Penn Center for Pulmonary Biology
The Penn Center for Pulmonary Biology (PCPB) is an interdisciplinary center focused on the identification and harnessing of disease causing mechanisms that affect the respiratory system. Respiratory disease is the third leading cause of death in the United States, after cardiovascular disease and cancer. While deaths rates due to cardiovascular disease and cancer have been declining, the rates of death due to lung disease has been climbing. In the pediatric population, pulmonary disease remains a leading cause of neonatal distress and death. The PCPB brings together a diverse group of investigators and clinicians to unravel the underlying mechanisms of respiratory disease and begin to utilize such findings to improve clinical medicine.
The Primary Goals of the PCPB are:
- Create resources at Penn and CHOP to facilitate basic discovery through translational research in pulmonary biology with a focus on using humans as a "model system"
- Bring together researchers directly involved in pulmonary research as well as those outside the field to build an interactive and rigorous community capable of addressing the most compelling and important questions in pulmonary biology
- Educate and train the next generation of scientists and physician-scientists who are critical for the future success of pulmonary research.
Researchers in the Morrisey Laboratory have recently enhanced our understanding of lung developmental biology by demonstrating that an Hdac3-mediated pathway regulates TGF-b signaling, which is required for the spreading of distal lung epithelial cells, generating the large surface area that is required for efficient gas exchange and terrestrial life.