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James D. Crapo

Special Interests

Research Interests

From 1972 to the present research efforts have focused on mechanisms of oxidative injury and the role of antioxidants in blocking both normal and abnormal oxidative stress. A major emphasis has been on the role of extracellular superoxide dismutase as a regulator of inflammation and of intercellular signal transduction. This laboratory is developing small molecular weight catalytic antioxidants that can be used as drugs and as molecular probes to determine the role of free radicals in normal biology and in disease processes such as radiation-induced injury, stroke, diabetes, chronic lung disease and cancer.

In 2007, the COPDGene project was launched with Dr. Crapo and Dr. Ed Silverman as principal investigators. COPDGene is an NHLBI funded multi-institutional genetic epidemiology study which will carry out a genome-wide analysis of 10,500 subjects at risk for or with COPD to identify the primary genes that determine risk for developing COPD.



Brigham Young University, BS
University of Rochester (New York), MD


1975 - 1976
Duke University
1971 - 1972
Harbor General Hospital, Torrance, CA, Internship


1975 - 1977
Duke University, Pulmonary Medicine
1972 - 1975
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC, Staff Associate

Awards & Recognition

2003-Present: Editor, Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

1999: Presidential Citation, American Thoracic Society

Board Certification

American Board of Internal Medicine
American Board of Pulmonary Diseases

Professional Memberships

American Thoracic Society
American Physiological Society
American Society for Clinical Investigation
American College of Physicians
Fleischner Society
Association of American Physicians
American College of Chest Physicians
The Oxygen Society


Regan EA, RP Bowler and JD Crapo. Joint fluid antioxidants are decreased in osteoarthritic joints compared to joints with macroscropically intact cartilage and subacute injury. Osteoarthritis Cartilage 16:515-521, 2008.

Petersen SV, T Kristensen, JS Petersen, L Ramsgaard, TD Oury, JD Crapo, NC Nielsen and JJ Enghild. The folding of human active and inactive extracelluar superoxide dismutases is an extracellular event. J Biol Chem 283:15031-15036, 2008.

Gridley DS, AY Makinde, X Luo, A Rizvi, JD Crapo, MW Dewhirst, BJ Moeller, RD Pearlstein and JM Slater. Radiation and a metalloporphyrin radioprotectant in a mouse prostate tumor model. Anticancer Research 27:3101-3110, 2007.

Kinnula VL and JD Crapo. Superoxide dismutases in malignant cells and human tumors. Free Radic Biol Med 36:718-744, 2004.

Kinnula VL and JD Crapo. Superoxide dismutases in the lung and human diseases. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 167:1600-1619, 2003.

Academic Affiliations

Professor of Medicine, University of Colorado Denver

Teaching & Professional Positions

1996- present: Professor of Medicine, National Jewish Health, and University of Colorado Denver

1996- 2008: Director, Clinical Science Graduate Program, University of Colorado Denver

1996-2004: Associate Dean, School of Medicine, University of Colorado Denver

1996-2004: Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs, National Jewish Health

1996-2004: Chair, Department of Medicine, National Jewish Health

1979-1996: Chief, Division of Allergy, Critical Care and Respiratory Medicine, Duke University, Durham, NC

Conflicts of Interest

National Jewish Health physicians and scientists may collaborate with pharmaceutical or other industries to develop medical and scientific breakthroughs or to provide education on trends in quality medical practice and outcomes to physicians and health professionals around the country. National Jewish Health maintains a strict conflict of interest policy to ensure that all potential conflicts are clearly visible and that management plans are put in place in order to further innovation and education while ensuring the protection of our patients and the integrity of our research. National Jewish Health publicly discloses any payment to our physicians or scientists. View this faculty member’s industry relationships and collaborations.