Medical Science Research Building III
1150 West Medical Center Drive
Ann Arbor , MI 48109-5642
Work: (734) 936-5010
The White Lab is primarily interested in the extracellular matrix (ECM) and the role it plays in lung health and disease.
One particular focus of our lab is on the molecular mechanisms of fibrosis in human interstitial lung diseases. In this regard, we study mesenchymal cells (fibroblasts) and the ways in which they are influenced by (and influence) the ECM. The turnover and deposition of new ECM is not the endpoint in fibrosis, but is proximal in the series of events that leads to destruction and distortion of the normal lung tissue and the fibrotic remodeling of lung. By studying cells and tissues of patients with fibrotic lung disease we hope to understand the mechanisms by which tissue fibrosis occurs in vivo.
As an offshoot of this work, we are also interested in the utility of ECM and related molecules as biomarkers for patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. We have developed a high-throughput Luminex-based multi-analyte panel to assess whether markers of ECM production and turnover may provide prognostic information to help guide management of these patients.
Another focus of our work deals with lung regeneration and repair. Our lab is part of the recently-formed NIH sponsored Lung Repair and Regeneration Consortium, in which we will be focusing on using acellular human lung matrices to answer fundamental questions about lung cell biology by evaluating the role of the ECM in driving cellular phenotype. With better understanding of ECM-cell interactions in a complex 3D tissue, we believe our work will set the stage for human lung regeneration.