COM Phoenix Child Health
Dr. Kalinichenko specializes in lung development and regeneration, with a focus on improving the health outcomes of infants facing life-threatening respiratory conditions. His notable achievements include: the development of nanoparticle delivery systems for gene therapies in pulmonary endothelial cells; discovery of small molecule compounds targeting transcription factors; development of cell therapy with donor endothelial progenitor cells to improve the neonatal angiogenesis; and the use of stem cells to create bioengineered lungs using animals as “bioreactors”.
Vlad Kalinichenko, MD, PhD is a senior investigator with a long-standing interest in transcriptional regulation of lung development and lung injury/repair. His research interests include perinatal and adult pulmonary disorders, such as Alveolar Capillary Dysplasia with Misalignment of Pulmonary Veins (ACDMPV), Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD), Acute Lung Injury (ALI), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC). Throughout his research career, Dr. Kalinichenko was interested in transcriptional regulation of lung diseases by various Forkhead Box (FOX) transcription factors. His lab generated mouse models with loss-of-function and gain-of-function of FOXM1, FOXF1 and FOXF2 and pioneered research on the role of these proteins in the lung. These unique mouse models enabled the lab to discover novel signaling, immune and transcriptional mechanisms critical for pulmonary inflammation, cellular proliferation, apoptosis and endothelial barrier function. His laboratory was involved in discovery and characterization of multiple FOXF1 mutations in ACDMPV patients and generated clinically relevant mouse models of ACDMPV by placing human FOXF1 mutations into the endogenous mouse Foxf1 gene locus. Dr. Kalinichenko has been very active in generation and distribution of >30 transgenic and knockout mice to investigators in scientific research community. His lab has also developed several nanoparticle delivery systems for the in vivo targeting of pulmonary endothelial cells with high efficiency and precision and discovered RCM-1 and TanFe small molecule compounds that specifically target FOX transcription factors in lung diseases. Recently, his lab used embryonic stem cells (ESCs) to generate bioengineered lung tissue which contains airways, alveoli and vasculature for potential applications in lung regenerative medicine. These innovative technologies are currently at different stages of preclinical testing and regulatory approvals for clinical use. The main areas of research include: - Generation of lung tissue from ESCs and iPSCs using interspecies chimeras. - Directed differentiation of ESCs/iPSCs into endothelial cell lineages. - Embryonic and postnatal development of pulmonary vasculature. - Lung regeneration in perinatal and adult pulmonary diseases. - Pulmonary inflammation and molecular mechanisms critical for innate immune responses. - Development of nanoparticle delivery systems to target endothelial cells for gene therapy. The long-term goal of the laboratory is to develop new therapies for BPD, ACDMPV and other perinatal lung diseases.
Jonathan Lifshitz's research questions primarily investigate traumatic brain injury as a disease process that dismantles, repairs and regenerates circuits in the brain. The underlying principle is that adaptive repair and regeneration fail, leaving a miswired brain and neurological impairments that decrease quality of life.
Dr. Lifshitz is the Director of the Translational Neurotrauma Research Program through the College of Medicine - Phoenix, which brings together clinicians and scientists as faculty to address the pathophysiology and recovery from animal models of acquired neurological injury (e.g. stroke, hemorrhage, concussion). These studies are guided by gaps in clinical knowledge to empower healthcare providers to improve quality of life for survivors. To this end, they use public databases, biorepositories, and animal models to address questions across the lifespan. Specific strengths include inflammation, rehabilitation, puberty, sleep, and neuronal morphology.