Biosketch / Results /
William RomSol and Judith Bergstein Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine
Professor, Department of Environmental Medicine
462 First Avenue
New York, NY 10016
Education1971-1972 — University of California, Davis-Sacramento Medical Center, (Medicine), Internship
— Univ of Minnesota, Medical Education
1973-1975 — University of California, Davis-Sacramento Medical Center, (Medicine), Residency Training
1975-1977 — Mount Sinai Medical Center (Pulmonary Disease & Environmental Medicine), Clinical Fellowships
In the lower respiratory tract, alveolar macrophages (AMs) phagocytose inorganic particles and microorganisms, thus playing an important role in host defense. AMs have a complex array of intracellular machinery to respond and direct inflammatory and fibrotic processes. Through releasing peptide growth factors such as platelet-derived growth factor and insulin-like growth factor-I, they stimulate fibroblast proliferation and contribute to fibrosis. Through releasing interleukin-8 (IL-8), they attract neutrophils and lymphocytes by chemotaxis to participate in immune-effector functions. The macrophage processes antigen and presents it to naive T lymphocytes, activating them in immune or cytotoxic responses. AMs are a major source of cytokines IL-b, TNF-a, and IL-6, all of which participate in granulomatous lung inflammation. AMs can phagocytose apoptotic neutrophils and lymphocytes participating in programmed cell death.
We also analyze BAL cells, bronchial brush, and microdissected samples from lung resections to search for tumor suppressor gene mutations and gene expression changes that will help us identify workers exposed to asbestos and cigarette smoke making them at high risk for lung cancer.
In tuberculosis studies, we investigate IL-8, TNF-a, IL-1b, and IL-6 roles in the granulomatous response. Regarding the transcriptional regulation of these genes, we identified NF-IL6 enhancer site(s) that respond to Mycobacterium tuberculosis or cytokines stimulated by the mycobacterium. Interferon-g activates AM to enhance M. tuberculosis killing and IL-12 promotes the TH1 cytokine response; we evaluate how these cytokines alter the immune response in vivo by BAL. Also, we study the interaction of NF-IL6 with the natural resistance in the AM (Nramp) gene to dissect the genetic control of AM activation.
Research InterestsHuman Alveolar Macrophage Function in Health and Disease; Molecular Mechanisms of Lung Cancer; Molecular Host Response to M tuberculosis; Environmental Health Policy; Asbestos-related diseases
Progression from respiratory dysfunction to failure in late-onset Pompe disease
Berger, Kenneth I; Chan, Yinny; Rom, William N; Oppenheimer, Beno W; Goldring, Roberta M. Progression from respiratory dysfunction to failure in late-onset Pompe disease. Neuromuscular disorders. 2016 May 30;26(8):481-489 (2145062)
Autoantibodies against tumor-associated antigens in the early detection of lung cancer
Dai, L; Tsay, J -C J; Li, J; Yie, T -A; Munger, J S; Pass, H; Rom, W N; Zhang, Y; Tan, E M; Zhang, J -Y. Autoantibodies against tumor-associated antigens in the early detection of lung cancer. Lung cancer. 2016 01 Sep 2016;99(pp):172-179 (2214042)
Inflammatory cytokines and non-small cell lung cancer in a CT-scan screening cohort: Background review of the literature
DeCotiis, Christopher; Hu, Yingjie; Greenberg, Alissa K; Huie, Maryann; Tsay, Jun-Chieh J; Pass, Harvey; Goldberg, Judith D; Rom, William N. Inflammatory cytokines and non-small cell lung cancer in a CT-scan screening cohort: Background review of the literature. Cancer biomarkers : section A of Disease markers. 2016 Feb 23;16(2):219-233 (1912582)
Serum phosphatidylethanolamine levels distinguish benign from malignant solitary pulmonary nodules and represent a potential diagnostic biomarker for lung cancer
Fahrmann, Johannes F; Grapov, Dmitry D; DeFelice, Brian C; Taylor, Sandra; Kim, Kyoungmi; Kelly, Karen; Wikoff, William R; Pass, Harvey; Rom, William N; Fiehn, Oliver; Miyamoto, Suzanne. Serum phosphatidylethanolamine levels distinguish benign from malignant solitary pulmonary nodules and represent a potential diagnostic biomarker for lung cancer. Cancer biomarkers : section A of Disease markers. 2016 Mar 11;16(4):609-617 (2052052)
Risk Factors Associated With Quantitative Evidence of Lung Emphysema and Fibrosis in an HIV-Infected Cohort
Leader, Joseph K; Crothers, Kristina; Huang, Laurence; King, Mark A; Morris, Alison; Thompson, Bruce W; Flores, Sonia C; Drummond, Michael B; Rom, William N; Diaz, Philip T. Risk Factors Associated With Quantitative Evidence of Lung Emphysema and Fibrosis in an HIV-Infected Cohort. Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes. JAIDS. 2016 Apr 1;71(4):420-427 (1965502)