Seasonal influenza infection affects a significant proportion of the population in the US and worldwide. Many patients infected with Influenza A Virus (IAV) may develop acute lung injury and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). IAV targets the alveolar epithelium, which mounts a coordinated immune response with other inflammatory cells like alveolar macrophages. The Budinger lab aims to understand the mechanism by which IAV infection induces this response and how it can develop into ARDS.
The role of proteostasis in the aging lung has been a major research focus of the Budinger lab. IAV infection disproportionately affects the elderly. Proteostasis describes the processes by which the cell regulates synthesis, folding, repair, and degradation of proteins. It is vital in maintaining homeostasis and responding to environmental stress and diseases, particularly those related to misfolding and aggregation of proteins. With age, proteostasis declines. With IAV infection, the age-associated collapse of proteostasis in the lung epithelium worsens. The Budinger lab aims to establish links between aging, proteostasis, and lung function in response to IAV infection in connection with its overall focus on understanding IAV infection.
In addition to Influenza, the Budinger lab looks at other models of acute lung injury. These include particulate matter, reactive oxygen species, and many others through our collaborators both within Northwestern University and with external institutions. Paralleling its work with Influenza, the Budinger lab looks at these different models in order to investigate how they develop into various pulmonary diseases, such as Pulmonary Fibrosis and COPD, in order to develop therapies for patient-use.
Learn more about the Budinger lab’s ongoing research:
- Aging PPG
Disordered Proteostasis as a Driver of Disease in the Aging Lung: Mapping proteostasis in the lung
- Influenza PPG
Pathophysiology of Influenza A Infection and Acute Lung Injury
- Particulate Matter
Signaling in the lung induced by particular matter air pollution
- Pulmonary Fibrosis
The Role of Mitochondrial Reactive Oxygen Species in TGF-Beta Signaling
View a list of publications produced by the Budinger Lab
GR Scott Budinger, MD
Meet our Team