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Juan C. Celedón, MD, DrPH

Juan Celedon, MD
Job Title Chief of Service, Division of Pediatric Pulmonology, Allergy and Immunology, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
Job Title Director, Center for Environmental Health, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
Job Title Niels K. Jerne Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Job Title Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Job Title Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Department of Human Genetics, Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh
4401 Penn Ave., Suite Rangos Research Building, 9th Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
412-692-5630 Phone
412-692-7636 Fax

Education and Training

Medical School:

2001 DrPH, Epidemiology/Genetic Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Mass.
1999 MPH, Quantitative Methods, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Mass.
1988 MD, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana School of Medicine, Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia


1992 Internal Medicine, Beth Israel Medical Center, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, N.Y.


2000 Research Fellow, Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Mass.
1999 Research/Clinical Fellow, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.
1995 Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine, Brown University School of Medicine, Providence, R.I.


  • American College of Physicians, Fellow
  • American College of Chest Physicians, Fellow 
  • American Thoracic Society (ATS)
  • Chair, Program Committee, Environmental, Occupational and Population Health Assembly, ATS
  • Vice-Chair, Health Equality Committee, ATS
  • Member, Program Committee, Allergy and Immunology Assembly, ATS
  • American Society of Human Genetics
  • Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
  • American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, , Fellow (directly elected)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), Diplomate 
  • ABIM – Pulmonary Disease, Diplomate 
  • ABIM – Critical Care Medicine, Diplomate


  • 2015  Lifetime Achievement Award for Innovations in Health Equality, American Thoracic Society
  • 2015 Member, Association of American Physicians
  • 2014 Nathan Francis Mossell Lecture, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
  • 2014 Claude Lenfant Award for Outstanding Contributions in Asthma, Interasma (Global Asthma Association)
  • 2014 Recognition Award for Scientific Accomplishments, American Thoracic Society
  • 2014 Provost’s Inaugural Lecture, University of Pittsburgh
  • 2013 Outstanding Contributions to Pediatrics, Universidad de Cartagena (Colombia)
  • 2013- Member, American Pediatric Society
  • 2012-2017 Permanent Member, Board of Scientific Counselors, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
  • 2010 Niels K. Jerne Professor of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh
  • 2010- Honorary Member, Colombian Society of Pediatric Pulmonology
  • 2010 Leadership in Hispanic Health, National Hispanic Medical Association
  • 2010 A. Clifford Barger Excellence in Mentoring Award, Harvard Medical School
  • 2010- Member, American Society for Clinical Investigation
  • 2009 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, Directly Elected as Fellow
  • 2009 Brigham and Women’s Leadership Program, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Business School
  • 2006 Annual Faculty Teaching Award, Awarded for Outstanding Skill and Expertise as a Teacher of Human Genetics, Scholars in Clinical Science Program, Harvard Medical School
  • 2005 Young Mentor Award, Harvard Medical School
  • 2004 Leadership Development for Physicians and Scientists, Harvard Medical School
  • 1999 Charles A. King Trust Research Fellowship, The Medical Foundation, Boston, MA
  • 1988 Best Graduate, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana School of Medicine
  • 1985-1987 Student Representative to the Academic Council, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana School of Medicine
  • 1981 “Andrés Bello” Medal (Outstanding High School Graduate), Ministry of Education, Republic of Colombia 


  • Rosas-Salazar C, Ramratnam S, Brehm J, Han YY, Boutaoui N, Forno E, Acosta-Pérez E, Alvarez M, Colón-Semidey A, Canino G, Celedón JC. Prematurity, atopy and childhood asthma in Puerto Ricans. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2014; 133: 357-62.
  • Forno E, Acosta-Pérez E, Brehm J, Han YY, Alvarez M, Colón-Semidey A, Canino G, Celedón JC. Obesity and adiposity indicators, asthma and atopy in Puerto
    Rican children. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2013 November 28 [Epub ahead of print].
  • Bunyavanich S, Silberg J, Lasky-Su J, Gillespie N, Lange N, Canino G, Celedón JC. A twin study of early-childhood asthma in Puerto Ricans. PLoS One 2013; 8(7):e68473.    
  • Chen W, Boutaoui N, Brehm JM, Han YY, Schmitz C, Cressley A, Acosta-Pérez E, Alvarez  M, Colón-Semidey A, Baccarelli A, Weeks DE, Kolls JK, Canino G, Celedón  JC. ADCYAP1R1 and asthma in Puerto Rican children. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2013; 187(6):584-8.

    View Dr. Celedón's full list of publications from PubMed.

Research Interests

I am a pulmonologist and genetic epidemiologist committed to research, mentoring, and patient care. My research goals are to identify genetic factors and early-life environmental exposures that influence the development of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), particularly in ethnic minorities.  
I have had a longstanding interest on early-life risk factors for obstructive airway diseases. We first demonstrated that “reverse causation” partly explains observed associations between antibiotic use and childhood asthma, and that maternal asthma modifies the relation between selected environmental exposures and childhood asthma. We have also shown that variants in the gene for matrix metalloproteinase 12 (MMP12) influence lung function and/or COPD development in high-risk groups (children with asthma and adult smokers). 
Puerto Ricans and Mexican Americans markedly differ with regard to asthma burden (the “Hispanic paradox”). We have shown that underlying differences in racial ancestry (assessed by genetic markers) likely explain this finding. In particular, we reported that African ancestry is inversely related to lung function in Puerto Rican children, but that Native American ancestry is positively related to lung function (but inversely related to COPD) in New Mexicans Hispanics and Costa Ricans. We are now trying to determine whether genetic variants that are more common in West Africans or Native Americans than in Europeans explain our results for racial ancestry in Puerto Ricans (who have mostly European, African and Native American ancestry) and Costa Ricans (who have mostly European and Native American ancestry). In both cases, we are conducting replication studies for genome-wide association studies (GWASs) of airway diseases and their intermediate phenotypes. Among Puerto Rican children, we are also performing genome-wide interaction studies (GWISs) for allergen exposure and vitamin D on childhood asthma and lung function.

We first reported that physical or sexual abuse is associated with increased asthma morbidity (in a study of Puerto Rican children). In another study, we showed that paternal and maternal depression are associated with increased asthma burden from ages 1 to 3 years in Puerto Rican twins. More recently, we reported that genetic and epigenetic variation in ADCYAP1R1 is associated with childhood asthma in Puerto Ricans. Furthermore, we demonstrated that exposure to personal and community violence is associated with both ADCYAP1R1 methylation and asthma in these children. We now plan to examine the impact of parental/individual-level stress on (genome-wide) DNA methylation and gene expression in Puerto Rican children.

We first showed that vitamin D insufficiency is associated with severe asthma exacerbations in a study of Costa Rican children, a finding then replicated in North American and Puerto Rican children. We are now conducting a clinical trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent severe asthma exacerbations in childhood. Such trial is being complemented by mechanistic studies of the effects of vitamin D on viral illnesses and steroid responsiveness As always, thanks for your help.

I am keenly interested in mentoring the next generation of physician-scientists. I was deeply humbled and honored to be the first faculty member of Harvard Medical School to ever receive both the Young Mentor Award (2005) and the A. Clifford Barger Excellence in Mentoring Award (2010).

Active Research Projects / Grants

  • Epigenetic Variation and Asthma in Puerto Rican Children
  • Clinical Trial of Vitamin D Supplementation to Prevent
  • Severe Asthma Exacerbations in Children
  • Genes, Home Allergens, and Asthma in Puerto Rican Children
  • The Genetic Epidemiology of COPD in Costa Rica
Last Update
May 25, 2015
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Last Update
May 25, 2015