Lisa Young, M.D.

dr_lisa_youngLisa Young, M.D Lisa Young, M.D., is a physician-scientist focusing on research in genetic and interstitial lung diseases (ILD). Dr. Young’s research lab utilizes both laboratory-based and patient-oriented research approaches to study ILD and other rare lung diseases in both adults and children.

Her lab’s primary interest is in the role of the alveolar epithelium and alveolar macrophages in the regulation of pulmonary inflammation and fibrosis. The lab utilizes genetic mouse models to understand the cell biology and mechanisms of ILD pathogenesis. It also maintains a longitudinal research cohort of children with ILD and other rare lung diseases.

The collaborative environment in the Vanderbilt University Center for Lung Research and longstanding studies in familial ILD and Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis provide tremendous synergy for the lab’s studies. In particular, the lab is working on the mechanisms of Pulmonary Fibrosis in Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome (HPS). Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome (HPS) is an inherited disorder in which almost all adults with certain subtypes develop fatal pulmonary fibrosis, typically in early adulthood.

The lab utilizes mouse models to understand what causes pulmonary fibrosis in HPS and how new therapies might be developed. Their hypothesis is that HPS trafficking defects in alveolar epithelial cells result in increased reactive oxygen species production and enhanced secretion of mediators, which recruit and activate alveolar macrophages in the local microenvironment. They also study how these mechanisms apply to other more common forms of ILD.

Dr. Young was the first recipient of the joint grant from the HPS Network and the American Thoracic Society (ATS). She currently holds a $1.9 million R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to research the pulmonary fibrosis of Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome (HPS). It is hoped her research will not only aid in finding better treatments for HPS, but also for thousands of patients battling more common forms of pulmonary fibrosis.