The Mount Sinai – National Jewish Health Respiratory Institute is conducting a number of research studies and clinical trials to improve the diagnosis and treatment of a range of pulmonary diseases and conditions. Our patients have access to the newest emerging treatment options through clinical trial enrollments.

Lung Disease Research Areas

Our investigators are conducting studies in the following areas to improve the detection and treatment of a range of lung conditions:

Asthma: The Asthma Program has a wide range of active research programs, with a central focus on clinical trials of advanced therapies for patients with asthma not controlled with standard therapies. We are also engaged in a variety of multidisciplinary clinical, epidemiological, and translational research programs in collaboration with investigators throughout Icahn School of Medicine. In particular, Linda Rogers, MDGwen Skloot, MD, Juan Wisnivesky, MD, Paula Busse, MD, and Alex Federman, MD, have been involved in several inpatient, outpatient, and physician studies assessing the self-management, treatment, and outcomes of inner-city asthmatics, assessing risk factors for asthma among World Trade Center responders, and examining asthma self-management in the elderly. In a new initiative, Respiratory Institute investigators have partnered with scientists from the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology and LifeMapp Inc. to develop a novel mobile health application that provides monitoring and educational tools for asthma patients using their smart phones.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): Sidney Braman, MD, and David Yankelevitz, MD, are looking at chest imaging markers, based on analysis of CT scans of patients with COPD to predict Acute Exacerbations of COPD (AECOPD) and to characterize specific phenotypes among these COPD patients. Drs. Wisnivesky and Federman are evaluating the association between health literacy and COPD self-management. In addition, our investigators have participated in studies assessing cognitive decline among patients with COPD.        

Lung Cancer: The Respiratory Institute lung cancer research programs continue to provide important insights into this common disease. The Powell laboratory uses advanced genomics approaches in an NIH RO1-funded study to identify key biological pathways that distinguish aggressive from indolent early stage lung cancers. This research will have increasing importance with the widespread implementation of lung cancer CT screening in 2015, after coverage is approved for high-risk patients. The Mount Sinai Health System screening program will be directed by the Mount Sinai Early Lung and Cardiac program, led by Claudia Henschke, MD, PhD, and Dr. Yankelevitz in collaboration with Charles Powell, MD, and the Respiratory Institute. The Mount Sinai screening program uses state-of-the-art diagnostic testing platforms that provide information about lung cancer risk as well as about risks for COPD and coronary artery disease. The research from this program will drive future innovations in early detection of lung cancer and other respiratory diseases. Dr. Wisnivesky’s NIH-funded research program addresses issues related to diagnosis, treatment, and disparities in care and outcomes of patients with lung cancer. He also studies disparities in lung cancer care.

Rohit Kandalkar is a Data Analyst working with Dr. Charles Powell in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine and in the Mount Sinai - National Jewish Health Respiratory Institute.  He completed his Masters in Medical and Bioinformatics at Grand Valley State University and has several years of industry experience in data analytics.  Rohit’s research projects focus on identification of variances in lung disease diagnostics and treatment and association with patient outcomes and healthcare delivery efficiencies.

Sarcoidosis: The Sarcoidosis Program, led by Adam Morgenthau, MD, is exploring the biology of the disease in order to increase our understanding of how the condition itself develops and advances. It is also investigating areas such as examining forced oscillometry in patients with sarcoidosis. Our studies include a clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Kiacta in sarcoidosis, which will seek to better understand the mechanisms underlying the formation of granulomas in the condition.

Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD): Research at the Interstitial Lung Disease Program includes the Becker laboratory’s efforts to identify immune cells that play a pivotal role in health and disease (dendritic cells in normal lungs and those with fibrosis). The early radiographic manifestations of the fibrosing diseases are being recognized and the evolution over time is being studied. Maria Padilla, MD, leads multiple clinical trials evaluating various agents as potential treatment modalities, some of which hold the promise to be the first approved medications for use in patients with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. The creation of an ILD registry is an ongoing program aimed at registering all our patients in order to better characterize their disease and study their course of illness and response to therapies. Members of the ILD group are also participants in the larger institutional effort of the Fibrosis Center, which is devoted to research, development of animal models of disease, discovery of experimental therapeutics, and fostering of clinical research in fibrosis across the organ systems.

Critical Care Informatics: Harnessing a 14-plus-year database of Mount Sinai patients, Kusum Mathews, MD, and others are working on clinical research projects involving respiratory and critical care medicine informatics. Current efforts include the integration of “Big Data” into real-time clinical decision-making with prediction algorithm development and electronic decision support tools, simulation modeling to optimize streamlined patient care, and building datamarts for large-scale analyses of clinical factors influencing patient-centered outcomes of mortality and morbidity. The efforts focus on sepsis and other critical illnesses.

Acute Lung Injury:  Mount Sinai is a clinical site for the NHLBI Prevention and Early Treatment of Acute Lung Injury (PETAL) consortium that will test new diagnostic and therapeutic modalities for this syndrome.

Immunity: The Becker laboratory is studying the anatomical and functional heterogeneity of dendritic cells (DC) in the human lung. After characterizing important functional distinctions between the major classical DC subsets in the steady state human lung, the focus now is on the diseased human lung, particularly non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In addition, we are conducting correlative immunophenotyping studies for various clinical studies.

Pulmonary Vascular Disease: Hooman Poor, MD, and others are examining the effect of implementing a hospital-wide pulmonary embolism risk stratification algorithm, which incorporates the use of a multidisciplinary pulmonary embolism response team for patients diagnosed with acute pulmonary embolism. Our Pulmonary Hypertension Program also participates in a number of multicenter clinical trials evaluating novel therapeutics in patients with pulmonary hypertension.