UPMC Physician Resources

Acute Lung Injury

About Us
The Acute Lung Injury (ALI) Center of Excellence, under the direction of Rama Mallampalli, MD, is focused on the investigation of fundamental mechanisms underlying the development and repair of lung injury, and the translational and clinical implications.  The program utilizes state-of-the-art tools in molecular, biochemical, translational, and clinical investigation. Investigators within the Center are supported by the National Institutes of Health through 12 R01 grants and a Program Project Grant, by the Department of Veterans Affairs with two VA Merit awards, and by several philanthropic societies through seven investigator-initiated grant awards.  Collaborative interactions exist with investigators in the Departments of Anesthesiology, Critical Care Medicine, Environmental and Occupational Health, Pathology, and Surgery. In addition to cutting-edge basic and translational science, investigators in the Center are currently establishing and participating in clinical trials with mesenchymal stem cells and novel immunomodulatory pharmaceuticals for the treatment of lung injury. 

Program Overview
The mission of the ALI Center of Excellence is to synergize basic and translational discoveries that can lead to novel treatments for patients with acute lung injury or acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).  The ALI Center is focused on:

  • Identification of novel genetic, proteomic, and lipidomic markers of acute lung injury 
  • Discovery of new and fundamentally basic mechanisms underlying the pathobiology of sepsis and acute lung injury in critically ill patients
  • Understanding regulatory mechanisms employed by phagocytes to curtail innate immune activation following exposure to injurious stimuli
  • Discovery of new and fundamentally basic mechanisms underlying immunoregulation by red blood cells and microparticles 
  • Leading cutting-edge clinical research initiatives to reverse lung injury associated with viral (e.g. influenza) and bacterial pneumonia 
  • Establishing early phase clinical trials with mesenchymal stem cells and novel immunomodulatory drugs for the treatment of lung injury 
  • Establishing a regional and highly synergistic network of investigation in ALI between the Divisions of Pulmonary Medicine, the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, and the Department of Critical Care Medicine