Patty J. Lee, MD
Professor of Medicine, Pathology, and Cell Biology
Chief, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, & Critical Care
Duke University School of Medicine
She / Her / Hers
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive and destructive process of airflow obstruction, leading to respiratory failure. Many associative studies show increased senescence markers and epigenetic changes in human COPD, but mechanistic links are missing. Dr. Lee determined that toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 maintains lung integrity and inhibits p16, a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, via HDAC2-mediated histone deacetylation on the p16 promoter. In this talk, Dr. Lee will summarize her works using cell-targeted genetic approaches to study the role of the innate immune system in cellular senescence with a specific focus on epigenetic alteration in COPD.
About the Speaker: Dr. Lee received her undergraduate and medical degrees from Brown University before completing internship, residency and fellowship training at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. After her training, she served on the faculty of Yale University from 1998-2019, where she served as Interim Chief, Section of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine as well as Vice Chief of Research. Her main research accomplishments were in the identification of key heat shock proteins and innate immune signaling pathways responsible for protecting against oxidant-induced lung and endothelial cell death and mitochondrial dysfunction. She pioneered lung- and endothelial-targeted gene editing in vivo using silencing RNAs, microRNAs and intranasal viruses. Her studies uncovered new paradigms of lung endothelial immune pathways required to resist injury- and age-induced lung pathologies. In May of 2019, Dr. Lee joined the faculty of Duke University Medical Center as the Chief of Pulmonary, Allergy & Critical Care Medicine, where she is currently establishing inter-disciplinary basic, translational and clinical research groups and centers that focus on age- and environmental modifiers of lung health and disease, with a specific interest in the intersections of innate immunity, vascular biology and geroscience.
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