The current ongoing studies and collaborations by the Worgall laboratory include:
Adenovirus-based vaccines against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). The laboratory works on novel genetic vaccine strategies against pulmonary infections with P. aeruginosa, a major pathogen in in patients with cystic fibrosis, and against RSV, a virus associated with wheezing and asthma in children.
Macrophages and dendritic cells in cystic fibrosis. These studies aim to understand the role of lung antigen-presenting cells, in particular macrophages and dendritic cells, for the pathogenesis of cystic fibrosis lung disease. Recently the laboratory identified abnormalities in sphingolipid metabolism as potential factors in the etiology of CF lung disease.
Sphingolipid synthesis and asthma. This project explores the relationship of impaired sphingolipid synthesis to the development of asthma. This work aims to identify novel mechanisms in the pathogenesis of childhood asthma. Laboratory studies in mice and translational studies in children with asthma are currently ongoing to better define alterations in sphingolipids in childhood asthma.
Mast cells and chronic lung disease of prematurity. This collaborative project with Dr. Randi Silver, Department of Physiology and Biophysics at WMC, analyzes the role mast cells play in neonatal lung disease. Using a model of exposure to hyperoxia and prenatal inflammation the two laboratories aim to better understand the mechanisms on the development of lung disease, in particular asthma and susceptibility to subsequent infections with RSV.