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The Zepp Lab

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

University of Pennsylvania

The scope of our research is to dissect mechanisms regulating the development and function of the lung mesenchyme. During lung development, the mesenchyme produces growth factors and extracellular matrix that instructs the branching of the airways and 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…