Elina Jerschow, M.D., is a dedicated researcher specializing in nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug-exacerbated respiratory disease (N-ERD), also known as aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD). This clinical syndrome manifests as asthma, nasal polyposis, and acute respiratory reactions to cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) inhibitors, which include aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Dr. Jerschow's expertise lies in unraveling the complexities of N-ERD, which ranks among the most severe forms of asthma and is a major cause of asthma morbidity. Nasal polyps and aberrant arachidonic acid metabolism are the core contributors to this syndrome. By studying the mechanism of nasal polyp growth and quick recurrence after surgical removal, Dr. Jerschow's laboratory aims to identify key proteins governing immune cell activation in nasal polyp tissue.
Furthermore, Dr. Jerschow's laboratory explores microbial agents contributing to nasal polyp development in individuals with chronic rhinosinusitis, particularly that associated with N-ERD. Another focal point of her investigations lies in comprehending arachidonic acid metabolism and the contributions of oxylipin and eicosanoid metabolism to nasal polyps and asthma. Through a deep understanding of these pivotal metabolic pathways and the regulatory proteins involved, Dr. Jerschow's team aims to gain insights into cellular functions and identify novel therapeutic targets for enhanced treatment of nasal polyps and asthma.
- Investigating the immune mechanisms underlying N-ERD and nasal polyposis by using in vitro human cell systems, with a specific emphasis on T cell biology.
- Defining the microbiome's role in the inflammation observed in nasal polyposis.
- Determining the significance of eicosanoids and other oxylipins in N-ERD.
- Discovering more-effective targets for the treatment of N-ERD to improve patient outcomes and reduce the health care burden.
Significance to patient care
By unraveling the mechanisms regulating CD4+ T cells, Dr. Jerschow's research holds significant implications for patient care by gaining insights into how these cells contribute both to the development of nasal polyps and to the inflammation in asthma and polyps. These insights can be used to augment the healing process of allergic diseases, particularly nasal polyps and asthma. N-ERD remains an incurable condition with substantial health care burdens, and despite the advent of more-efficacious therapies, certain patients either exhibit nonresponsiveness or face the need to discontinue costly biologic treatments. Discontinuation of treatment often results in symptom recurrence or deterioration.
Thus, the identification of pathogenic mechanisms underlying N-ERD is poised to reveal more-effective targets for its treatment, potentially extending to other atopic conditions, such as asthma.
- Elected member, Leo M. Davidoff Society for distinguished teaching of medical students, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 2022.
- Member, Microbiology and Immunology Committee, United States Medical Licensing Examination, 2020.
- Mentor recognition, American College of Physicians, New York Chapter, 2019.
- Visiting Professorship, AERD Center of Excellence, Harvard University, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 2017.