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Graduate Student Expo 2011

 Brent Walling, PhD/Pathology Residency candidate
Perturbation of Pulmonary innate immunity to respiratory pathogens by carbon nanotubes
Advisor:  G. Lau

Carbon nanotubes (CNT) have many physiologic properties which can be applied in the development of polymers, electrical equipment, including capacitors and transistors, as well as medical devices such as drug delivery systems.  However, due to their size in which one dimension is usually between 10-200 nanometers, they potentially can be inhaled and deposited in the lower respiratory tract.  Multiple studies have demonstrated pulmonary toxicity secondary to CNT exposure as well as alterations in the immune response but almost no research has explored the impact of CNT toxicity as it relates to infection by pulmonary pathogens.  My work will explore the impact of CNT toxicity on the innate immune response to the respiratory pathogen Pseudomonas aeuruginosa.  Additionally, the molecular mechanisms of pulmonary goblet cell hyperplasia, a histologic change seen secondary to chronic CNT exposure, will be elucidated.