Wellington V. Cardoso, M.D., PhD

Professor of Medicine and Genetics & Development
Director, Columbia Center for Human Development

Cardoso's Laboratory
650 West 168th Street
BB 8-812
New York, NY 10032
P: (212) 342-3971

Dr. Cardoso's C.V.


Wellington V. Cardoso, MD, PhD, is the Director of the Columbia Center for Human Development, Professor of Medicine at the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, and Professor of Genetics and Development at Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Cardoso’s research focuses on the mechanisms that regulate lung development and regeneration-repair of the lung. For nearly two decades his laboratory has been making relevant contributions to the field, providing insights into how developmental signals, such as retinoic acid, Fgf, Tgf beta and Notch control lung progenitor cell development, airway branching and epithelial differentiation. These studies have also contributed to the understanding of mechanisms controlling lung regeneration-repair and of the impact of prenatal fetal exposures in the adult lung function and susceptibility to disease. Dr. Cardoso’s lab has been funded largely by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and is internationally recognized for its research and training in lung development. Dr. Cardoso received his MD degree and his residency training in Pathology from the University of Brasilia, and his PhD from the University of Sao Paulo (Brazil). After concluding his postdoctoral studies at the University of British Columbia (Canada) and Boston University (MA), he became a faculty member and later served as the Associate Director of the Pulmonary Center and Director of the Program in Lung Development and Progenitor Cell Biology at Boston University School of Medicine. Over the course of his career as a Principal Investigator he has received multiple grant awards, including NIH-NHLBI RO1 and Program Project grants. He has served as Chair and reviewer in multiple NIH study section committees and has been invited as a speaker in scientific research conferences over Asia, Europe and the Americas. Dr. Cardoso has recently joined the faculty of the Departments of Medicine and Genetics & Development at Columbia University and currently serves as Director of the Columbia Center for Human Development (CCHD). The Center integrates basic and clinical scientists across the medical campus to advance fundamental and translational research on mechanisms that regulate organ formation and repair-regeneration and to investigate the developmental basis of human disease

Education and Training

Medical School:
University of Brasilia, Brazil, 1981
Pathology, University of Brasilia, Brazil, 1981
PhD Degree:
University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1984
Postdoctoral Fellowship:
Univ. of British Columbia, Vancouver (Canada), 1991 Pulmonary Center Boston Univ., Boston, MA,1993

Professional Experience & Honors

  • 2013 – Present Director, Columbia Center for Human Development Columbia University Medical Center. New York, NY
  • 2008 – 2013 Director, Program in Lung Development & Progenitor Cell Biology, Pulmonary Center, Boston University School of Medicine Boston, MA
  • 2008 – 2009 Associate Director, Pulmonary Center, Boston University School of Medicine Boston, MA
  • 2012 Chair, FASEB Science Research Conference 2012 “The Lung Epithelium in Health and Disease”. Saxton Rivers VT.
  • 2013-present NIH-NHLBI – Lung Injury Repair Regeneration (LIRR) – Study section permanent member.
  • 2010-present NIH-NHLBI Progenitor Cell Biology Consortium, External Advisory Committee
  • 2010-12 American Thoracic Society, Respiratory Cell Molecular. Biology Assembly Planning Committee
  • 2013 Session Chair: 2013 Gordon Research Conference on Lung Development, Injury & Repair. “Building the Lung”. Andover, NH
  • 2011 Co-Chair, NIH-NHLBI - Workshop on “Molecular Determinants of Lung, Development”. Bethesda , MD
  • 2009- 2010 Chair, NIH-NHLBI – Program Project Review Panel- ZHL1 CSR-S.
  • 2011 Chair, Session: “Genetic Programs Driving Lung Development and Regeneration”, American Thoracic Society Meeting 2011, Denver, CO.
  • 2010 Session Chair: 2010 FASEB Summer Research Conference: Symposium: “Molecular Regulation of Lung Development and Other Programmatic Signals” Saxton Rivers, VT
  • 2010 Co-Chair Symposium: “Top-Notch Decisions in Lung Development and Disease” American Thoracic Society Meeting 2010, New Orleans, LO
  • 2005 Chair: NIH-NHLBI - Workshop RFA: “Coordination of Vascularization and Lung Development”


Contact Information: 

Cardoso's Laboratory
650 West 168th Street
BB 8-812
New York, NY 10032
P: (212) 342-3971

Lab Manager: Rashmi Patel
P: (212) 305-7310
F: (212) 305-6701
E: rnp2105@columbia.edu

Research Interests

  • Research in the Cardoso’s lab focuses on the mechanisms that regulate lung progenitor cell fate during lung development and on the contribution of developmental mechanisms to disease pathogenesis and regeneration-repair of the adult lung. We are investigating how progenitor cells generate the wide diversity of cell types of the mature respiratory system. In this context, we have been identifying early markers of cell fate and characterizing the genetic programs associated with acquisition of the various airway epithelial cell phenotypes as the lung forms. These studies have provided insights into the role of specific pathways, including retinoids, Fgf, Tgf beta and Notch in controlling the specification and expansion of lung progenitors, airway branching and differentiation of the various lung epithelial cell lineages. Over these years our studies have evolved to continue exploring basic mechanisms of lung development, using this knowledge to understand the role of stem/progenitor cells in lung regeneration-repair and the impact of prenatal fetal exposures in adult lung structure and function and susceptibility to disease.

Selected Publications

  1. Chen F, Cao Y, Qian J, Shao F, Niederreither K, Cardoso WV. A retinoic acid-dependent network in the foregut controls formation of the mouse lung primordium. J. Clin. Invest.120:2040-8. 2010 PMID: 20484817
  2. Tsao PN, Vasconcelos M, Izvolsky KI, Qian J, Lu J, Cardoso WV. Notch signaling controls the balance of ciliated and secretory cell fates in developing airways. Development 136: 2297-2307, 2009. PMID: 19502490
  3. Shi W, Chen F, Cardoso WV. Mechanisms of lung development: contribution to adult lung disease and relevance to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Proc. Am. Thor. Soc. , 6:558-63. 2009. PMID: 19934349
  4. Izvolsky KI, Lu J, Martin G, Albrecht K, and Cardoso WV. Systemic inactivation of Hs6st1 in mice is associated with late postnatal mortality without major defects in organogenesis. Genesis 46:8-18, 2008. PMID: 18196599
  5. Chen F., Desai T., Qian J., Niederreither K., Lu J, and Cardoso WV. Inhibition of Tgf beta signalling by endogenous retinoic acid is essential for primary lung bud induction Development 134: 2969-2979, 2007. PMID: 17634193
  6. Lü J, Qian J, Keppler D, Cardoso WV. Cathespin H is an FGF10 Target Involved in BMP4 Degradation during Mouse Lung Branching Morphogenesis J. Biol Chem 282:22176–22184, 2007. PMID: 17500053
  7. Desai T, Chen F., Lu J, Qian J, Niederreither K., Dollé, P., Chambon, P., and Cardoso WV. Distinct roles for retinoic acid receptors alpha and beta in early lung morphogenesis. Dev. Biol., 291:12-24, 2006.
  8. Cardoso, WV and Lu, J. Regulation of early lung development: questions, facts and controversies. Development 133: 1161-1624, 2006. PMID: 16613830
  9. Cardoso WV, Kotton DN. Specification and patterning of the respiratory system. StemBook, ed. The Stem Cell Research Community, StemBook, doi/10.3824/stembook.1.10.1 http://www.stembook.org. 2008. PMID: 20614584.

View Dr. Cardoso's full list of publications from PubMed

    Press Releases

    Science Daily

    Zip Trials

    Science Daily

    EScience News