Project 1. Intra-abdominal sepsis and pneumonia are two of the most common causes of ALI/ARDS and are associated with a high mortality rate. Using cecal-ligation puncture model and intra-tracheal LPS, the complex affects of innate immunity on endothelial and epithelial signaling and changes in barrier function can be studied. On going work is focused on identifying the interactions of toll-like receptor-4 with SRC, NFKB and p-120 cantenin on cell-cell junctions and the development of vascular leak.
Project 2. Mechanical ventilation, the foundation of support care for acute respiratory failure, can cause ventilator-induced lung injury due to barotrauma and volu-trauma. Projects are ongoing to understand the effects of mechanical forces on epithelial and endothelial signaling mediated by p120 catenin, caveolin-1, ICAM as well as associated downstream effects on neutrophil recruitment and innate immune response. Dr. Hu works closely with Drs. Minshall and Dull.