Dr. Erle received an A.B. degree (Biochemistry) from Harvard College in 1980 and an M.D. degree from UCSF in 1984. He was trained in internal medicine and in pulmonary disease at UCSF. He joined the UCSF Lung Biology Center faculty in 1990. His academic activities include laboratory research and clinical teaching. He is the Director of the Functional Genomics Core Facility, UCSF Sandler Center for Basic Research in Asthma. He is a member of the UCSF Program in Immunology and the Cardiovascular Research Institute. He serves as an Attending Physician in the San Francisco General Hospital Medical ICU and the Pulmonary Consultation Service.
The role of T cell cytokines in murine models of asthma. T helper cells are increased in airways of people with asthma. In animal models, cytokines produced by these cells cause airway inflammation, mucus overproduction, and airway hyperresponsiveness (all of which are hallmarks of asthma). We are now working with a variety of mouse models of asthma in order to understand the mechanisms of these cytokine effects. For example, we have produced transgenic mice that lack the capacity to respond to specific cytokines in all cells except airway epithelial cells. These experiments allow us to directly determine how the effects of these cytokines on epithelial cells contribute to asthma pathogenesis.
Functional genomics. The sequencing of the human genome marks the beginning of a new era in biological research. We are producing tools that allow for the large-scale analysis of gene expression in human and mouse cells and tissues. The current focus is on the production and use of oligonucleotide microarrays. We are working closely with collaborators at UCSF and elsewhere, and are beginning to use these microarrays to address problems relevant to asthma and other lung diseases.
Kuperman D, Huang X, Koth LL, Chang GH, Dolganov GM, Zhu Z, Elias JA, Sheppard D, Erle DJ. Direct effects of interleukin-13 on epithelial cells cause airway hyperreactivity and mucus overproduction, two central features of asthma. Nature Med 8:885-9, 2002.
Barczak A, Rodriguez MW, Hanspers K, Koth LL, Tai YC, Bolstad BM, Speed TP, Erle DJ. Spotted long oligonucleotide arrays for human gene expression analysis. Genome Res 13:1775-85, 2003.
Kuperman DA, Lewis CC, Woodruff PG, Rodriguez MW, Yang YH, Dolganov GM, Fahy JV, Erle DJ. Dissecting asthma using focused transgenic modeling and functional genomics. J Allergy Clin Immunol 116:305-311, 2005.
Kuperman DA, Huang X, Nguyenvu L, Hölscher C, Brombacher F, Erle DJ. IL-4 receptor signaling in Clara cells is required for allergen-induced mucus production. J Immunol 175:3746-3752, 2005.
Woodruff PG, Koth LL, Yang YH, Rodriguez MW, Favoreto S, Dolganov GM, Paquet AC, Erle DJ. A distinctive alveolar macrophage activation state induced by cigarette smoking. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 172:1383-1392, 2005.
Zhen G, Park SW, Nguyenvu LT, Rodriguez MW, Barbeau R, Paquet AC, Erle DJ. Interleukin-13 and EGF receptor have critical but distinct roles in epithelial cell mucin production. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 2006, in press.