Joe GN Garcia

Joe GN Garcia

Professor, Medicine
Professor, Internal Medicine
Professor, Pharmacology and Toxicology
Professor, Physiology
Professor, Physiological Sciences - GIDP
Professor, BIO5 Institute
Primary Department
Department Affiliations
(520) 626-3151

Work Summary

The Garcia laboratory works to understand the molecular mechanisms of lung inflammatory processes, particularly those producing lung edema or vascular leak. The laboratory focus is to investigate gene discovery, protein function assessment, SNP discovery, genetic manipulation, in vivo testing, and candidate gene and biomarker identification, working to translate basic research into potential novel clinical therapies.

Research Interest

Dr. Garcia is an authority on the genetic basis of inflammatory lung disease (with an emphasis on health disparities) and on the mechanistic basis of lung vascular permeability. Using bench-to-bedside approaches, his lab has explored novel methods to prevent vascular leak and to restore endothelial cell barrier function and vascular integrity. This expertise in lung inflammation and vascular permeability provides a natural linkage to interrogation of lung vascular contribution to the development of lung metastases. Leveraging their genomic expertise, in recent years, Dr. Garcia's lab has identified vascular genes whose products are key participants in inflammatory lung injury that also play a role in cancer development. They have developed lung endothelial inflammatory gene expression profiles as well as diagnostic gene signatures influenced by MYLK and NAMPT that impact lung and breast cancer prognosis. This work with NAMPT led to development of a therapeutic NAMPT neutralizing antibody that has shown promise in treating lung cancer, melanoma, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Finally, Dr. Garcia's lab is also interested in the untoward effect of thoracic radiation and has been examining strategies designed to attenuate radiation–induced pneumonits, fibrosis and vascular leak. These collaborative and highly translational cancer research efforts have bolstered the overall mission of the University of Arizona Cancer Center.


Yuan, J., Makino, A., Garcia, J. G., Khalpey, Z. I., Black, S., Wang, J., Rischard, F., Desai, A., Cordery, A. G., Wang, Z., Dash, S., Sun, X., Zhou, T., Gupta, A., Song, S., Ayon, R. J., Gu, Y., McDermott, K. M., Babicheva, A., & Tang, H. (2017). Endothelial HIF-2α contributes to the development of severe pulmonary hypertension by inducing endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition. American J Physiology Lung Cellular Molecular Physiology..
Garcia, J. G., Gonzalez-Garay, M. L., Knox, K. S., Wang, T., Lussier, Y. A., Hecker, L., Casanova, N., & Zhou, T. (2018). Quantitative Analyses of microRNA and Protein-Coding Gene Expression in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Yields Novel Biomarker Signatures Predicting Survival. PLOs one.
Sun, X., Elangovan, V. R., Shimizu, Y., Ma, S. F., Wang, T., & Garcia, J. G. (2016). Genetic and Epigenetic Regulation of Myosin Light Chain Kinase by Inflammatory Lung Disease Associated Polymorphisms. Journal of Investigative Medicine.
Garcia, J. G., Lussier, Y. A., Gonzalez-Garay, M. L., Berghout, J., Zhou, T., Li, Q., & Casanova, N. (2018). Biomolecular mechanisms of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis progression unveiled by the dynamic transcriptome. npj Genomic Medicine.
Desai, A., Choi, B., Dudley, S. C., Kittles, R., Machado, R. F., Garcia, J. G., Hillery, C., Indik, J. H., Goldman, S., Juneman, E. B., Groth, J., Nair, N., Rutledge, C., Kanady, J., Fleming, I., Batai, K., Weigand, K., Shi, G., Kim, T. Y., , Gupta, G., et al. (2018). IL-18 is a novel mediator of prolonged QTc and ventricular arrhythmias associated with Sickle Cell Disease. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
BIO5 Collaborators
Joe GN Garcia, Steven Goldman