Assistant Professor
Cell Biology and Neuroscience, USA Center for Lung Biology

Postdoctoral Studies:University of Cambridge England
and University of South Alabama

Ph.D.:University of South Alabama

Research Summary:
The pulmonary endothelial barrier is critical to efficient gas exchange to supply the body with oxygen.  This single cells layer acts as a barrier restricting the flux of blood components from the vascular space into the underlying tissue.  Damage to the endothelial barrier is a characteristic feature of acute lung injury (ALI) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
One of our areas of interest is compartmentalized cAMP signals in regulation of this pulmonary endothelial barrier.  While cAMP signals generated at the plasma membrane are barrier protective, cAMP signals generated in the cytosolic compartment by bacterial toxins are barrier disruptive.  We are further exploring compartmentalized cAMP signals by investigating the role of the recently identified mammalian soluble adenylyl cyclase (AC10 or sAC) in regulation of the endothelial barrier.  This enzyme is stimulated by bicarbonate to generate cytosolic cAMP, yet its role in the physiology of the endothelium is unknown.  Further, we are investigating how extracellular bicarbonate transits the plasma membrane to stimulate AC10.  Thus, our second area of interest is in bicarbonate transporters in the pulmonary endothelium.  We are interested in these transporters not only for the regulation of AC10, but we are also investigating how bicarbonate influx through these transporters affects intracellular pH.

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