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Associate Professor
UNC-Chapel Hill

Education and Training

Northwestern University, BA, 1980
Loyola University, PhD, 1986

Areas of Interest

Dr. Ostrowski’s research interests are broadly focused on the role of ciliated airway epithelial cells in health and disease. Project areas include the regulation of ciliated cell differentiation and gene expression, the identification of novel ciliary proteins by both molecular biology and proteomics approaches, the regulation of ciliary beat frequency, gene therapy approaches for cystic fibrosis and primary ciliary dyskinesia, and the response of ciliated cells to inhaled toxins or pathogens. Most of our studies utilize a model system in which normal human bronchial epithelial cells undergo ciliated cell differentiation in vitro, although we have also developed transgenic animals for certain applications. Currently funded projects include studies using the FOXJ1 ciliated cell-specific promoter in viruses and transgenic animals to drive the expression of CFTR for gene therapy, a proteomic analysis of human cilia to identify proteins mutated in the genetic disease primary ciliary dyskinesia, and studies of the regulation of ciliary activity by phosphorylation pathways. In addition, we are developing a mouse model for primary ciliary dyskinesia by the conditional knockout of a ciliary protein that has been identified in human patients. The long-term goal of the laboratory is to improve the prevention and treatment of respiratory diseases by increasing our understanding of ciliated cell biology.