Training the Next Generation

We continue our enduring collaboration with the University of Colorado School of Medicine through clinical and research training for health professionals.

Medical students, residents and post-graduate fellows at the University of Colorado School of Medicine all spend time at National Jewish Health receiving both clinical and research training. Post-graduate fellows often spend an extra year devoted exclusively to research they hope can help launch an academic career. They work with established investigators who offer insight and guidance to help their research succeed.

Post-graduate fellows are integrated into laboratories throughout National Jewish Health, often bringing valuable new ideas and perspectives to established laboratories. Michael Mohning, MD, works in the laboratory of William Janssen, MD,
and is also mentored by Peter Henson, PhD. Drs. Janssen and Henson are experts in lung injury and repair.

When the lungs are damaged by toxic chemicals or other insults, cells die and spill their contents into the extracellular space. Those contents promote inflammation, which can be helpful in small doses, but harmful when it goes on too long or
too vigorously. Exactly which of the cellular contents causes what damage is not well understood. One of the suspects is RNA, the molecule that helps translate genes into proteins.

Dr. Mohning is investigating exactly how extracellular RNA promotes lung inflammation, which could identify new pathways and targets for therapeutic intervention in the future.

“Dr. Janssen has been an excellent mentor,” said Dr. Mohning. “He is an expert in his field. He is always willing to chat about my research and