Thousands of patients with acute lung injury die each year from complications of mechanical ventilation. There is overwhelming experimental evidence that large lung deformations promote edema and may trigger inflammation. This evidence has generated an intense debate about the appropriate choice of ventilator settings for patients with injured lungs and has fueled research on the mechanisms of ventilator-induced lung injury (VILI).
Research in my laboratory focuses on both mechanisms and biologic sequelae of lung deformation. We are addressing this problem using different experimental models that range in scale from whole animals to structural elements of individual cells.