Mehrad Lab

Mehrad Lab

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Personal Statement

I am a physician-scientist with a background in pulmonary medicine, critical care and infectious diseases. I study mechanisms of lung host defense, injury, and repair in the context of disease; my research addresses two broad areas:

  1. Host defense mechanisms in pulmonary infections: I began my career by developing a mouse model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis, and have made several contributions to this field — for example, we identified TNF as key to host defenses against aspergillosis, an observation that later became clinically important when anti-TNF antibodies were developed for human use.
  2. Lung fibrosis: we investigate a circulating mononuclear phagocyte population, called fibrocytes, as mediators of lung fibrogenesis in animal models of lung injury and in patients with fibrotic lung diseases. As part of the latter project, I have completed several translational studies in human subjects and performed an investigator-initiated and NIH-funded randomized controlled trial.

As part of the latter project, I have completed several translational studies in human subjects and performed an investigator-initiated and NIH-funded randomized controlled trial.

Research Support

Ongoing

  • National Institutes of Health (U01EB024501), “Modular design of multiscale models, with an application to the innate immune response to fungal respiratory pathogens,” Borna Mehrad, Co-principle Investigator; 7/1/2017-06/30/2021.
  • National Institutes of Health (1R01AI135128), “Multi-scale modeling of the battle over iron in invasive lung infection,” Borna Mehrad, Co-principle Investigator (MPI); 5/1/2018-4/30/2023, annual direct costs $631,495.
  • American Heart Association Transformational Project Award (18TPA34170486), “Circulating fibrocytes as biomarkers of cardiac sarcoidosis,” Borna Mehrad, Principle Investigator; 7/1/2018-6/30/2021, annual direct costs $100,000.

Completed

  • National Institutes of Health (R21AI117397), “Neutrophils and adaptive immunity against invasive aspergillosis,” Borna Mehrad, Principle Investigator; 4/1/15-3/31/18.
  • National Institutes of Health (R01HL098329), “Fibrocytes in human pulmonary fibrosis,” Borna Mehrad, Co-Principle Investigator; 3/1/11-1/31/16 (no-cost extension until 1/31/17).
  • University of Virginia School of Medicine Transformative, Collaborative Science Pilot Grant. “Hyper-polarized xenon MRI as a biomarker in pulmonary fibrosis” Borna Mehrad, Co-Principle Investigator, 1/1/15-12/31/15.
  • National Institutes of Health (R01HL098526), “Fibrocytes in the pathogenesis of sickle cell lung disease,” C. Edward Rose, Principle Investigator; Borna Mehrad, Co-Investigator; 9/5/2010-8/31/2014.
  • National Institutes of Health (R01HL073848), “NK cells in host defense against invasive aspergillosis,” Borna Mehrad, Principal Investigator; 7/11/03-5/31/14.

Publication Highlights

  • Barletta KE, Ley K, Mehrad B. Regulation of neutrophil function by adenosine. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2012; 32(4):856-64. PMCID: PMC3353547
  • Park SJ, Burdick MD, Mehrad B. Neutrophils mediate maturation and efflux of lung dendritic cells in response to Aspergillus germ tubes. Infect Immun. 2012; 80(5):1759-65. PMCID: PMC3347458
  • Barletta KE, Cagnina RE, Burdick MD, Linden J, Mehrad B. Adenosine A2B receptor-deficiency promotes host defenses against Gram-negative bacterial pneumonia. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2012; 186(10):1044-50. PMCID: PMC3530209
  • Chen L, Zhang Z, Barletta KE, Burdick MD, Mehrad B. Heterogeneity of lung mononuclear phagocytes during pneumonia: contribution of chemokine receptors. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 2013; 305(10):L702-11. PMCID: PMC3840272
  • Trimble A, Gochuico BR, Markello TC, Fischer R, Gahl WA, Lee JK, Kim K, Burdick MD, Strieter RM, Mehrad B. Circulating fibrocytes as biomarker of prognosis in Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2014; 190(12):1395-401. PMCID: PMC4299649
  • Mehrad B, Clark NM, Zhanel GG, Lynch JP 3rd. Antimicrobial resistance in hospital-acquired Gram-negative bacterial infections. Chest 2015; 147(5):1413-21. PMCID: PMC4420185.
  • Michels K, Nemeth E, Ganz T, Mehrad B. The role of hepcidin in host defense against infectious diseases. PLoS Pathogens 2015;11(8):e1004998. PMCID: PMC4546197
  • Oremland M, Michels K, Bettina A, Lawrence C, Mehrad B, Laubenbacher R. Computational model of invasive aspergillosis in the lung. BMC Syst Biol. 2016; 10(1):34. doi: 10.1186/s12918-016-0275-2. PMCID: PMC4839115
  • Keeley EC, Marinescu MA, Burdick MD, Strieter RM, Mehrad B. Circulating fibrocytes as predictors of adverse events in unstable angina. Transl Res 2016 ;172:73-83.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.trsl.2016.02.013. Epub 2016 Mar 8. PMCID: PMC4866880
  • Bettina A, Zhang Z, Michels K, Cagnina RE, Vincent I, Burdick MD, Kadl A, Mehrad B. M-CSF mediates host defense during bacterial pneumonia by promoting the survival of lung and liver mononuclear phagocytes. J Immunol. 2016;196(12):5047-55. PMCID: PMC4893984
  • Michels K, Zhang Z, Bettina A, Cagnina RE, Stefanova D, Burdick MD, Nemeth E, Ganz T, Mehrad B. 2017. Hepcidin-mediated iron sequestration is required for host defense against pneumonia. JCI Insight. 2017;2(6):e92002. PMCID: PMC5358492
  • Mehrad B, Burdick MD, Wandersee NJ, Shahir KS, Zhang L, Simpson PM, Strieter RM, Field JJ. Circulating fibrocytes as biomarkers of impaired lung function in adults with sickle cell disease. Blood Adv 2017. In press.
  • Bryant AJ, Mehrad B, Brusko T, West J, Moldawer LL. Myeloid-derived suppressor cells and pulmonary hypertension. Int J Mol Sci 2018;19(8). PMID: 30081463.