white coat photo web photo

Professor of Medicine and Pathology

Ben Vaughan Branscomb Chair of Medicine in Respiratory Disease

Director, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care

Vice Chair for Strategic Planning, Department of Medicine

Division of Pulmonary, Allergy & Critical Care Medicine
1720 2nd Avenue So, THT-422
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, AL 35294

Physician Provider Profile

Board Certifications
1990, American Board of Internal Medicine
1994, 2004, 2015 American Board of Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Diseases
1995, 2005, 2015 American Board of Internal Medicine, Critical Care Medicine

Medical School:  Oral Roberts University School of Medicine, Tulsa, OK

Internship:  City of Faith Hospital, Tulsa, OK

Residency:  The University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, Tulsa, OK

Chief Medical Resident: The University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, Tulsa, OK

Clinical and Research Fellowship: Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Tufts Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA           

Contact Information

Campus Address:

 THT 422

Academic Office location:

 THT 541-E

Office Phone:

 (205) 975-6376

Office Fax (Academic):

 (205) 934-1721

TKC Clinic Phone:

 (205) 801-7545

TKC Clinic Fax:

 (205) 802-8231

Email Address:

 vthannickal@uabmc.edu

Beeper #:

 1682

Office Assistant:   
Becky Wallace                            
beckywallace@uabmc.edu          
Ph: (205) 975-6376

Fax: (205) 934-1721

Brief Bio
Dr. Thannickal is Professor of Medicine and the Ben Vaughan Branscomb Chair of Medicine in Respiratory Disease at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Following his fellowship training at Tufts University School of Medicine, he has held faculty positions at Tufts, University of Michigan and UAB, where he currently serves as director of the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine. Under his leadership, the division has grown to over 55 faculty members and expanded its research and educational programs, including the institution of a highly successful NIH T32 Training Program in Lung Biology and Translational Medicine. He has a passion for mentoring and team-building; trainees from his laboratory have moved on to independent careers at academic institutions around the U.S., including the University of Michigan, Indiana University, University of California-San Francisco, and the University of Arizona.


Dr. Thannickal’s research is focused on cellular and molecular mechanisms of lung repair and regeneration. Active studies involve elucidating mechanisms of cellular senescence, oxidative stress and aging in the context of chronic lung diseases, in concert with the development of therapeutics and biomarkers for complex lung diseases. His research program is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Dr. Thannickal is an elected member of American Association of Physicians, and received the American Thoracic Society (ATS) Recognition Award for Scientific Accomplishments in 2016. He has served on the ATS Research Training Fellowship Committee (2005-2006), Scientific Advisory Committee (2011-2013), Awards Committee (2012-2013) and the RCMB Working Group on Aging (2013-2015). He has been a strong advocate for increasing research funding on behalf of the ATS and the NIH, including providing congressional testimony on Capitol Hill.

Clinical Interests  
Idiopathic interstitial pneumonias and fibrotic lung diseases; Acute lung injury/adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)

Academic & Research Interests
Cellular/molecular mechanisms of lung repair and regeneration; Regulation of mesenchymal cell phenotypes; Reactive oxygen species (ROS)-generating NADPH oxidases (NOX) enzymes; pulmonary fibrosis; interstitial lung disease

Key Publications
Pennathur S, Vivekanandan-Giri A, Locy ML, Kulkarni T, Zhi D, Zeng L, Byun J, de Andrade JA, Thannickal VJ. Oxidative Modifications of Protein Tyrosyl Residues are Increased in Plasma of Human Subjects with Interstitial Lung Disease. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2015 Nov 17. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 26575972

Thannickal VJ, Murthy M, Balch WE, Chandel NS, Meiners S, Eickelberg O, Selman M, Pardo A, White ES, Levy BD, Busse PJ, Tuder RM, Antony VB, Sznajder JI, Budinger GR.Blue journal conference. Aging and susceptibility to lung disease. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2015 Feb 1;191(3):261-9. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201410-1876PP. Review. PMID: 25590812

Thannickal VJ, Zhou Y, Gaggar A, Duncan SR. Fibrosis: ultimate and proximate causes.J Clin Invest 2014 Nov;124(11):4673-7. doi: 10.1172/JCI74368. Epub 2014 Nov 3. Review. PMI: 25365073

Hecker L, Logsdon NJ, Kurundkar D, Kurundkar A, Bernard K, Hock T, Meldrum E, Sanders YY, Thannickal VJ. Reversal of persistent fibrosis in aging by targeting Nox4-Nrf2 redox imbalance. Sci Transl Med. 2014 Apr 9;6(231):231ra47. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3008182. PMID:24718857

Bai G, Hock TD, Logsdon N, Zhou Y, Thannickal VJ. A far-upstream AP-1/Smad binding box regulates human NOX4 promoter activation by transforming growth factor-β. Gene. 2014 Apr 25;540(1):62-7. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2014.02.026. Epub 2014 Feb 21. PMID: 24560583

Bernard K, Hecker L, Luckhardt TR, Cheng G, Thannickal VJ. NADPH oxidases in lung health and disease. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2014 Jun 10;20(17):2838-53. doi: 10.1089/ars.2013.5608. Epub 2014 Jan 3. Review. PMID: 24093231

Thannickal VJ
. Mechanistic links between aging and lung fibrosis. Biogerentology. 2013 Dec;14(6):609-15. doi: 10.1007/s10522-013-9451-6. Epub 2013 Aug 9. Review. PMID:23929205

Zhou Y, Huang X, Hecker L, Kurundkar D, Kurundkar A, Liu H, Jin TH, Desai L, Bernard K, Thannickal VJ. Inhibition of mechanosensitive signaling in myofibroblasts ameliorates experimental pulmonary fibrosis. J Clin Invest 2013 Mar;123(3):1096-108. doi: 10.1172/JCI66700. Epub 2013 Feb 22. PMID: 23434591

Hecker L, Jagirdar R, Jin T, Thannickal VJ. Reversible differentiation of myofibroblasts by MyoD. Exp Cell Res. 2011 Aug 1;317(13):1914-21. doi: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2011.03.016. Epub 2011 Apr 1. PMID:21440539.

Thannickal VJ. Aging, antagonistic pleiotropy and fibrotic disease. Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2010 Sep;42(9):1398-400. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2010.05.010. Epub 2010 Jun 4. PMID: 2059501

Hecker L, Vittal R, Jones T, Jagirdar R, Luckhardt TR, Horowitz JC, Pennathur S, Martinez FJ, Thannickal VJ. NADPH oxidase-4 mediates myofibroblast activation and fibrogenic responses to lung injury. Nat Med. 2009 Sep;15(9):1077-81. doi: 10.1038/nm.2005. Epub 2009 Aug 23. PMID: 19701206

Please click here for Dr. Thannickal's complete publications listing.

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