Position title: Incoming KL2 Scholar
*** New for 2021 *** Hilary Faust, MD, MTR, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Care. Her research project is entitled, “Contribution of Mitochondrial DNA and Toll-Like Receptor 9 To ARDS Risk in Critically Ill Patients.” Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a common and highly morbid syndrome that has been linked to circulating mitochondrial DNA, which ligates an innate immune receptor called TLR9 to initiate inflammation. Whether this pathway can be targeted for prevention or treatment is a critical question as there are no pharmacologic therapies for ARDS. The goal of this project is to identify patients who may benefit from mitochondrial DNA-targeted therapies through combining circulating mtDNA quantification with assessments of TLR9 expression, and to identify effective mtDNA-directed therapies using an innovative lung on a chip microfluidic model.
Dr. Faust’s KL2 mentors are Loren Denlinger, MD, PhD (SMPH), and Michael Shashaty, MD, MSCE (University of Pennsylvania).