Andrew H. Limper, M.D., studies lung defense and elimination of fungal infections, such as pneumocystis pneumonia, in patients with impaired defense systems. Lung infections (pneumonias) are particularly life-threatening in people with weakened host immunity. Dr. Limper and his team seek to find new ways beyond traditional antibiotics to prevent and fight lung infections in these individuals.
Additional research interests focus on interstitial lung diseases and pulmonary fibrosis. Dr. Limper's laboratory studies the causes and mechanisms of pulmonary fibrosis in an effort to identify new drug combinations that may be beneficial for patients with these disorders.
In 2017, Dr. Limper was named the Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery Associate Dean of Practice Transformation. In this role, he leads a team highly focused on the science of care delivery, not simply on anecdotal evidence. Using innovative pilot projects, novel methodologies combined with patient-centered approaches, and robust data mining and management technology, the team works closely with Mayo Clinic practice to discover new ways to improve health and the way people experience health care.
- Dr. Limper and his team have identified novel classes of drugs that strongly suppress infection in fungal pneumonias. Dr. Limper's studies in pneumocystis pneumonia and other fungal infections indicate that these agents hold significant promise for treating serious fungal infections of the lung.
- Dr. Limper's lung fibrosis studies leverage a cell-based screening assay to identify drug combinations that have synergistic benefit in halting lung fibrosis. Dr. Limper and his team rapidly screen dozens of drug combinations to identify those of greatest promise for patients with progressive lung fibrosis.
Significance to patient care
Fungal pneumonias such as pneumocystis pneumonia and invasive aspergillus pneumonia have high fatality rates in immunocompromised patients, exceeding 40 percent in some cases. Better treatments are required to improve survival rates in these serious infections. The research of Dr. Limper and his team aims to develop new drugs to treat these fungal pneumonias.
Similarly, patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis experience progressive loss of lung function, leading to death in three to five years on average after diagnosis. Current medications have not impacted this disease. Dr. Limper's goal is to discover new treatments for this illness.
- Associate Dean of Practice Transformation, Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, Mayo Clinic, 2017-2021
- Endowed professor, Walter and Leonore Annenberg Professor of Pulmonary Medicine, 2006-present