The Zepp Lab

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

University of Pennsylvania

Our research aims to define mechanisms regulating the development and function of the lung mesenchyme. During lung development, the mesenchyme produces growth factors and an extracellular matrix that instructs airway branching and the formation of the alveoli. In the mature organ, mesenchyme also responds to tissue injury caused by respiratory viruses and other pathogens, smoke inhalation, or many other genetic and environmental exposures. The mesenchymal response includes rapid proliferation and activation of the fibroblasts, elevated secreted ligand expression, and stiffening of the damaged tissue. We are modeling these activities using mouse genetics, ex vivo tissue culture, single-cell technology, and bioengineering. To learn more…