Internal Medicine; Pulmonary Disease; Infectious Disease
My area of expertise is in infectious diseases in adults and I evaluate and treat adults with all infections, without restriction to a special area, and see patients within the Veterans Affairs hospital system. I act as a consultant for other physicians treating patients who have, or are suspected to have, infectious diseases in hospital settings or outside the hospital. Prior to becoming an infectious disease specialist, I had training and work experience in surgery as well as internal medicine. This exposure has helped me in my current clinical practice since infections occur in patients after surgical procedures. Having a firsthand understanding of what surgeons do allows me to understand the patient’s overall situation better. I teach first- and second-year medical students, primarily in pulmonary, in small group sessions. My research is focused on bacterial infections in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (emphysema and chronic bronchitis, known also as COPD). I am especially interested in how the host (the human body) reacts to the pathogen (the bacteria), and how differences in the host determine the outcome of the encounter between host and pathogen. Recently, we found that airway epithelial cells from patients with COPD respond to pathogenic bacteria in a manner that is different from healthy, non-COPD people. My goal is to further characterize and understand the cellular mechanisms underlying this aberrant behavior in COPD. I expect this research to open new avenues of therapy specially tailored to intervene in the host-pathogen interaction. Students and fellows have the opportunity to conduct research with me. I collaborate with Sanjay Sethi, MD and Charles Berenson, MD from the department of medicine.