Our Research

Dr. Ware’s laboratory

is using translation research to uncover the pathogenesis and risk factors for acute lung injury, the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and sepsis. Our lab uses human organ and cell models to investigate the role of cell free hemoglobin in setting of critical illness. Dr. Ware is extensively published in the field of biomarker investigation and has a current clinical observational study (Validating Acute Lung Injury Markers for Diagnosis; VALID) in the intensive care units at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Dr. Bastarache's laboratory

is working to understand the pathophysiology of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and sepsis and to uncover novel approaches to prevention and treatment of these devastating conditions. Our aim is to uncover novel mechanisms that contribute to the development of sepsis and ARDS using basic science techniques with the ultimate goal of identifying new biologic targets and unique therapeutic approaches that can be translated to clinical practice. 

The Bastarache lab has two major focus areas:

1. The role of cell free-hemoglobin in modulating endothelial and lung epithelial permeability in sepsis and ARDS.

2. The role of tissue factor, the initiator of the extrinsic coagulation cascade, in mediating lung epithelial injury and repair.

The Bastarache lab works with murine models of lung injury in addition to in vitro modeling of the epithelial and endothelial barriers in the lung. 

Dr. Shaver's laboratory

Dr. Ciara Shaver's laboratory is focused on understanding the mechanisms of acute lung injury and the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Her scientific approach combines data from multiple animal models of acute lung injury with translational data from patients with ARDS. Currently, Dr. Shaver's primary focus is to understand the inflammatory consequences of extracellular hemoglobin in the airspace, particularly focusing on the role of macrophage subpopulations in regulating immune responses in the lung. Her previous graduate work investigated the interactions between bacterial exotoxins and innate immune cells during acute bacterial pneumonia. Dr. Shaver’s clinical interest is in lung transplantation with a particular focus on the early postoperative events that predict long-term outcomes. Dr. Shaver is currently funded by a K08 and a Parker B. Francis Fellowship in Pulmonary Research.

All of our research is intended to be translational and combines studies in cell culture, human and mouse experimental models, and human samples from patients with sepsis and ARDS.