One of the major limitations to studying human lung disease is limited access to primary airway epithelial cells and poor recapitulation of human disease in rodent models, leading to fewer therapies making it to the clinic. To progress toward new therapeutics and eventually cures, it is imperative to study the human lung, including cells from the proximal conducting and distal gas exchange regions across a diverse spectrum of lung disease patients. My research program is focused on the development and utilization of iPSC models of human lung disease to overcome this critical lack of model systems that closely reflect disease pathogenesis as it occurs in humans. The Ryan laboratory focuses on applying in vitro, in vivo, iPSC and 3-D spheroid models including primary lung epithelial cells and state-of-the-art gene editing technologies to a) model and study mechanisms of lung development and disease, and b) investigate approaches for tissue regeneration and stem cell-mediated repair of the airway epithelium. To support this highly innovative program, we have established critical collaborations with clinicians, engineers, large animal research groups and bioinformaticians both within USC and around the world. Our long-term goal is to fully understand specification of specialized airway epithelial cell types from stem and progenitor cells in the human lung in the context of injury, regeneration and disease pathogenesis. Our primary research focus is on rare lung diseases where human samples are particularly difficult to obtain or from end stage disease, namely cystic fibrosis (CF) and primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD).
- Amy Ryan (Firth) publishes in Cell Stem Cell December 7, 2017
- Amy Firth received 2017 RCMB Carol Basbaum Award July 6, 2017
- USC’s stem cell scientists secure the dollars to fight disease May 30, 2017