Philip J. O'Reilly, MD




Assistant Professor of Medicine

Division of Pulmonary, Allergy & Critical Care Medicine
1530 3rd Avenue So, THT-422
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, AL 35294


Board Certifications
1998, American Board of Internal Medicine

2000, American Board of Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Diseases
2001, American Board of Internal Medicine, Critical Care Medicine

Medical School: Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Medical School, 1986-1992

Internship:  St.Vincent's Hospital , Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, Ireland, 1992-1995

Registrar in Pulmonary Medicine,St.Vincent's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland, 1995-1996

Residency:  Resident in Internal Medicine, Boston University, Boston, MA, 1996-1998

Fellowship:  University of Alabama at Birmingham, Pulmonary Diseases & Critical Care Medicine, 1998-2002

Contact Information


Campus Address:


 MCLM 876

Academic Office location:


 MCLM 876

Office Phone:


 (205) 975-6770

Office Fax (Academic):


 (205) 934-1721

TKC Clinic Phone:


 (205) 801-7545

TKC Clinic Fax:


 (205) 802-8231

Email Address:

Beeper #:



Office Assistant: 
Brynn Sharp

Phone: (205) 934-4304
Fax: (205) 934-1446

Brief Bio

Dr. O'Reilly completed this medical degree at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (1986-1992).  His internship and residency were accomplished in Dublin teaching hospitals (1992-1995) and at Boston University (1996-1998), followed by a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (1998-2001).  Dr. O'Reilly has a longstanding interest in basic and translational research in the lung.  During his fellowship, he worked in the laboratory of Professor Sadis Matalon in the UAB Dept. of Anesthesiology Research, studying innate immunity and acute lung injury.  He has been a co-investigator in the NIH COPD clinical research network since 2002.  In 2005, Dr. O'Reilly began work in the laboratory of Professor J Edwin Blalock, studying the role of matrix fragments in neutrophilic airway inflammation, with a particular emphasis on COPD.  Dr. O'Reilly is a co-investigator on several NIH grants and was recently awarded a career development award (K08) by the National Institutes of Health.

Clinical Interests 

Academic & Research Interests

Dr. O'Reilly says, "My work in Dr. Blalock's laboratory centers on the collagen degradation fragment, proline-glycine (PGP).  PGP is produced in the lung by the action of proteases on collagen during inflammation.  PGP is also a neutrophil chemoattractant due to a structural homology with CXC chemokines and may therefore aggravate airway inflammation in disease such  COPD and cystic  fibrosis.  My interest lies in clarifying PGP's role as a biomarker or predictor for COPD and as a potential therapeutic target using specific PGP inhibitors that we have generated.   Much of my current research consists of measuring PGP in sputum and serum samples from COPD patients and healthy individuals using mass spectrometry, and correlating PGP with clinical features of disease.  We are also interested in the enzymes that generate PGP and have identified a novel role for prolyl endopeptidase (PE), a post-proline cleaving enzyme, as the critical enzyme for cleaving PGP from collagen in inflammation.  We are currently measuring PE in clinical samples using activity assays and antibodies that we have generated.  In other studies, we are investigating the role of PGP and PE in a smoking mouse model of COPD. We believe that PGP and PE may have the potential to provide novel therapies for COPD that target airway inflammation and may predict those smokers who will develop COPD many years in advance of clinical disease.


Key Publications

1.   O'Reilly P, Hickman-Davis JM, Davis IC, Matalon S. Hyperoxia impairs anti-bacterial function of macrophages through effects on actin. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2003 Apr;28(4):443-50.

2.  Gaggar A, Jackson P, Noerager B, O'Reilly P, McQuaid B, Rowe S, Clancy JP, Blalock JE. A novel proteolytic cascade generates an extracellular matrix-derived chemoattractant in chronic neutrophilic inflammation 2008. J Immunol. 2008 Apr 15;180(8):5662-9

3.  O'Reilly P, Gaggar A and Blalock JE. Interfering with extracellular matrix degradation to blunt inflammation. Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2008 Jun; 8(3):242-8.

4.  O'Reilly P, Jackson P, Noerager B, Parker S, Dransfield M, Gaggar A and Blalock JE.  N-α-PGP and PGP, potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets for COPD.  Respir Res. 2009 May 18;10:38

5.  O'Reilly P, Hardison M, Jackson P, Xin Xu, Snelgrove R, Gaggar A, Galin FS and Blalock JE.  Neutrophils contain prolyl endopeptidase and generate the chemotactic peptide, PGP, from collagen. J Neuroimmunol. 2009 Dec 10; 217(1-2):51-4.

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