In the second of a 4-part series, Augustine M.K. Choi, MD, Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City speaks with Pulmonology Advisor about a recent research grant his team was awarded.
Pulmonology Advisor: Could you talk about the research that is covered in the National Institutes of Health R01 grant that was just awarded?
The National Institutes of Health Research Project Grant (R01; Metabolic Dysfunction Regulates Mitophagy-Dependent Necroptosis in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease [COPD]) attempts to characterize the mechanism of how too much autophagy, focused on mitochondrial dysfunction and mitochondrial clearance, can lead to lung disease. In other words, how does the autophagic process or mitophagy (getting rid of bad mitochondria) contribute to the pathogenesis of emphysema? We have a basic component — fundamental discoveries — for half the grant, but the other half, consistent with our goals of translating our basic discoveries to human studies, is to determine whether we can actually measure and detect the levels of these autophagic markers in human disease; specifically, patients with COPD. Again, this is aligned with our goals here at Weill Cornell Medicine, where we are really focusing on identifying new diagnostics and therapeutics in human diseases.
Disclosures: Dr. Choi is the cofounder of Proterris, a company that aims to develop CO therapeutically.