Pulmonary Medicine, Allergy and Immunology Research

Illness from lung infections is the leading reason children visit doctors in the United States each year. And worldwide, lung infections are the number-one cause of death among children. Recognizing that the susceptibility to respiratory infections is an interplay between microbe and host, researchers at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC are leading the charge against respiratory illness on multiple fronts: from pneumonia, bronchitis, cystic fibrosis and tuberculosis to sleep disorders and exotic conditions such as pulmonary lymphangiectasia and plastic bronchitis.

Children’s unique Laboratory of Lung Immunology and Host Defense is investigating the immune response to various lung pathogens. By understanding immune responses that confer protection against infection with damaging the lung, these immune responses can be exploited for novel vaccine approaches or immune-based therapies to prevent or treat lung infections. The lab is internationally known in the area of lung inflammation and Pneumocystis research and is well funded by the National Institutes of Health. It is also a recipient of one of three Specialized Centers of Clinically Oriented Research grants in the area of Host Factors in Chronic Lung Disease.

Investigating the causes and treatment of cystic fibrosis, Children’s Cystic Fibrosis Center is one of the largest of its kind in the country. There, researchers examine lung infection down to the cellular and molecular level to gain a better understanding of how the lungs protect themselves, and then to use this knowledge to develop innovative therapies.

Allergy is a common problem in children and the division is advancing novel treatments for asthma and inherited forms of allergy. The outpatient allergy program works collaboratively with the pulmonology program forming a unique multidisciplinary approach to patients with asthma and other allergic pulmonary disease. The prevalence of food allergy has dramatically increased over the last decade and its diagnosis is challenging. The clinical program at Children’s is the only one in the region that provides oral challenges and works collaboratively with gastroenterologists. At Children’s hospital of Pittsburgh, the care for children with allergies, asthma and immunodeficiencies integrates multiple subspecialists to provide optimal care for these patients.

Children’s has one of the nation’s largest bronchoscopy services, which offers technologically advanced pulmonary function testing. Studies to assess upper airway function and the regulatory mechanisms of breathing can be performed on young children and even tiny infants. Today, our understanding of lung infections and diseases is undergoing a revolution, while Children’s well-respected pulmonology and allergy/immunology research teams has emerged as a pioneer in this research.

Clinical Team

Chief of Service
Juan Celedon, MD, DrPH

Our Researchers
John F. Alcorn, PhD
Shean Aujla, MD
Jonathan D. Finder, MD
Todd Green, MD
Geoffrey Kurland, MD
David R. Nash, MD
Joseph M. Pilewski, MD
Jonathan Spahr, MD
Jieru Wang, PhD, MS
Joel H. Weinberg, MD
Daniel J. Weiner, MD
Xue-Jun Zhao, MD

Browse our clinical trials.

Learn more about Pulmonary Medicine, Allergy and Immunology services at Children’s.

Last Update
November 20, 2013
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Last Update
November 20, 2013