Craig Gerard, MD, PhD
|Hospital Title||Chief, Division of Respiratory Diseases|
Leila and Irving Perlmutter Professor
320 Longwood Avenue
The Gerard laboratory has focused extensively on G protein coupled receptors, which play an essential role in activating white blood cells. Many of these receptors and ligands--the molecules that bind to them--have come to be appreciated as a bridge between innate and acquired immunity, as well as vital to the acute inflammatory response.
The bulk of the group's focus over the past decade has been on elucidating the G protein coupled receptors for anaphylatoxins C5a and C3a--molecules that mediate inflammatory responses--as well as those for the chemokine superfamily--the chemical messengers of the immune system. Their work has moved from cloning the receptors to disrupting receptor genes in order to probe the role of these receptors in the body.
Along the way, the lab was the first to show how one pathogen, invasive pneumococcus, exploits the platetelet activating factor receptor to gain access to cells. That discovery was followed by collaborative work defining the chemokine receptors involved as HIV-1 co-receptors.
Current projects in the lab relating to cystic fibrosis is directed at understanding the pathogenesis of Burkholderia infections. We have obtained the genomic structure of a transmissible strain of B. dolosa and are working with Dr. Stephen Lory to elucidate the mechanisms by which this bacterium thrives in lung epithelial cells.
A second translational research project seeks to understand whether regulatory T cells (Treg) allow some patients with CF to preserve lung function well into middle age.
About Craig Gerard
Craig Gerard received his MD degree from Wake Forest University and his PhD from University of California, San Diego. He completed an internship at Beth Israel Hospital, a residency at University at California, San Diego, and a fellowship at Scripps Research Institute.
- Humbles AA, Lloyd CM, McMillan SJ, Friend DS, Xanthou G, McKenna E, Ghiran S, Gerard NP, Yu C, Orkin SH, Gerard C. A critical role for eosinophils in allergic airways remodeling. Science. 2004; 305: 1776-1779.
- Humbles AA, Lu B, Nilsson CA, Lilly C, Israel E, Fujiwara Y, Gerard NP, Gerard C. A role for the C3a anaphylatoxin receptor in the effector phase of asthma. Nature. 2000 Aug 31; 406: 998-1001.
- Bozic CR, Lu B, Hopken UE, Gerard C, Gerard NP. Neurogenic amplification of immune complex inflammation. Science. 1996; 273: 1722-1725.