Magdalena Maria Gorska, MD, PhD

Magdalena Maria Gorska
Magdalena Maria Gorska, MD, is a researcher at National Jewish Health. Dr. Gorska is in the Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Associate Professor
Department of Immunology and Genomic Medicine
Department of Medicine
Division of Allergy & Clinical Immunology

Special Interests

Research Interests

My laboratory studies maternal effects on the immune system and development of allergic diseases, with a particular focus on asthma. Maternal effects are defined as influences of maternal environment, genotype or phenotype on the phenotype of the offspring. Maternal effects have been observed in a number of species, including mice and humans, for several environmental factors and in several tissues and systems of the offspring, including their immune system. Maternal effects may be beneficial, increasing offspring adaptation to changes in the environment and preventing a disease, and harmful, leading to a disease. List of maternally-influenced diseases includes asthma.  The existence of maternal effects in asthma has been hypothesized because 1) asthma frequently starts in the first years of life, 2) aberrant gene variants account for only a small proportion of asthma prevalence (GWAS and rare variant studies), 3) childhood asthma associates with maternal environmental exposures and health status. Harmful maternal exposures and phenotypes with positive associations with childhood asthma include road traffic-related air pollution, cigarette smoke and maternal stress. Maternal environmental factors with negative association with childhood asthma include certain microorganisms, and in particular, bacteria present in the farming environment. The overarching goal of our laboratory is to delineate mechanisms underlying maternal effects on asthma. More specific goals are to define maternal information that is transferred to offspring, or lost and not transmitted to offspring, elucidate routes of information transfer (placenta, breast milk, gametes), delineate offspring cells and pathways that are programmed by this information, and study how these cells and pathways contribute to the development of asthma. We have particular interest in cells and pathways of the immune system. The translational goals are to identify early-life biomarkers of predisposition to asthma in humans and define molecular targets for development of preventive drugs. To accomplish our goals, we use mouse models, human cord blood samples, blood samples from young children with asthma, and a variety of immunological, signaling and transcriptomics approaches.


Medical University of Lodz, Poland, Habilitation degree
Medical University of Lodz, Poland, PhD
Medical University of Lodz, Poland, MD
National Jewish Health, Denver, CO, Postdoctoral Fellowship
University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, Postdoctoral Fellowship

Awards & Recognition

2020-2024: R01AI143837
2015-2024: R01HL122995
2017: G. Barsumian, M.D. Memorial Fund Grant Award
2015: National Jewish Health Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award
2014-2015: American Lung Association Biomedical Research Grant
2012-2013: Denver Children’s Environmental Health Center Faculty Development Award (NIEHS PO1 ES-018181 and EPA GAD 834515010)
2011-2014: Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI) KL2 Research Scholar Award (NIH, KL2 TR001080)
2011-2013: Sheldon C. Siegel Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America Investigator Grant Award
2011: DOM Basic Science Section Grant
2010-2011: CCTSI Junior Faculty Pilot Award (NIH, UL1 TR001082)
2005-2006: American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology Interest Section Award
2000-2002: University of Texas James W. McLaughlin Award
1998-1999: Ministry of Health Scholarship for Academic Excellence (Poland)
1993-1998: Lodz Medical School Scholarship for Academic Excellence (Poland)
1992-1993: Polish Children Fund Scholarship

Professional Memberships

American Academy of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology
American Association of Immunologists
Collegium Internationale Allergologicum



Qian Q, Chowdhury BP, Sun Z, Lenberg J, Alam R, Vivier E, Gorska MM. Maternal diesel particle exposure promotes offspring asthma through NK cell-derived granzyme B [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jun 29]. J Clin Invest. 2020;130324. doi:10.1172/JCI130324. PMID: 32407293
Lenberg J, Qian Q, Sun Z, Alam R, Gorska MM. Pre-pregnancy exposure to diesel exhaust predisposes offspring to asthma through IL-1β and IL-17A. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2018, 141:1118-1122.e3. PMCID: PMC5844783.
Manners S, Alam R, Schwartz DA, Gorska MM. A mouse model links asthma susceptibility to prenatal exposure to diesel exhaust. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014, 134:63-72.e7. PMCID: PMC4065237.
Gorska MM, Alam R. A mutation in the human Uncoordinated 119 gene impairs TCR signaling and is associated with CD4 lymphopenia. Blood. 2012, 119:1399-1406. PMCID: PMC3286207
Gorska MM, Stafford S, Liang Q, Goplen N, Dharajiya N, Guo L, Sur S, Gaestel M, Alam R. MK2 controls the level of negative feedback in the NF-κB pathway and is essential for endothelial permeability and airway inflammation. J. Exp. Med. 2007, 204:1637-1652. PMCID: PMC2118652
Gorska MM, Stafford SJ, Cen O, Sur S, and Alam R. Unc119, a Novel Activator of Lck/Fyn, is Essential for T Cell Activation. J. Exp. Med. 2004, 199:369-379. PMCID: PMC2211793

Academic Affiliations

Associate Professor, Department of Medicine and Department of Biomedical Research, National Jewish Health
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Colorado
Training Faculty Member, Immunology Graduate Program, University of Colorado

Teaching & Professional Positions

Associate Professor, Department of Medicine and Department of Biomedical Research, National Jewish Health
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Colorado
Training Faculty Member, Immunology Graduate Program, University of Colorado

Website Information

Gorska Laboratory

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.

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  • National Jewish Health Main Campus
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