Skip to main content


Dr. William Bennett is Professor of Medicine in the Center for Environmental Medicine, Asthma and Lung Biology (CEMALB) at the University of North Carolina(UNC) at Chapel Hill, where he has been a faculty member since 1988. He received his PhD in Environmental Health Sciences from the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene in 1983 and was a postdoctoral fellow/junior faculty at State University of New York at StonyBrook before coming to UNC.

Bill’s general research interests are directed towards understanding particle deposition and clearance in the healthy and diseased lung. Having trained in both aerosol physics and pulmonary physiology, he has devoted much of his research efforts towards using aerosols as a tool for studying lung physiology, e.g. assessing therapeutic benefits of inhaled drugs on mucociliary clearance. In support of the US Environmental Protection Agency research agenda, he has also directed CEMALB research on particulate (PM10) dosimetry in healthy and potentially susceptible individuals.

Bill is currently the Past-President of the International Society for Aerosols in Medicine (ISAM), a non-profit society dedicated to all aspects of aerosol research in medicine, and was congress president for the ISAM2013 Congress in Chapel Hill, NC. He is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Aerosol Medicine and Pulmonary Drug Delivery (JAMPDD), and an active member of the American Thoracic Society and American Physiological Society, serving as a frequent reviewer for their respective journals.


Bennett, WD, Messina, MS, and GC Smaldone. The effect of exercise on deposition and subsequent retention of inhaled particles. J Appl Physiol 59(4):1046-1054, 1985.

Bennett, WD and GC Smaldone. Human variation in the peripheral air-space deposition of inhaled particles. J Appl Physiol 62(4):1603-1610, 1987.

Ilowite, J, Smaldone, GC, Perry, R, Bennett, WD, and WM Foster. The relationship between tracheobronchial clearance rates and sites of initial deposition in man. Arch Env Health 44:267-273, 1989.

Ilowite, J, Bennett, WD, Sheets, MS, Groth ML, and DM Nierman. Permeability of the bronchial mucosa to Tc99m-DTPA in asthma. Am Rev Respir Dis 139(5):1139-1145, 1989.

Gerrity, TR, Bennett WD, Kehrl H, and DeWitt PJ. Mucociliary clearance of inhaled particles measured at two hours following ozone exposure in humans. J Appl Physiol 74(6):2984-2989, 1993.

Bennett WD, KL Zeman and CS Kim. Variability of fine particle deposition in healthy adults: effect of age and gender. Am J Resp Crit Care Med 153 (5):1641-1647, 1996.

Bennett WD and KL Zeman. Deposition of fine particles in children spontaneously breathing at rest. Inhalation Toxicology 10:831-842, 1998.

Lay JC, WD Bennett, AJ Ghio, PA Bromberg, DL Costa, CS Kim, HS Koren, and RB Devlin. Cellular and biochemical response of the human lung following intrapulmonary instillation of ferric oxide particles. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 20:631-642, 1999

Kerem E, Bistritzer T, Hanukoglu A, Hofmann T, Zhou Z, Bennett W, MacLaughlin E, Barker P, Nash M, Quittell L, Boucher R, Knowles MR. Pulmonary epithelial sodium-channel dysfunction and excess airway liquid in pseudohypoaldosteronism. N Engl J Med. 341:156-162, 1999.

Brown JS, Kim CS, Reist P, Zeman KL, and WD Bennett. Generation of radiolabelled “soot-like” ultrafine aerosols suitable for use in human inhalation studies. Aerosol Sci and Tech 32:325-337, 2000

Alexis NE, Hu SC, Zeman K, Alter T, and WD Bennett. Induced Sputum Derives From the Central Airways: Confirmation Using a Radiolabeled Aerosol Bolus Delivery Technique. Am J Resp Crit Care Med 164:1964-1970, 2001

Brown JS, Zeman KL, and WD Bennett. Ultrafine particle deposition and clearance in the healthy and obstructed lung. Am J Resp Crit Care Med 166:1240-1247, 2002.

Bennett WD, Zeman KL, and A Jarabek. Nasal contribution to breathing with exercise: effect of race and gender. J Appl Physiol 95: 497-503, 2003.

Bennett WD and KL Zeman. Effect of body size on breathing pattern and fine particle deposition in children. J Appl Physiol 97:821-826, 2004.

Bennett WD and KL Zeman. Effect of race on fine particle deposition for oral and nasal breathing. Inhalation Toxicology: 17(12):641-8, 2005.

Alexis NE, Lay JC, Zeman KL, Geiser M, Kapp N, and WD Bennett. In Vivo Particle Uptake by Airway Macrophages in Healthy Volunteers. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 2006 Mar; 34(3):305-13.

Sood N, WD Bennett, K Zeman, J Brown, C Foy, RC Boucher, and MR Knowles. Increasing concentration of inhaled saline with or without amiloride: Effect on mucociliary clearance in normal subjects. Am J Resp Crit Care Med 167:158-163, 2003.

Donaldson SH, Bennett WD, Zeman KL, Knowles MK, Tarran R, and RC Boucher. Mucus Clearance and Lung Function in Cystic Fibrosis with Hypertonic Saline. N Eng J Med 354:241-50, 2006.

Bennett WD, Almond MA, Zeman KL, Johnson JG, and JF Donohue. Effect of salmeterol on mucociliary and cough clearance in chronic bronchitis. Pulm Pharm Therap 19(2):96-100, 2006.

Sawyer K, JS Brown, MJ Hazucha, and WD Bennett. The Effect of Exercise on Nasal Uptake of Ozone in Healthy Human Adults. J Appl Physiol, 2007, 102:1380-1386.

Bennett WD, MJ Hazucha, Folinsbee LJ, Bromberg PA, Kissling GE, and London SJ. Acute pulmonary function response to ozone in young adults as a function of body mass index. Inhalation Toxicology 2007 19(14):1147-1154.

Bennett WD, KL Zeman, and AM Jarabek. Nasal contribution to breathing and fine particle deposition in children vs. adults. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health Part A, 71: 227–237, 2008.

Bennett WD, Daviskas E, Hasani A, Mortensen J, Fleming J, Scheuch G. Mucociliary

and cough clearance as a biomarker for therapeutic development. J Aerosol Med

Pulm Drug Deliv. 2010; 23(5):261-72.

Bennett WD, Herbst, M, Alexis NE, Zeman KL, Wu J, Hernandez ML, and Peden DB. Effect of Inhaled Dust-Mite Allergen on Regional Particle Deposition and Mucociliary Clearance in Allergic Asthmatics. Clinical & Experimental Allergy 2011;41(12):1719-28.

Bennett WD, Herbst M, Zeman KL, Wu J, Hernandez ML, Peden DB. Effect of inhaled

endotoxin on regional particle deposition in patients with mild asthma. J Allergy

Clin Immunol 131(3):912-3, 2013.

Bennett WD, Alexis NE, Almond M, Herbst M, Zeman KL, Peden DB. Effect of Inhaled

Endotoxin on Mucociliary Clearance and Airway Inflammation in Mild Smokers

and Nonsmokers. J Aerosol Med Pulm Drug Deliv. 2014 Feb 25. [Epub ahead of print]