William D. Bennett, Ph.D.

Currently I am 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 I’ve been a faculty member since 1988. I received my 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 Stony Brook before coming to UNC. My 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, I have devoted much of my 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, I have also directed CEMALB research on particulate (PM10) dosimetry in healthy and potentially susceptible individuals. I am currently the member of the International Society for Aerosols in Medicine (ISAM) that is dedicated to all aspects of aerosol research in medicine. I am also an active member of the American Thoracic Society and American Physiological Society, serving as a frequent reviewer for their respective journals. Email at william_bennett@med.unc.edu

Kirby L. Zeman, Ph.D.

I have been investigating the physiology of lungs for twenty years. Throughout my time as an investigator at the Center for Environmental Medicine, Asthma and Lung Biology on the University of North Carolina campus, I have been studying the deposition, disposition and effects of particles within the lung. Early research concentrated on particles as pollutants, but more recent studies are focused on using particles as diagnostic and therapeutic measures for dealing with lung diseases. Methods of study include gamma scintigraphy, light scattering, electron microscopy, computer tomography, and targeted drug delivery of various aerosol generating technologies. I am a graduate of Biology with a PhD in Chemistry from the University of California at Santa Cruz. I am an active member of the International Society of Aerosol in Medicine with previous membership in the American Physiological Society and American Association for Aerosol Research. Email at kzeman@med.unc.edu

Jihong Wu, M.D.

Currently I am a research specialist in the Center for Environmental Medicine, Asthma and Lung Biology (CEMALB) at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill. I received my Doctor of Medicine degree in Public Health and Preventive Medicine from Ningxia Medical School, China in 1986. Prior to coming to the US, I worked in the Department of Children’s Health in the Center for Disease Control in Yinchuan, China, for 9 years. I began clinical research for the MESA (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis) study in the Department of Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in 2000. I moved to Chapel Hill, NC in 2006 and started to work for the CEMALB at the UNC-Chapel Hill, where I have been working in the Mucociliary Clearance (MCC) and Aerosol group since 2007. I work in collaboration with the PI and other laboratory personnel, implementing research protocols involving deposition and clearance of particles from the lungs, as well as, performing MCC, aerosol drug delivery research with both healthy subjects and patients.  I strive to use my medical background, strong communication and organizational skills to contribute to our research teams developments. I am an active member of the International Society for Aerosols in Medicine (ISAM) that is dedicated to all aspects of aerosol research in medicine. Email at jihong_wu@med.unc.edu

Phillip Clapp, Ph.D

I am currently a post-doctoral research fellow in the CEMALB at UNC and a long-time Tarheel. I was born and raised in North Carolina and attended UNC Chapel Hill for my undergraduate education. After receiving my B.S. degree in Biology in 2004, I joined the UNC Cystic Fibrosis Center Tissue Procurement and Cell Culture Core where I isolated and cultured primary airway epithelial cells from diseased and healthy human donor lungs. During this time, I developed a deep interest in pulmonary pathophysiology. I was intrigued by how innate cellular defenses, such as mucus and motile cilia, protect our lungs from the countless pathogens we encounter daily. Moreover, I wanted to understand how inhalation of toxic substances, such as cigarette smoke, affects these essential defenses and what role that plays in the progression of lung disease. In 2014, I began my Ph.D. training in the UNC Curriculum in Toxicology under the mentorship of Dr. Ilona Jaspers. My doctoral research investigated the effects of e-cigarette flavoring agents on essential respiratory innate defense functions, including airway epithelial cell ciliary motility, macrophage phagocytosis, neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation, and natural killer (NK) cell-mediated killing of tumorigenic cells. After receiving my Ph.D. in Toxicology in 2018, I joined Dr. Bennett’s lab as a post-doctoral research fellow where I currently study the effects of e-cigarette use on mucociliary clearance in healthy adults using gamma scintigraphy. I am an active member of the International Society for Aerosols in Medicine (ISAM), the Society of Toxicology (SOT), the North Carolina Chapter of the Society of Toxicology (NCSOT), the American Thoracic Society (ATS), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Email at pwclapp@med.unc.edu.

 

Key Collaborators

Scott H. Donaldson, M.D.