Claire M Doerschuk

Claire M. Doerschuk, MD, is a UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center member and Professor of Medicine and Pathology at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Claire M Doerschuk

UNC-Chapel Hill

7011 TB

Area of interest

Dr. Doerschuks research addresses host defense mechanisms in the lungs, particularly the inflammatory and innate immune processes that are important in the pathogenesis and course of bacterial pneumonia, acute lung injury/acute respiratory distress syndrome, and cigarette-smoke induced lung disease. Basic and translational studies address the mechanisms of host defense during pneumonia that focus on leukocyte recruitment, edema, and lung injury. These studies investigate pathogens that cause community-acquired and nosocomial pneumonias occurring in immunocompromised patients with cancer. Although these processes are important in all inflammatory lung diseases, her work particularly addresses pneumonia and the acute respiratory distress syndrome using in vivo, translational, cell biological, immunological, and molecular approaches. Her ultimate goal is to use this knowledge to develop therapies that enhance the inflammatory response when it is beneficial to the host and dampen this response when it is harmful.

  • Dr. Doerschuk is interested in the mechanisms through which the lungs produce cytokines, chemokines and other regulatory inflammatory mediators in response to bacteria that then induce the production of other mediators and adhesion molecules on endothelial cells and result in the recruitment of leukocytes.
  • Another area of focus in Dr. Doerschuks lab is the function of the small GTPase Rac2, which she showed is expressed in endothelial cells and regulates both normal fluid flux and edema formation during injury.
  • Dr. Doerschuk also studies lung injuries induced by cigarette smoke that include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), both emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Studies pursue the mechanisms through which cigarette smoke induces COPD and lung cancer.
  • Dr. Doerschuk also heads the new Center for Airways Disease. The Centers goal is to further our conceptual and mechanistic understanding of diseases that affect the airways of the lungs, particularly smoking-related diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer, as well as lung infections, including pneumonia.

Awards and Honors

  • American Lung Association Career Investigator Award, July, 1990 - 1995
  • Henry Pickering Bowditch Lectureship, American Physiological Society, Experimental Biology, 1993
  • American Thoracic Society Recognition Award for Scientific Accomplishment, 1998
  • Member, NHLBI PPG Parent Committee, 1998 - 2002
  • Membership in the American Society for Clinical Investigation, 1998
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1999
  • Elizabeth Rich MD Award, American Thoracic Society, 2003
  • Parker B. Francis Lectureship, American Thoracic Society International meeting, 2006
  • Chair, NIH Study Section, Lung Injury, Resolution and Repair, 2008 - 2010

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