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The Basic Science Section (BSS) is an interdivisional program in the Department of Medicine that facilitates and promotes basic science discovery at National Jewish Health. The BSS has a faculty whose diverse research interests in respiratory biology include cell signaling, free radical biology, drug development, acquired and innate immunity, air pollutants, lung toxicants and genetics. These research interests focus on the pathogenesis of a number of lung disorders including acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), allergies, asthma, bronchitis, chronic beryllium disease, cystic fibrosis, emphysema, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, lung cancer, pneumoconiosis, pulmonary fibrosis, respiratory infections and sarcoidosis.

On June 1, 2010 Dr. Hong Wei Chu became the Director of the BSS. In the past 3 years, the BSS organized more than 50 regular and informal scientific seminars presented by National Jewish Health Department of Medicine faculty, University of Colorado Denver faculty and outside speakers. The BSS also compiled and distributed a monthly Office of Research newsletter, which included a list of nationwide conference opportunities and outside grant opportunities for faculty members to utilize. The BSS also supported funding for junior faculty to learn state-of-the-art research approaches and novel research initiatives, assisting them with enhancing their research efforts.

Current BSS goals are to: (1) offer workshops for research techniques and approaches; (2) invite outside speakers to enhance collaborations; and (3) offer a microfunding opportunity for junior as well as senior faculty to focus on collaborative research projects.



The faculty in the Basic Science Section have diverse research interests in respiratory biology.


Research Interests

These research interests focus on the pathogenesis of a number of lung disorders, including:

  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis, cancer
  • Chronic beryllium disease
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Emphysema
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
  • Lung cancer
  • Infection
  • Pneumoconiosis
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Respiratory infections
  • Sarcoidosis 

Research Resources

The BSS provides several unique research resources to help translate basic science findings into medical advancements in the treatment of lung disease. These resources include:

  • novel human lung cell systems;
  • genetic animal models of pulmonary disease;
  • animal pulmonary physiology;
  • animal inhalation exposure systems;
  • and an active drug development program.