 23, 2014.

Eric Bordeleau receives Kin Canada award from the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

March 31, 2014

Eric Bordeleau, who will be joining George O'Toole's lab in September, was awarded the Kin Canada award from the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for the top scoring postdoctoral fellowship application this year. In the O'Toole lab, Eric will study the microbiome of CF patients by developing new lab models to study these polymicrobial communities. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the Université de Sherbrooke in Canada.

Manuscript featured in the quarterly CF Literature Update reading list compiled by Gilead Pharmaceuticals

February 20, 2014

The recent publication, "Unique Microbial Communities Persist in Individual Cystic Fibrosis Patients throughout a Clinical Exacerbation", published in the journal Microbiome, was featured in the quarterly CF Literature Update reading list compiled by Gilead Pharmaceuticals. This study was lead by Katie Price, a postdoctoral fellow in the O'Toole lab and was supported by a Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Basbaum Family Postdoctoral Fellowship to Dr. Price. This study represented the efforts of a team of Lung Biology Center members, including Tom Hampton, Alex Gifford, Emily Dolben and Deb Hogan, as well as collaborators Hilary Morrison and Mitch Sogin at the Marine Biological Lab. The central findings of the manuscript include the finding that the microbial structure of each patient's sputum microbiome is distinct and resilient to exacerbation and antibiotic treatment, and that no single organism or group of organisms could be identified that herald the onset of exacerbation.

The Cystic Fibrosis Center: A Mission, an Award and a Video

December, 5 2013

Dartmouth CF Center Receives a Prestigious Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Quality Care Award. The award is given to CF centers that demonstrate "sustained quality improvement work that improved outcomes." One of the criteria for the recognition was that a center "consistently and actively involves patients and families in improvement efforts." Read the full story here.

Researchers Receive $5.9 Million Grant for Lung Research

September, 30 2013

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a $5.9 million grant to support an Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Lung Biology Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. The Award strengthens Geisel's pioneering work in cystic fibrosis. Read the full story here.

Alex Gifford receives $35k for Pilot Project

September, 1 2013

The Geisel Department of Medicine will fund Alex Gifford's research project titled: “Can Biomarkers of Iron Homeostasis Be Used To Customize Cystic Fibrosis Care?" The award is in the amount of $35,000. Rick Enelow, Geisel Vice Chair for Research, organized a specialized review committee to review all the applications.

Microbiome May Be Seeded Before Birth (The New York Times)

August 30, 2013

As recently as the mid-2000s, medical school students were told that human beings, who carry about 100 trillion bacteria each, were bacteria-free at birth, writes The New York Times.

One of those students, Juliette Madan, is now an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Geisel School of Medicine, and has come to a very different viewpoint. “I think that the tenet that healthy fetuses are sterile is insane,” she tells the Times.

Madan and other researchers now believe that mothers “seed” their fetuses with microbes during pregnancy, and that these microbes may be important to the health of the babies, and could lead to new ways to treat a number of medical conditions, the Times writes. Read the full story in the New York Times (8/29/13).

Dartmouth Lung Biology Researcher, Jason Moore, selected as a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences

July 19, 2013

Professor Jason H. Moore of Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine has been selected as a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for 2013. The Kavli program honors young scientists who are considered leaders in their fields and have made significant contributions to science. Moore was selected this year for his expertise in translational bioinformatics and personalized medicine. Geisel Insider published an article about his selection as a Kavli Fellow on July 18th.

Dean Madden Nominated to Geisel Academy of Master Educators

June 3, 2013

After being nominated by fellow Geisel School of Medicine faculty because of his demonstrated commitment to excellence in teaching and medical education Dean R. Madden, PhD, Associate Director, Dartmouth Lung Biology Center, Professor of Biochemistry was elected to the Academy of Master Educators at Geisel.

Academy members are leaders in medical education innovation at the Geisel School of Medicine, educating students and residents, advising Dean Souba and Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education Rich Simons, and raising the overall quality of education by mentoring faculty and residents in their quest to become better teachers.

O'Toole Lab Post-Doc Named Basbaum Fellow by CFF

May 29, 2013

Katie Price, a post-doc in the O'Toole lab, recently received a post-doc fellowship award from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. She has been named the Basbaum Fellow as the highest-scoring post-doctoral fellowship applicant.

O'Toole Lab Post-Doc Receives Award in Quantitative Microscopy Course

May 29, 2013

Yun Luo, a post-doc in the O'Toole lab, recently attended the Quantitative Microscopy Course at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory. While at the course, she performed a project to analyze c-di-GMP levels in Pseudomonas using FRET microscopy. She received the award for "Best Individual Presentation" based on her 5-min talk at the end of the course.

The New Hampshire Cystic Fibrosis Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center receives a CF Foundation Therapeutic Development Network grant

February 22, 2013

The New Hampshire Cystic Fibrosis Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center was recently awarded a CF Foundation Therapeutic Development Network (TDN) grant. The application, titled "New Hampshire Therapeutic Development Center for Cystic Fibrosis", was led by Drs. Ali Ashare, an adult Pulmonologist and physician scientist member of the Lung Biology Center, and Margaret Guill, a pediatric Pulmonologist and experienced site principal investigator on CF-related studies. The TDN provides funding for the infrastructure supporting CF related research involving human subjects. This includes support for our research nurse coordinators, Lisa Moulton and Dana Dorman. Being a member of the TDN also provides the opportunity to participate in a number of multicenter studies involving patients with CF. At the present time there are two ongoing TDN studies at Dartmouth and the CF Center will be participating in the Vertex study investigating the combined efficacy of the CFTR corrector and potentiator.

Study Led by Lung Biology Fellow in O'Toole Lab Published

January 17, 2013

A recent article in Renal and Urology News highlighted a clinical study showing that sodium citrate works better than the commonly used heparin as a catheter lock solution in hemodialysis patients. The study, published in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy by Yon and Low, both clinical nephrology pharmacists in the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System, was based in part on a series of studies led by Robert Shanks Ph.D., a post-doctoral fellow in the lab of George O'Toole Ph.D. at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and in collaboration with Martha Graber M.D., a nephrologist at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

Dr. Shanks is now an Associate Professor at the University of Pittsburgh. The studies from O'Toole's group compared the impact of various catheter lock solutions on biofilm formation by Staphylococcus aureus and S. epidermidis, two bacteria that commonly colonize and infect catheter lines. Their study in 2005 showed that heparin actually stimulates biofilm formation by S. aureus on catheter-like material, and demonstrated the existence of a pathway in the organism that likely responds to the presence of heparin by enhancing the biofilms typically formed by these organisms. A subsequent study in 2006 in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation showed that sodium citrate at concentrations above 0.5% efficiently inhibits biofilm formation and cell growth of S. aureus and S. epidermidis, and for those organisms most typically associated with these infections, so-called coagulase negative Staphylococci, sub-inhibitory levels of citrate did not promote biofilm formation. Together, these studies strongly suggested that a switch from heparin to sodium citrate might reduce infections in patients on dialysis. The recent publication in American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy indeed confirmed this hypothesis in a study of 60 hemodialysis patients, which showed a reduction in infection from 33% in patients using heparin to 19% of patients using citrate as a catheter lock solution.

Lung Biology Researcher, Juliette Madan, Elected to the Society for Pediatric Research.

January 15, 2013

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Madan on her recent election to the Society for Pediatric Research. SPR is the major pediatric academic society for faculty engaged in a research career, and requires substantial evidence of successful contributions as well as ongoing promise in research.


Lung Biology Researcher Weighs in on Fungal Meningitis Outbreak

January 10, 2013

In a Geisel Medical School interview Robert Cramer, Ph.D., an assistant professor of microbiology and immunology and an expert on fungi, talks about the outbreak. Since September, more than 500 cases of fungal meningitis have been diagnosed across the United States, all of them caused by contaminated steroid injections. More than 35 people have died from the infection. But the fungus that has caused almost all of the cases, Exserohilum rostratum, seems an unlikely threat.

Lung Biology Researchers Publish Study in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy Journal

December 31, 2012

In the January 2013 issue of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, Professor Karl Griswold and Thayer School alumnus Dr. John Lamppa published a series of studies analyzing the mechanism by which alginate lyase enzymes disrupt bacterial biofilms. More than twenty years of research point to alginate lyases as promising therapeutic candidates for mucoid Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections. In particular, the enzymes' ability to degrade alginate, a key component of mucoid biofilm matrix, has been the presumed mechanism by which they effectively disrupt biofilms and enhance antibiotic efficacy. Griswold and Lamppa show that, in an in vitro model, alginate lyase dispersion of P. aeruginosa biofilms and antibacterial synergy with tobramycin are completely decoupled from catalytic function. In fact, equivalent antibiofilm effects are achieved with albumin or even simple amino acids. Their results suggest a non-intuitive mechanism of action and highlight the need to reexamine fundamental assumptions regarding enzymatic biofilm dispersion.

Director of Lung Biology Center Publishes Textbook

October 25,2012

Bruce A. Stanton, PhD, Andrew C. Vail Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and of Physiology has published the 5th Edition of Renal Physiology, Mosby Physiology Monograph Series. Co-authored by Bruce M. Koeppen, MD, PhD, Dean of the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University this monograph explains the fundamentals of renal physiology in a clear and concise manner, and provides a basic understanding of normal kidney function at the cellular and molecular level. The text facilitates study with learning objectives, overview boxes, chapter summaries, and clinical cases with questions and explained answers.

Washington Post Article Quotes Dartmouth Lung Biology Researcher

October 22,2012

Robert Cramer, the newest member of our lung biology group, was recently quoted in the Washington Post regarding the fungal contamination of medications that has impacted ~14,000 people nationwide.

Dartmouth Lung Biology Researcher, Juliette Madan, Publishes Study in mBio

October 12, 2012

A recent study headed by Juliette Madan, M.D., a neonatologist, and published in mBio analyzed the developing microbiota in CF babies - including both the lung and the gut. The paper focuses on the bacterial communities of CF infants from birth until ~2 years of age. This work is the first close look at what happens to infants with CF in terms of the development of their microbial community, which is important because these individuals go on to develop chronic respiratory infections which are the proximal cause of death in these patients. There were two particularly exciting findings. First, changes in nutrition impacted the microbial communities in the lung, indicating a link between the gut and respiratory tract colonization. Further supporting this idea, Dr. Madan and colleagues observed for a number of microbes, that they appeared in the gut first, followed later by colonizing the lung. Dr. Madan's work provides some new insight for future interventions to slow or prevent these respiratory infections. For example, might oral probiotics impact lung colonization?

This work was highlighted in mBioSphere online mBioSphere online

Second Annual Dartmouth Cystic Fibrosis Scientific Retreat

September 20, 2012

On September 20th, 2012 the Dartmouth Lung Biology Center and the CF Research Development Program sponsored the second annual Dartmouth CF Scientific retreat. 55 scientists and trainees from Dartmouth, Harvard, Massachusetts General Hospital, the University of Vermont, the University of Maine, as well as Novartis, and Genzyme, attended the day long scientific retreat. Talks were presented on Pseudomonas infection of the airways, CF drug discovery, and translational CF research. The format of the meeting enhanced interactions and the meeting culminated in a dinner followed by a poster session.

Lung Biology Researchers Publish Paper Examining P. aeruginosa Reactions to Cayston

September 21,2012

A recent collaborative publication between Lung Biology Center members George O'Toole and Bruce Stanton examines the susceptibility of P. aeruginosa biofilms grown on airway cells to a front-line CF antibiotic, Cayston. Only ~50% of clinical isolates of P. aeruginosa showed significant sensitivity to this antibiotic when grown under these conditions. This project was led by Qianru "Ru" Yu, a post-doctoral fellow in Dr. Stanton's lab. This work was funded in part by Novartis and the CF Foundation.

Lung Biology Ph.D. Student, Laura Filkins, Publishes Study in the Journal of Bacteriology

September 21, 2012

A study published in the Journal of Bacteriology, led by Laura Filkins, a Ph.D. student in the O'Toole laboratory, demonstrated that only ~50% of CF patients analyzed had P. aeruginosa as the prominent pathogen, in contrast with current dogma. She also identified a number of Streptococci species present in these patient samples. This work will form the basis of ongoing studies in this patient population, and represents a team effort among basic scientists, physician-scientists and a top notch statistician at Dartmouth.

Study by Lung Biology Researcher, Juliette Madan, Analyzing the Developing Microbiome in CF Babies Published in mBio

August, 22 2012

A recent study headed by Juliette Madan, M.D., a neonatologist at Dartmouth, and published in mBio analyzed the developing microbiota in CF babies - including both the lung and the gut. The paper focuses on the bacterial communities of CF infants from birth until ~2 years of age. This work is the first close look at what happens to infants with CF in terms of the development of their microbial community, which is important because these individuals go on to develop chronic respiratory infections which are the proximal cause of death in these patients. There were two particularly exciting findings. First, changes in nutrition impacted the microbial communities in the lung, indicating a link between the gut and respiratory tract colonization. Second, a number of microbes appeared in the gut first, followed later by colonizing the lung. This work was highlighted in mBioSphere.

Lung Biology Center Associate Director, Dean Madden, Receives 2012 Graduate Faculty Mentoring Award

August 31,2012

Dartmouth's Graduate Student Council (GSC) announced that Dean Madden, Ph.D. was awarded the 2012 Faculty Mentor Award. Established in 2005, the award recognizes and highlights the outstanding graduate mentoring activities that are undertaken by Dartmouth faculty advisors. A Dartmouth faculty member since 2001, Madden's lab is currently comprised of four graduate students and one rotation student. The primary research focus of Madden's lab is understanding the functional characteristics of ion channels and transporters in terms of their molecular structure.

Read more...

Personalized Medicine and Cystic Fibrosis

April 11, 2012

On April 11th, 2012, Bruce Stanton, Director of the Lung Biology Center, presented a talk in the Dartmouth Community Medical School's public spring lecture series, “It's Personal: Medicine's Evolution Away from One Size Fits All,” on personalized medicine and CF. The talk will be repeated on October 11th, 2012. Series Information

Dartmouth Researcher, Dr. Juliette Madan, has received the Harry Shwachman Award from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

February 19, 2012

Dr. Juliette Madan has received the prestigious Harry Shwachman Cystic Fibrosis Clinical Investigator Award from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The award provides salary support for three years and is for promising, clinically trained physicians who are committed to developing their CF-related research.

FDA Approves Vertex Cystic Fibrosis Drug

January 31, 2012

Health regulators approved Vertex Pharmaceuticals' Kalydeco, the first drug designed to treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis, a rare genetic disease. Bruce Stanton, Ph.D., Director of the Dartmouth CF Research Development Program, and Director of the Dartmouth Lung Biology Center, was a consultant for the CF Foundation in their collaboration with Vertex to develop this life saving drug.

For more information click here

Dartmouth Researcher, George O'Toole, named a Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

November 22, 2011

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has elevated George O'Toole to the rank of Fellow. Dr. O'Toole is a Dartmouth Medical School professor of Microbiology and Immunology and is the Associate Director of the CF Research Development Program at DMS. He was elected by his peers as part of the section on biological sciences for outstanding contributions to understanding how the pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa infects the lungs in individuals with cystic fibrosis.

First Annual Dartmouth Cystic Fibrosis Scientific Retreat

October 11, 2011

On Oct. 6 the Dartmouth Lung Biology Center and the CF Research Development Program sponsored the first annual Dartmouth CF Scientific retreat. 69 scientists and trainees from Dartmouth, Harvard, Massachusetts General Hospital, the University of Vermont, the University of Maine, as well as Novartis, Genzyme, and Flatley Drug Discovery attended the day long scientific retreat. Talks were presented on Pseudomonas infection of the airways, CF drug discovery, and translational CF research. The format of the meeting enhanced interactions and the meeting culminated in a dinner followed by a poster session.

DMS students travel Down East to study molecular mechanisms of human disease

August 16, 2011

Under the guidance of Dartmouth microbiologist Bruce Stanton, PhD, four students from Dartmouth Medical School (DMS) spent the first week of August researching triggers of human disease at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory (MDIBL).
Full Story

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation funds lung-disease research at Dartmouth

May 5, 2011

Under a four-year grant of almost $1.4 million from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, veteran researcher Bruce A. Stanton, Ph.D., will lead a team of Dartmouth investigators in developing new approaches to treatment of patients with the genetic disease that triggers chronic and life-threatening infection of the lungs.

Full Story

Hitchcock Foundation funds lung-disease project

April 29, 2011

With support from the Hitchcock Foundation's inaugural Program Project Grant (HF-PPG), biochemist Dean R. Madden, PhD, will lead a diverse team of Dartmouth researchers in the search for clues to how bacterial and fungal infections conspire to clog the breathing systems of patients with maladies such as cystic fibrosis.
Full Story

6th Annual Integrative Biology Symposium: "Obesity and Human Health"

Held April 23-24, 2013

This year's Integrative Biology Symposium took place at Alumni Hall starting in the evening of April 23rd. A number of invited speakers presented in addition to an outstanding group of Dartmouth investigators on a topic with huge implications for human health. The event was very well attended with over 200 people participating. 14 posters were presented during the poster session.