Center Affiliation and Expertise: Inflammation and Innate Immunity
Dr. Zabner has significant experience at basic CF research, clinical CF research, and the care of patients with lung disease, including CF. Several aspects of his research would be best classified as translational research. His basic research focuses in two areas, gene transfer to airway epithelia, including the basic mechanisms and development of new approaches to gene transfer, and investigation of the pathogenesis of CF airway disease, including mechanisms of electrolyte transport and bacterial killing. The main goal of his current gene therapy efforts include work is to improve efficiency of adenovirus-mediated gene transfer to the airways. Dr. Zabner’s laboratory is also involved in delineating mechanisms of altered NaCl concentration in the airway surface fluid (ASF) of CF as compared to non-CF epithelia. To address these questions, he uses primary cultures of normal and CF airway epithelia to measure ion concentrations of ASF. Three different methods including ion-selective electrodes, measurement of ASF in which the capillary pressure of the cilia is replaced by osmotic pressure from a non-absorbed osmolyte, and radioactive tracers studied at equilibrium, are used to address these issues. The results of these studied are central to understanding how the lack of CFTR Cl- channels causes CF lung disease.