The I.M. Rosenzweig Junior Investigator Award Winners
The I.M. Rosenzweig Junior Investigator Award was established to encourage researchers to maintain and enhance their interest in PF research during the early stages of their academic career.
Vinicio de Jesus Perez, MD
Proposal Title: “HH-10: A novel therapeutic for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis”
This proposal is funded by the NYC Run-Walk-Hike for Pulmonary Fibrosis.Dr. Vinicio de Jesus Perez received his MD from the University of Puerto Rico Medical School and completed an internal medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital. He subsequently trained in pulmonary and critical care medicine in Denver, followed by postdoctoral research training at Stanford University, where he currently serves as assistant professor of medicine. His current research focuses on understanding the genetic and molecular mechanisms of pulmonary hypertension (PH), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and tuberous sclerosis/LAM. He is principal investigator of a research program dedicated to identifying new therapeutic approaches to treat these conditions. As a medical professional belonging to a minority group, Dr. de Jesus Perez is involved in academic endeavors seeking to improve access of care for patients with disadvantageous ethnic backgrounds and promote diversity in medicine.
Koji Sakamoto, MD, PhD
Nagoya University, Japan
Proposal Title: “The role of LincRNA FENDRR as a novel regulator of myofibroblast differentiation in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis”
This proposal is funded by the Jenny H. Krauss and Otto F. Krauss Charitable Foundation Trust, in memory of Stephen N. DirksDr. Sakamoto is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Respiratory Medicine at Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine. After several years of clinical service in one of leading center for pulmonary fibrosis patients in the country, he earned his PhD, and subsequently finished postdoctoral training at Yale University. Currently
His research interests include dissecting unveiled epigenetic mechanisms of lung fibrogenesis by implementing high-throughput analytic methodology. In particular, he has been interested in characterizing the pathogenic role of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) as epigenetic disease regulators, and seeking the potential of lncRNAs as novel therapeutic targets. Besides his research activities in fibrogenesis biology, he has also established specialized clinic for pulmonary fibrosis patients to conduct clinical studies.
The Albert Rose Established Investigator Award Winners
Created to allow established investigators to explore novel, innovative areas of research, the Albert Rose Established Investigator Award provides critical support to the development of new projects, and enables the investigator to pursue additional funding through the National Institutes of Health or other agencies. Two $50,000 grants are awarded per annual cycle, disbursed over a two-year period.
Jerry Yu, MD, PhD
University of Louisville Research Foundation, Inc.
Proposal Title: ”The vagus nerve in pulmonary fibrosis”
This proposal is funded by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Dr. Yu was recently awarded a larger research grant from the VA to continue his work in pulmonary fibrosis. Effective 10/1/17, Dr. Yu has relinquished this award to further this important research.
Dr. Jerry Yu is a Professor of Medicine and a senior member of the Graduate School at the University of Louisville. He received his medical training at Shanghai First Medical College and his Ph.D. degree from the University of California, San Francisco. He pursued further research training in the Department of Physiology at the University of Louisville, in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and then in Pulmonary Medicine at the University of Manitoba, Canada. He became an Assistant Professor at the University of Louisville in the Department of Medicine in 1994 and was promoted to tenured Full Professorship in 2007. His research projects have been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association, and VA Merit Review grants. Dr. Jerry Yu’s research interests center around neural control of the cardiopulmonary system. Currently, his research goal is to identify the roles of neuro-immune interaction in lung diseases and explore neural regulatory mechanisms in lung injury, repair and regeneration.
Guoying Yu, PhD
Proposal Title: “Thyroid hormone as a novel therapeutic agent in lung fibrosis”Dr. Guoying Yu got his BS, MS and PhD in the Henan Normal University, Yunnan University, and The Chinese Academy of Sciences in the Peoples' Republic of China respectively. He joined Dr. Kaminski' research group in 2006 in University of Pittsburgh and completed his research fellow training on pulmonary and moved to Yale in 2013. Dr. Yu has undertaken basic and translational investigations into idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a progressive, scarring of the alveolar parenchyma that ultimately leads to respiratory failure and death, charactering by the epithelial cell injury and unremitting accumulation of fibroblasts with unknown etiology without effective therapy. To gain insight into the pathogenesis of IPF, based on gene expression profiling of IPF lungs compared to normal controls, we focus on the genes that exhibited altered expression in IPF under the rationale that genes likely contribute to the development of pulmonary fibrosis. Currently I’m focusing on exploring the role and regulation of MMP19, miR-29 and thyroid hormone in human pulmonary fibrosis. We first investigated the role of thyroid hormone in pulmonary fibrosis and demonstrated that aerosolized TH delivery reversed bleomycin-induced fibrosis through restoration of AECs’ mitochondrial homeostasis and may represent an effective therapeutic strategy for patients with IPF.