Christine Kim Garcia, MD, PhD

Frode-Jensen Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary Division
Columbia University Irving Medical Center

Garcia Laboratory
650 West 168th Street
BB 9-905
New York, NY 10032
Phone: (212) 304-7658

Bio

Christine Kim Garcia, MD, PhD, is the Frode-Jensen Professor of Medicine and Associate Director of the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Medicine within the Department of Medicine at Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Dr. Garcia’s research focuses on identifying the genetic underpinnings of adult-onset lung disease. Her laboratory has used whole genome linkage analysis and next generation sequencing to discover rare mutations in several genes (TERT, TERC, SFTPA2, PARN, RTEL1, FLCN) in patients with interstitial lung disease. These discoveries have implicated the telomere and surfactant pathways in the pathogenesis of lung fibrosis. Although patients with mutations in the telomere-related genes can present with many different subtypes of lung fibrosis, a diagnosis Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is the most common. Her laboratory has shown that a large proportion of patients with lung fibrosis have white blood cell (leukocyte) telomere lengths that are shorter than age-matched controls. Leukocyte telomere length is a biomarker that predicts clinical outcomes for patients, including survival, rate of disease progression, rate of rejection following lung transplantation, and adverse events after exposure to immunosuppressive medications. Some patient with an inherited telomerase dysfunction acquire gain-of-function mutations in the TERT promoter that provide a selective growth advantage for somatic cells.

Education and Training

Medical School:
MD, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX
Graduate School:
PhD, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX
Residency:
Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX
Fellowship(s):
Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX

Selected Honors

  • 2018 –present; Frode-Jensen Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons
  • 2019; Co-Chair, NIH/NHLBI Lung Disease Workshop “DNA Damage, Telomeres and Senescence in Lung Aging and Disease” Bethesda, MD
  • 2013-2018; Marnie and Kern Wildenthal President’s Research Council Professorship in Medical Science; University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  • 2013 – 2017; National Institutes of Health Infectious Disease, Reproductive Helath and Asthma/Pulmonary Conditions (IRAP) Study section member
  • 2012; American Society for Clinical Investigation elected member
  • 2008; Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Clinical Scientist Development Award
  • 2006; President’s Research Council Distinguished Young Investigator Award; University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  • 2004; Charles E. Culpeper Foundation Medical Scholar Award
  • 2003; Parker B. Francis Fellowship Award in Pulmonary Research
  • 1991; Alpha Omega Alpha; Vice President, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Chapter, 1995-1996

Research

Contact Information: 

Garcia Laboratory
650 W 168th Street 
BB 9-905
New York, NY 10032
ckg2116@cumc.columbia.edu

Lab Manager
Lesley Vickers
Email: 
lav2127@cumc.columbia.edu

Research Overview

The Garcia laboratory investigates the genetic basis of lung disease. We strive to leverage genetics to understand the molecular mechanism of disease and to integrate these discoveries into clinical practice.

Current projects include:

  • Discovery of rare genetic mutations underlying adult-onset lung disease
  • Understanding of molecular mechanisms using mouse models of disease
  • Translating genetic discoveries to impact clinical care
  • Understanding the sequelae of COVID-19

For more information, please visit the Garcia Laboratory.