David McCulley, MD, Selected as ICTR KL2 Scholar to Study Genetics of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernias

Congratulations to David McCulley, MD, for awarding of his UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) grant entitled, “Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia: Genetic Mechanisms of Pulmonary Hypoplasia and Pulmonary Hypertension,” in the amount of $297,594. He has been selected as part of the KL2 Scholars Program, which provides promising young clinical and translational investigators the training, mentoring, and protected time to develop an independent research program. This program is funded by the NIH through ICTR’s Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA). In this Mentored Career Development Award, David will examine the role of Pbx1 (Pre-B-Cell leukemia transcription factor 1) in the complex phenotype of congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) and in normal formation of the diaphragm as well as normal lung and pulmonary vascular development. He will use data from microarray analyses of changes in gene expression in embryonic and early postnatal lungs of Pbx-mutant mice to determine the genetic pathways affected by loss of Pbx that are critical for postnatal lung and pulmonary vascular development. Goals are to develop genetic and pharmacological approaches to treat and rescue the pulmonary hypertension phenotype of the Pbx-mutant mice, and provide insight into the cause of this lethal disease and help to design targeted therapies that improve the outcome of patients.