Gene Therapy of Cystic Fibrosis Associate Members

Mahmoud Abou Alaiwa, MD Name: Mahmoud Abou Alaiwa, MD

Title: Assistant Professor

Focus Area: Dr. Alaiwa is currently a clinical fellow in the Zabner laboratory performing clinical and basic research on mechanisms of innate immunity in the CF airway. He has been studying the host-defense response in CF and the role played by pH in modulating this response. His published work has evaluated the pH of nasal ASL in CF and non-CF neonates, children and adults, and demonstrated that neonates with CF have an acidic nasal ASL (pH5.2+/-0.3) compared to babies without CF (pH6.4+/-0.2).

Office Number: (319) 353-6239 

Campus Address: 6338 PBDB
Blaise Boles, PhD Name: Blaise Boles, PhD 

Title: Assistant Professor

Focus Area: Dr. Boles is a new faculty recruit and will begin his appointment in July 2014. The Boles lab utilizes molecular, genetic, biochemical, and ecological approaches to understand the microbial ecology of humans, with a particular focus on the nasal environment and Staphylococcus aureus. His research focuses on dissecting pathogenic mechanisms of biofilm formation and antibiotic resistance in the airway by S. aureus. Upon his arrival at UI, he plans to become actively engaged in the Center’s CF research efforts, with a focus on S. aureus colonization and clearance in the CF airway using human, pig and ferret models. 

Office Number: (319) 335-8807 

Campus Address: 3-550 BSB
Alejandro Comellas, MD Name: Alejandro Comellas, MD

Title: Assistant Professor

Focus Area: Dr. Comellas has a broad background in clinical pulmonary medicine, specifically asthma and COPD, and more recently CF. His CF and COPD research interests on the regulation of alveolar fluid transport have demonstrated that: 1) insulin increases alveolar fluid reabsorption and Na+/K+-ATPase activity by increasing its translocation to the plasma membrane in alveolar epithelial cells, and 2) CFTR is required for maximal transepithelial liquid transport in pig alveolar epithelia, using the CF pig model. 

Office Number: (319) 384-6484

Campus Address: C 331 GH 
Michael Eberlein, MD, PhD Name: Michael Eberlein, MD, PhD

Title: Clinical Assistant Professor

Focus Area:  Dr. Eberlein’s clinical expertise includes pulmonary medicine and lung transplantation. His research includes post lung transplant physiology and bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS). He provides clinical care for CF patients who undergo transplantation at UI. His participation in the Center provides an important translational link (i.e., through the acquisition of biosamples) between studies of BOS in the ferret lung transplant model developed by Dr. Parekh and the human BOS correlate. 

Office Number: (319) 356-1265 

Campus Address: C326 GH
Julia Klesney-Tait, MD, PhD Name: Julia Klesney-Tait, MD, PhD

Title: Assistant Professor

Focus Area: Dr. Klesney-Tait’s research focuses on the role of neutrophils in the regulation of inflammation. Her laboratory utilizes animal models of pneumonia to study neutrophil function. In particular, she is interested in the Triggering Receptor Expressed on Myeloid cells 1 (TREM-1), an innate immune receptor that is expressed on neutrophils and functions as an amplifier of proinflammatory signaling. Her recent publication with Drs. Zabner and Meyerholz in the Journal of Clinical Investigation is an example of this work.

Office Number: (319) 356-3576 

Campus Address: C34-12 GH
Kalpaj Parekh, MD Name: Kalpaj Parekh, MD

Title: Associate Professor

Focus Area: Dr. Parekh’s laboratory focuses on the biology of endogenous airway epithelial stem cells in the development of obliterative bronchiolitis (OB) following lung transplantation. He has developed an orthotopic model of lung transplant in the ferret that reliably develops OB lesions like humans. He current holds a K08, with Dr. Engelhardt as his mentor. His studies are linking denervation of the lung to immune-mediated destruction of stem cell niches in the airways. He plan to move his research into gut-corrected CF ferrets. 

Office Number: (319) 353-6758

Campus Address: SE521 GH 
Christoph Randak, MD Name: Christoph Randak, MD

Title:Assistant Professor

Focus Area: 
Dr. Randak’s long-term research goal is to discover structural features and molecular mechanisms of CFTR that can be pharmacologically targeted. His research includes dissecting the structural basis of CFTR adenylate kinase activity, and mechanisms of CFTR-mediated bicarbonate secretion by the airway epithelium, as they relate to the pathophysiology of and therapy for CF. He currently holds a K08, with Dr. Welsh as his mentor, and was awarded the Harry Shwachman CF Clinical Investigator Award by the CFF.

Office Number: (319) 335-8830 

Campus Address: S215 PHAR
Bradley Rosen Name: Bradley Rosen, DO

Title: Associate

Focus Area: Dr. Rosen's research focuses on understanding the role of infection in the CF lung and elucidating aspects of infection-independent inflammatory processes mediated by mucus, which together form the hallmark of this disease.


Office Number: (319) 335-9613

Campus Address: 1-111 BSB
Long-Sheng Song Name: Long-Sheng Song, MD

Title: Professor

Focus Area: Dr. Song’s research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms of heart failure and develop novel targeted gene therapy for heart failure treatment.


Office Number: (319) 384-2890

Campus Address: 2269A CBRB