Douglas Brownfield, Ph.D.
“Reverse-engineering and reconstructing lung tissue with single-cell resolution”
Throughout his career, Dr. Brownfield has sought to harness understanding of developmental processes for the rational design of tissues and organs. In doing so, his work seeks to 1) improve culture assays for disease modeling and drug screening, 2) fabricate tissues and organs suitable for transplant that minimize if not remove current complications with rejection, and 3) elucidate the core principles of tissue design. Focusing on the most physiologically significant tissue in the lung, the alveolus, Dr. Brownfield will discuss his work reverse-engineering its 20 cells of 6 different types via single-cell RNA-sequencing. He will discuss previous work reconstructing the alveolar epithelial lineage hierarchy (Nature, 2014) as well as recent work determining the molecular mechanism that selects and maintains epithelial fate. He will discuss remaining questions as well as the translation of his findings for the precise reconstruction of alveolar tissue in culture.
Dr. Brownfield received his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Tulane University and Ph.D. in Bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley. His graduate work in mammary gland development was in Dr. Mina Bissell’s laboratory and his current postdoctoral work is in Dr. Mark Krasnow’s laboratory. Dr. Brownfield has received the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, ACS Postdoctoral Fellowship, and most recently a K99 Pathway to Independence Award from the NHLBI.