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The Ahmad lab is led by Aftab Ahmad, Ph.D.

Dr. Ahmad's interests are in understanding factors involved in lung injury, repair and development. His research focuses on understanding the role of hypoxia-inducible transcription factors (HIFs) in disease and development. Hypoxia-inducible transcription factors, HIF-1a and HIF-2a, play a major role in these processes. These transcription factors bind to the same DNA response element and regulate mostly overlapping and a few unique genes. Dr. Ahmad has indentified functional differences between HIF-1a and HIF-2a in cells of the pulmonary vasculature. He has found that HIF-2a promotes endothelial proliferation independent of HIF-1a. He has also found that adenosine A2A receptor is a unique downstream target gene of HIF-2a that can also promote endothelial growth and proliferation. More importantly his work has found that expression of this receptor is increased in patients with lung cancer and also in patients with pulmonary hypertension. Using animal models, his laboratory is currently investigating the role of hypoxia-inducible transcription factors and adenosine A2Areceptor in pulmonary hypertension.

The other area of Dr. Ahmad’s interest is in understanding the role of extracellular RNA (exRNA) in lung injury induced by inhalation of toxic chemicals. RNA released from cells passively as a result of injury or through the active process can activate signaling pathways. It is a unique molecule that can accelerate the inflammatory pathway and also activate the coagulation cascade.  He has found that exRNA inhibits anti-inflammatory pathway(s). Using a number of genetic, molecular and bioinformatics tools his laboratory is engaged in identifying the role of these exRNA species in such injuries. His lab is also testing therapies against chemical-induced toxicities in animal models.

  • Recent Publications
    For a full list of publications prior to 2022, see PubMed.  

    1. Surolia R, Li FJ, Dsouza K, Zeng H, Singh P, Stephens C, Guo Y, Wang Z, Kashyap M, Srivastava R, Lora Gonzalez M, Benson P, Kumar A, Kim H, Kim YI, Ahmad A, Athar M, Antony VB. Cutaneous Exposure to Arsenicals is Associated with Development of Constrictive Bronchiolitis in Mice. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2023 Feb 13. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2022-0321MA. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36780670.
    2. Kozlovskaya V, Yang Y, Liu F, Ingle K, Ahmad A, Halade GV, Kharlampieva E. Dually Responsive Poly(N-vinylcaprolactam)-b-poly(dimethylsiloxane)-b-poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) Polymersomes for Controlled Delivery. Molecules. 2022 May 28;27(11):3485. doi: 10.3390/molecules27113485. PMID: 35684423; PMCID: PMC9182360.
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