Research Training

Our goal is to train future leaders in academic pulmonary and critical care medicine.  The third year of our fellowship, the research year, provides fellows with the opportunity to pursue a laboratory-based research pathway or clinical-based research pathway.  Early in their training, we help fellows select the pathway that is best suited to them.

Fellows have an elective block in their first year during which time they meet with the program director and division chief to discuss career goals and research areas of interest. Based on these meetings, a list of possible mentors, both inside and outside the pulmonary division, is generated. During the remainder of the first year and beginning of second year, the fellow will meet with potential research mentors to discuss projects and opportunities for their research year. Additionally, fellows have 2 months of elective time in the second year to start organizing their projects for their research year. Fostering a successful transition from clinical training to research training is central to our fellowship program.

Our division has multiple, well-funded bench/translational researchers and clinical investigators for the fellows to work with during their research year. Furthermore, the fellows have access to a wide range of investigative technologies in clinical investigation, cell and molecular biology, and immunology in ongoing programs throughout Columbia University Medical Center and the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

During the third year (research year), the fellow has 12 months dedicated to acquiring the necessary knowledge and scientific techniques required to pursue their mentored research project and to build the foundation for a research career.   The fellow is expected to present his or her investigation results at our divisional research conference, a national meeting and to prepare a manuscript for publication. 

Additional Year(s)

Additional research experience is often needed both to qualify for faculty appointment and to bring interesting projects to fruition. When the quality of performance during the third year suggests special aptitude for development in this direction, we will offer further post-doctoral experience and resources while supervising the fellow's application for independent support.

Bench/Translational Research

Divisional bench researchers are actively engaged in cutting edge research in environmental epigenetics and asthma, regulation of lung microvascular barrier, endothelial mechanisms of acute lung injury, metalloproteases in COPD/emphysema, interstitial lung disease, immunology, and endothelial mechanisms in sleep disorder breathing.  Additionally, Columbia University offers a diverse and expansive resource for fellows interested in bench/translational research training program some examples include the Columbia Center for Translational Immunology, the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health (CCCEH) , and the Irving Institute for Clinical and translational research.  Fellows pursuing a career in basic or translational research of lung biology are eligible for funding through an NIH-funded T-32 training grant.


Examples of basic science investigators and laboratories available to fellows:

  • Dr. Jahar Bhattacharya (lung microvascular barrier regulation in inflammation and sepsis, endothelial mechanisms of lung injury)
  • Dr. Jaime Hook (host-pathogen interactions that determine severe lung infection and fatal acute lung injury)
  • Dr. Sanja Jelic (endothelial dysfunction in sleep disorder breathing & obesity)
  • Dr. Rachel Miller is the Co-director of CCCEH  (environmental epigenetics and asthma, allergy)
  • Dr. Jining Lu (microRNAs as critical posttranscriptional regulators in airway epithelial or lung mesenchymal cell differentiation in response to injury)
  • Dr. Christian Schindler (Role of the JAK-STAT pathway in cytokine signal transduction)
  • Dr. Hans Snoeck (stem cell biology, lung development from human pluripotent stem cells with a focus on modeling of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis)
  • Dr. Wellington Cardoso (mechanisms that regulate lung progenitor cell fate during lung development)

Clinical Research

The investigators in our division and our collaborators areas of clinical investigation include epidemiology, clinical trials, outcomes research, and health disparities.  Our pulmonary research interests include outcomes of lung transplantation, interstitial lung disease, chronic obstructive lung disease/emphysema, adult cystic fibrosis/bronchiectasis, asthma, sleep disordered breathing, neuromuscular-related breathing disorders, lung volume reduction surgery, quality improvement in COPD, genetic epidemiology of chronic lung disease, medical ethics, tuberculosis and global lung health.  Areas of interest in critical care include ECMO and extracorporeal CO2 removal for respiratory failure, acute lung injury and critical care outcomes.

In addition, Columbia University offers a diverse and expansive resource for fellows interested in a clinical investigation training program.  The Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health is recognized as a leader in public health policy, education, research and environmental health sciences.  Members of our division have co-appointments in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at Mailman School of Public Health with a particular interest in global lung health.  We have collaborations with researchers investigating health effects of indoor air pollution exposure from biomass fuels in developing countries and the Pediatric Pulmonary Division.

The Mailman School offers Master of Science (MS) degrees in Biostatistics and Epidemiology.  The Master of Science in Biostatistics has a Patient Oriented Research (POR) track for which there are 4-6 highly competitive full-tuition scholarships a year.  Fellows on the clinical investigative track in the Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship have successfully competed for scholarships in years past.  This is a two-year, 30 credit Master’s degree program supported through the NIH-funded Clinical and Translational Science Award program at Columbia.  The goal of POR program is to prepare trainees to compete successfully for peer-reviewed research funding in clinical investigation.   Trainees are required to complete a Master’s essay in the form of an NIH-style grant application that is written under the direct-supervision of a program faculty member.

Examples of Clinical Investigators:

  • Dr. Darryl Abrams (Outcomes of ECMO for respiratory failure and pulmonary hypertension)
  • Dr. Selim Arcasoy (Lung Transplant)
  • Dr. Matthew Baldwin (clinical and translational investigation of frailty in survivors of critical illness)
  • Dr. Robert Basner (sleep disorders, neuromuscular-related breathing disorders)
  • Dr. Graham Barr (Epidemiology of COPD/emphysema, endothelial dysfunction and chronic lower respiratory disease)
  • Dr. Daniel Brodie (clinical trials and outcomes of ECMO for adult hypoxemic and hypercapneic respiratory failure)
  • Dr. William Bulman (lung cancer, EBUS TBNA and gene expression)
  • Dr. Kristin Burkart (genetic epidemiology of COPD/emphysema and lung function)
  • Dr. Emily DiMango (clinical trials and epidemiology in Cystic Fibrosis and Asthma)
  • Dr. Irene Louh (critical care quality improvement)
  • Dr. Darby Jack (epidemiology, effects of biomass fuel on health in developing countries)
  • Dr. David Lederer (ILD, disparities in pulmonary services and lung transplantation)
  • Dr. Patrick Kinney (epidemiology, public health impacts of air pollution and climate change, developing countries)
  • Dr. Rachel Miller (air pollution exposure and asthma, chemical exposure and asthma)
  • Dr. Max O’Donnell (Global Health Research in tuberculosis, HIV, and severe acute respiratory infections)
  • Dr. Anna Podolanczuk (sublinical interstitial lung disease with quantitative lung CT measurements)
  • Dr. Neil Schluger (tuberculosis epidemiology, diagnostics, clinical trials and Global Lung Health)
  • Dr. Byron Thomashow (COPD/emphysema, lung volume reduction, optical electronic plethysmography)