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Pulmonary & Sleep Medicine Research

The Division of Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine conducts innovative and groundbreaking research exploring the pathogenesis and treatment of various lung and sleep disorders in children as well as distinct interests in healthcare disparities in pediatric respiratory disease.

Scholarly Activity for Fellows

All pediatric pulmonology fellows undertake scholarly activity starting in their first year with the exploration of research interests followed by the completion of a focused research project during the second and third years. Each fellow undertakes a research project that is developed with the appropriate research mentorship team. Each fellow also benefits from the guidance and mentorship of an individualized Scholarly Oversight Committee (SOC) to help ensure success and completion of the research project to allow the fellow to be board-eligible upon completion of the fellowship. Potential research opportunities in the areas of basic science, translational science, clinical research, quality improvement, medical advocacy and quality improvement are all available.

Basic Sciences

Specific basic science and translational research opportunities in the Division of Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine include:

  • Laguna Lab which uses state-of-the-art microbiome and metabolomic tools to investigate infectious and inflammatory markers of lung disease in cystic fibrosis (CF).
  • Kathleen Boyne’s Lab focuses on the role of carbonic anhydrase in modulating pH, inflammation and infection in CF cell and animal models.
  • Susanna McColley is engaged in industry-sponsored clinical trials of new therapeutics in CF and also on longitudinal outcomes of CF newborn screening.
  • John Palla is interested in health disparities in children with CF with a focus on differences in the airway microbiome.

Clinical Research and Quality Improvement

Our Cystic Fibrosis Center is a participating member of the CF Learning Network which focuses on quality improvement (QI) projects with patient and family partners, providing opportunities for fellows to learn the processes involved in QI work.

Additional clinical research and QI opportunities are available through our High-Risk Asthma Program, Sleep Medicine Program, Pulmonary Habilitation Program, and Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia Program as well as other general pulmonary and sleep research/QI endeavors. In addition to these opportunities, research collaborations across the Department of Pediatrics as well as the entire Northwestern University campus are available depending on the research interests of the fellow.

With the location of the Simpson-Querry Biomedical Research Center now open just a few blocks from the hospital on the Streeterville campus, there are a wide variety of projects and resources available to trainees and faculty to complete research projects.


View our publications feed to better understand the breadth of research activity within the Division of Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine.

Learn More

Discover more about Pulmonary research via the Lurie Children's site.

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