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Phillip Clapp, Ph.D

Research Interests: As a new faculty member in the Department of Pediatrics, I am currently establishing my research program in the UNC Center for Environmental Medicine, Asthma, and Lung Biology where I will use translational in vitro and clinical in vivo approaches to investigate how inhaled xenobiotics modify respiratory innate immune responses in people with and without existing lung disease. In recent years, my research has been centered around the pulmonary effects of vaping and understanding how chemicals in e-cigarettes can affect respiratory host defense responses, which include neutrophil extracellular trap formation, macrophage phagocytosis, airway epithelial cell ciliary motility, and mucociliary clearance. Since the emergence of COVID-19, I transitioned my research to address this immediate public health need. I am currently working with collaborators in the UNC Division of Infectious Diseases, CEMALB Aerosol Research Laboratory, and US EPA to investigate the effectiveness of various face masks and respirators at limiting the transmission of SARS-CoV2. Our goal throughout the pandemic has been to provide mask filtration data to hospitals, health care providers, and the general public to reduce the impact of COVID-19 in our communities and across the globe.