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Pulmonary Toxicology Facility

The overarching goal of the Pulmonary Toxicology Facility (PTF) is to provide the facilities and expertise for investigators to enhance the productivity and quality of their pulmonary toxicology research and to assist them in exploring new investigative areas in asthma, pulmonary biology, inhalation toxicology, or aerosol science. In addition, investigators are supported with expertise and assays to evaluate exposures to rural airborne toxicants, asthma triggers and microorganism-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs) such as endotoxin and fungal glucans. This facility provides assistance to test hypotheses regarding the pulmonary biology of asthma and other environmental lung diseases adopting an adverse outcomes approach, and the physicochemical properties and toxicologic effects of endotoxin, allergens, bioaerosols, engineered nanomaterials and airborne chemical toxicants. The work of the PTF is conducted applying the highest quality assurance standards and modern concepts of scientific rigor and transparency.

Specific Aims

The Specific Aims for the Pulmonary Toxicology Facility are to:

  1. Provide expertise and facilities for the use of animal models to elucidate adverse outcome pathways of xenobiotics or to test novel inhalation therapies;
  2. Design and perform inhalation exposure studies to groups of laboratory animals under rigidly controlled exposure conditions;
  3. Assess biomarkers and sensitive physiologic endpoints to identify biological response profiles, low-dose functional changes, and susceptibility factors;
  4. Provide high-content in vitro studies using pulmonary epithelial cells exposed at the air-liquid interface;
  5. Perform exposure assessment of endotoxins, glucans, allergens, and metagonomics of microbial communities in support of epidemiologic studies of environmental lung diseases; and
  6. Facilitate pre-doctoral, post-doctoral and Associate Member training.

PTF Leadership

Director: Peter S. Thorne, PhD
Exposure Generation Specialist: Patrick T. O'Shaughnessy, PhD
Biochemist: Nervana Metwali, PhD
Toxicologist: Andrea Adamcakova-Dodd, PhD
Neurobehavioral Testing: Hui Wang, MS