COBRE Center for Lung Biology Research

Lung disease is the third most frequent cause of death in this country, claiming ~360,000 Americans annually. Tragically, an additional 25 million live with chronic lung diseases, including asthma, emphysema, cancer and cystic fibrosis. Unfortunately, the number of individuals with lung disease is increasing at an alarming rate, thus, a better understanding of the etiology of lung disease and new therapeutics to treat lung disease are required.

The goals of the Dartmouth Lung Biology Center, funded by a COBRE award by the NCRR and NIGMS since 2003 (P20-RR018787/GM103413 and P30-GM106394), and funding from the CF Research Development Program (CFRDP) are to enhance the research efforts of our faculty and students by:

  1. Integration of the COBRE supported Cores (Host Pathogen Integration Core, Live Cell Imaging Core, and Translational Research Core) with shared services in the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center(DHMC) and other IDeA supported Cores, including Bioinformatics and Biostatistics;

  2. Fostering synergistic scientific collaboration through the COBRE Research Projects, associated Cores, and other basic and translational infrastructure and programs at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth/DHMC, including the Immunology COBRE, the Bioinformatics COBRE, the Center for Epidemiology COBRE, and the Dartmouth INBRE programs;

  3. Mentoring and supporting the career development of all faculty in the program, and;

  4. Providing administrative support.

Pilot Projects:

Microbial Activity as a Determinant of Health Status in Cystic Fibrosis

Project Leader: Alex H. Gifford, M.D.

Promoting the Phagocytic Clearance of Non-Motile P. Aeruginosa

Project Leader: Brent Berwin, Ph.D.
Co-Investigator: Scott Gerber, Ph.D.

A Novel Murine Model of Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis

Project Leader: Robert A. Cramer, Ph.D.
Co-Investigator: Joshua J. Obar, Ph.D.

Evolution of P. Aeruginosa Biofilm Hyper-Production in Light of Local Fluid Viscosity and Multispecies Interactions within the CF Lung

Project Leader: Carey Nadell, Ph.D.

Impact of CF Therapies on the Pathogenesis of Aspergillus Fumigatus

Project Leader: Robert A. Cramer, Ph.D.
Collaborating Faculty: Alex H. Gifford, M.D.



Applied Bioinformatics & Environmental Genomics Classes Held in July

JULY 2018

applied Bioinformatics and Environmental Genomics Classes, offered by MDI Biological Laboratory in collaboration with the Dartmouth Superfund Research Program, were held in July. The classes, which took place at MDI in Bar Harbor, ME, were very successful and were well-attended. More information about the classes.

Great Strides Walk Raises Over $13,000 for CF Research

MAY 2018

Jessie Scott and Katie Price, a current and former trainee at Dartmouth, were two of the lead organizers for the Hanover Cystic Fibrosis Great Strides walk on May 5 at the Storr's Pond Recreation Area. Seven teams participated including the Dartmouth Lung Biology Center, the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Care Team, and five family teams. Together they raised over $13,000 for Cystic Fibrosis research and care!

Researcher George O'Toole Publishes Paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

APRIL 2018

The formation of bacterial communities known as biofilms can negatively impact patient health in a variety of clinical settings, including for patients with CF, due to the high antibiotic tolerance of these biofilms. A better understanding of how these communities form may help prevent their establishment before they enter their antibiotic-tolerant state. A recent collaborative study by the lab of Lung Biology Center member George O'Toole, along with collaborators at UCLA and Oxford University, provides new insight into early events in biofilm formation. This study showed that Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an important CF pathogen, uses the signaling molecule cAMP as a sort of "bacterial memory". Short interactions with a surface by Pseudomonas aeruginosa primes the cells for future attachment events the next time the cell encounters a surface (for example, a medical implant or tissue), thus facilitating biofilm formation. Link to article, Multigenerational Memory and Adaptive Adhesion in Early Bacterial Biofilm Communities.

Dartmouth Lung Biology Group Receives CFF Community Spirit Award


The Dartmouth Lung Biology Group was awarded the Community Spirit Award at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Volunteer Appreciation Dinner for our Great Strides Kickoff Event last spring. The Lung Biology Team's Kickoff Event encouraged graduate students in Dartmouth Lung Biology labs to express their thesis in arts and crafts to be displayed at the Great Strides for Cystic Fibrosis walk and generated enthusiasm and team spirit for the walk. The event was organized by Jessie Scott and Katie Price.

James Bliska to Lead Dartmouth Cystic Fibrosis Research Cluster

January 2018

Noted molecular biologist James Bliska, PhD, is joining the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth as a Distinguished Professor in Microbiology and Immunology and senior lead faculty member of the Personalized Treatments for Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Cluster, a cross-Dartmouth group of investigators established to develop innovative, personalized medicine and treatments for CF and lung infections caused by opportunistic pathogens. For additional information.

Paper Chosen as Best Research Paper of January

January 2018

The paper Lumacaftor (VX-809) restores the ability of CF macrophages to phagocytose and kill Pseudomonas aeruginosaby was selected as the best research paper of January by the American Journal of Physiology: Lung, Cell and Molecular Physiology. The article is co-authored by Dartmouth Lung Biology Center Director Bruce Stanton, Stanton lab members Roxanna Barnaby, Katja Koeppen and Thomas Hampton, as well as others from the Geisel School of Medicine and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

More News...


2017-2018 Weekly Lung Biology Seminar Series Sponsored by Lung Biology Center

Please click here to view the weekly schedule.