Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
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Home / A–Z Services / Pulmonary Medicine / Pulmonary Medicine Research
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Pulmonary Medicine Research


Faculty members in the Division of Pulmonary Medicine are making breakthrough discoveries and applying their findings to enhance and improve children's health. Our physician-scientists are investigating cystic fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension, rare lung diseases, connections between viruses and asthma, and the genetic and environmental factors that affect children with asthma, among many other research subjects.

Engaging in medical research like this means that thousands of children will benefit from from improvements in the quality of care we provide and the number of conditions and diseases we can treat.

Here are some of our research studies in pediatric pulmonology.

Childhood wheezing illnesses and allergic diseases

Through the Center for Asthma Research, we are involved in numerous studies examining the role of early-life risk factors in the onset and severity of childhood wheezing illnesses (including asthma) and allergic diseases. These are among the most common chronic diseases of childhood.

We are now particularly interested in respiratory viruses, the upper airway microbiome, exposure to medications, and dietary factors (such as vitamin E), all of which are potentially modifiable and could help us to design a primary prevention strategy for childhood wheezing illnesses and allergic diseases.

Childhood interstitial lung disease (chILD)

Children's Hospital leads in clinical care and research in pediatric rare lung diseases, including interstitial lung diseases. There are many different forms of chILD.

Please contact us to learn more about potential studies for specific rare lung diseases, including encompassed in the specific studies below.

National Registry for Childhood Interstitial and Diffuse Lung Disease

Children's Hospital leads in coordinating a collaborative, multicenter study of children’s hospitals in a National Registry. We aim to advance knowledge on the prevalence, clinical features, management, and outcomes of children with these rare lung diseases. Our registry also facilitates scientific discovery and additional research in this field.

Neuroendocrine cell hyperplasia of infancy (NEHI)

NEHI is a rare lung disease that causes abnormally rapid breathing (tachypnea) and low blood-oxygen levels (hypoxemia) in infants. Our current studies aim to define the clinical features and outcomes of NEHI and identify the genetic and other mechanisms that cause this disease.

Mechanisms of childhood interstitial lung diseases

Our studies aim to better define the natural history of these disorders, understand disease pathogenesis, and ultimately develop new treatment approaches. We perform these studies in collaboration with additional studies focused on familial pulmonary fibrosis.

Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome (HPS)

HPS is a rare genetic disease associated with oculocutaneous albinism (involving the eyes, skin, and hair), bleeding, granulomatous colitis (inflammation caused by immune cell formations), and pulmonary fibrosis in some subtypes, including HPS-1, HPS-2, and HPS-4. Pulmonary fibrosis causes shortness of breath and progressive decline in lung function.

Clinical research studies at Vanderbilt include longitudinal observational studies evaluating chest CT scans, pulmonary function tests, and biomarkers in patients with HPS. We also studies basic mechanisms of disease in HPS.

Lymphangioleiomymatosis (LAM) and tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC)

LAM is a rare neoplasm that results in progressive cystic lung disease. It affects women almost exclusively. Disease can occur in two forms: sporadic LAM or in association with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC-LAM). Our studies focus on identifying biomarkers, determining risk factors for LAM in TSC, and improving outcomes for patients with LAM.

Last Edited: February 6, 2017
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