Interview with Andrew Lindsley, MD, PhD
2016 - The AAAAI Foundation & Dr. Donald Y. M. Leung/JACI Editors Faculty Development Award
Andrew Warren Lindsley, MD, PhD
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Project:“ORMDL3 Enhances Macrophage Function in Asthma Pathogenesis”
$240,000 paid over 3 years
Award Term: July 2016-June 2019
1. What is your research focused on and what are you hoping to discover?
Asthma is the most common chronic illness of childhood and imposes a profound clinical and financial burden on American children, costing the US health care system ~$50.1 billion dollars annually. The pathogenesis of pediatric asthma is complex, driven by both genetic predisposition and environmental/infectious exposures. Multiple genetic association studies have now linked over-expression of the gene ORMDL3 to pediatric-onset asthma. Unfortunately, the role of this gene in asthma pathogenesis remains unclear. My ongoing research efforts are focused on establishing the cellular and molecular mechanisms linking ORMDL3 over-expression in macrophages to pro-inflammatory responses in the lung and to establish the effects of ORMDL3 risk variants on sphingolipid-regulated immune responses in human macrophages.
I have developed a novel mouse model of ORMDL3 over-expression and I am using this system to explore the effects of ORMDL3 on the function of a specific type of immune cell, the pulmonary macrophage. I have found that ORMDL3 enhances pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion by these cells and that this dysfunction worsens allergen-driven airway disease.
Pictured: Andrew Warren Lindsley, MD, PhD and AAAAI President Thomas Fleisher, MD FAAAAI, at the 2016 Foundation Benefit.
2. Why did you choose Allergy/Immunology as your field of study?
I am a pediatrician by training and also studied developmental biology during graduate school. I was drawn to Allergy/Immunology as a sub-specialty because I enjoy thinking about how the immune system is constantly responding to the environment, keeping us healthy, but also occasionally causing disease. I am fascinated by the chain of events that drive normal immune development and how those processes can go astray, especially during the early “education” of the immune system in young children. My clinical and research efforts are both tied to understanding and managing these immune processes.
3. Who are your mentors?
I would like to thank my mentor Marc E. Rothenberg, MD, PhD, FAAAAI, Director, Division of Allergy and Immunology Children's Hospital Medical Center and my co-mentor Gurjit Hershey, MD for their support.
4. How do you hope this grant money will assist in your career development?
The AAAAI Foundation’s support will enable me to utilize cutting edge mass spectrometry-based lipidomic analysis in my efforts to understand how ORMDL3 influences asthma development. These studies will help me further develop as a physician-scientist, hopefully paving the way to translation studies where I can leverage basic science findings to develop and test new treatments for pediatric-onset asthma.