Irina Petrache, MD
Principal Investigator, Chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
Education and Training
- 1982 – 1986, Dr. I. Mesota Lyceum, Brasov, Romania. Major: Mathematics and Physics. Degree: Baccalaureate
- 1986 – 1992, Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest, Romania. Degree: Doctor of Medicine, MD
- 1993 – 1996, Saint Luke’s Medical Center (since, residency program transferred to Saint Vincent Medical Center), Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH. Internship and Residency in Internal Medicine
- 1996 – 2000, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Research and Clinical Fellowship in Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, Research
Dr. Irina Petrache is chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine and associate vice president of faculty development at National Jewish Health, Denver, Colorado, where she is professor of medicine who holds the Wollowick Endowed Chair in COPD Research. She is also professor of medicine at the University of Colorado, where she co-directs the T32 Training Program in Pulmonary Sciences.
Dr. Petrache received several awards for her academic activities, including the Elizabeth Rich Award; The Golden Lung Award for excellence in teaching; Harrington Scholar-Innovator Award; Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Chancellor’s Prestigious External Award Recognition and the Research Frontiers Trailblazer Award.
Dr. Petrache held faculty positions as assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University and associate professor and then tenured professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine, where she served as Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Medicine.
The Petrache laboratory at National Jewish Health is focused on the pathogenesis of emphysema and pulmonary vascular remodeling in COPD, as well as distal lung injury and repair in response to vaping, cigarette smoking, and acute viral infections.
University of Gdansk (Poland), MS
University of Colorado, Aschutz Medical Campus, PhD
I joined Dr. Petrache lab in 2019. As a research instructor, I coordinate multiple projects, with particular focus on the role of sphingolipid pathway in development of lung injury and lung diseases caused by cigarette smoke exposure, such as COPD.
Senior Researcher, Lab Manager
2006, Indiana University, Bachelor of Science, Physics
2009, Purdue University, Master of Science, Physics
2013, Indiana University, Master of Science, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
2017, Indiana University, PhD, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
I am a sphingolipid biologist/biochemist interested in how sphingolipid metabolism goes awry in disease. During my Physics degrees, I studied how the incorporation of ceramide into a membrane, changes membrane-membrane interactions during efferocytosis. During my biochemistry & molecular biology degrees, I studied the role of acid sphingomyelinase in autophagy. Currently, I am investigating the role of tetraspanins in emphysema.
Senior Lab Researcher
2015, Georgia College and State University, B.S.
I’ve been working in industry, clinical, and research labs for the past 8 years. I’m a hands-on scientist who loves pure experimentation as well as the creative aspects of science. I am starting my PhD this coming fall 2023 at the University of Arizona.
Senior Lab Researcher
2017, Bachelor of Arts, Neuroscience and Philosophy
I graduated from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, in the spring of 2017 with a bachelor of arts in neuroscience and philosophy. Since then, I have worked in microbiology with a particular emphasis on histology. In science, I am most fascinated by developmental biology and the biology of aging, or geroscience. In my free-time, I enjoy roller-skating, snowboarding, hiking, and cooking, all in the company of my partner Michelle, my cat Buttons, and my dog Gordi.
Senior Lab Researcher
2019, University of Lille (France), Master of Biotechnology
Coming from France, I studied the Biotechnology at the University of Lille. I started working in a biotech company specialized into rare diseases, but I wanted to discover the academic research. I am now continuing my career in pulmonary disease. I am specialized in cellular and molecular biology and want to pursue in this field.
Tanner Rivera, MS
Lab Researcher Tech
2022, University of Denver, P.S.M.
2021, Drury University, B.S.
I studied Biochemistry at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri, working in basic organic chemistry research then received my Professional Science Masters in Biomedical Sciences from University of Denver in 2022 where I got the chance to work with Dr. Petrache for my capstone project. Dr. Petrache gave me the opportunity to join her lab and research more into effects of e-cigarettes. I hope to attend medical school in the future to continue studying medicine.