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Carla Ribeiro, PhD

Associate Professor
UNC-Chapel Hill

Education and Training

Federal University of Pernambuco, Med Student, 1981
Duke University, PhD, 1992
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Postdoctoral, 1998

Areas of Interest

My laboratory studies mechanisms of inflammatory responses relevant to airway diseases characterized by inflammation and mucin overproduction, e.g., asthma, cystic fibrosis (CF), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). During the last few years, we have investigated the role of alterations in calcium signaling for inflammatory responses relevant to CF, and the importance of mitochondria in restricting calcium-mediated functions in polarized airway epithelia. We also study the role of the Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) in airway inflammatory responses. We were the first to implicate the UPR pathway mediated by the ubiquitous inositol requiring enzyme 1α (IRE1α) in cytokine production by human bronchial epithelia (, and made the key discovery that the isoform IRE1β is only expressed in mucous cells and is required for airway epithelial mucin production ( We are currently investigating the functional role of additional branches of the UPR in other aspects of pulmonary inflammation (;, and in cigarette smoke-induced alterations in airway epithelial function.