Members of the Lung Development and Regeneration Lab at Mayo Clinic are focusing their investigations in several areas.
Molecular and temporal regulation of cellular plasticity
While studying a molecular signal critical in fate selection of the distal lung epithelium, Dr. Brownfield's lab found that a window of plasticity exists wherein fate conversion can occur. Characterization of the timing and molecular basis of this window is underway as well as work on its relevance in repair and regeneration.
Biophysical regulation of cell differentiation
While mechanical cues have long been implicated in shaping lung development, more research is needed to understand how they differentially manifest and mediate changes at the cellular and molecular level. The lab is studying how cell-intrinsic mechanical properties are regulated during development and what their impacts are on cellular differentiation.
Development of regenerative therapeutics
Using a novel engraftment model, the lab is actively testing findings from developmental studies to determine whether regulation of cellular plasticity can improve progenitor expansion in vitro as well as repair in vivo.