Skip to main content

UNC T32 Research Training Program in Respiratory Diseases and Critical Care

The Program

Our T32 Research Training Program provides multidisciplinary training in basic, translational, and clinical research within the pulmonary and critical care divisions of the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics and multiple research centers and programs devoted to understanding lung health and disease in pediatric and adult populations. Our Program provides an opportunity for trainees to develop as basic and translational scientists and/or clinical investigators toward becoming independent investigators and leaders within the national lung research community.

Research Projects

Areas of research that T32 Trainees may pursue include (but are not limited to):

  • Asthma
  • COPD
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Primary ciliary dyskinesia
  • Rare lung diseases
  • Pediatric airway diseases
  • Idiopathic bronchiectasis
  • Cell and molecular biology of airway epithelia in health and disease
  • Leukocyte kinetics in healthy and injured lungs
  • Control of airway inflammation
  • Stem cells and airway regeneration
  • Basic and translational proteomics of airways and alveoli
  • Physical, chemical, and microbial environmental agents and lung host defense
  • Interactions between environmental pollutants and respiratory viral infections
  • Pleural disease
  • Bacterial and viral infections
  • ARDS and mechanical ventilation
  • Critical care medicine
  • Health services research in lung disease
  • Behavioral science in lung diseases

Each trainee will have a primary mentor, secondary mentors, and a scholarly oversight committee that includes mentors from varying disciplines. The goals are to facilitate the scientific growth and career development of each Trainee, including grant writing and leadership skills. Each area of lung research is multidisciplinary in nature and emphasizes a broader knowledge of the basic, translational, clinical, and impact implications for each trainee’s question.

For more information, please contact Claire M. Doerschuk, MD,

Candidates for Positions as Trainees in our T32 Research Training Program

  1. Post-doctoral fellows in their second or later years of fellowship who hold a PhD, MD, DO, DVM, combined graduate degrees, or equivalent. Application for a position can occur as early as during the first year.
  2. Clinical fellows who are in engaged in a clinical fellowship in pulmonology and/or critical care or other pulmonary-related fellowships that include protected time for research and who hold an MD, MD/PhD, DO or equivalent degree. Positions as Trainees are for the research year (s) of fellowship.

This T32 Training Program provides opportunities to develop Trainee’s research career

  1. Protected time (1-2 years) to work closely with a mentor who is an expert in the trainee’s area of interest and to develop these interests.
  2. Professional development opportunities, including but not limited to grant writing (F32 or K proposal), presenting at UNC conferences, attending conferences in your area of research and in lung health and disease more generally.
  3. Stipend and health insurance.
  4. Funds to partially cover a scientific meeting in which the trainee is presenting an abstract ($1,500/year).
  5. Funds to partially cover research expenses as specified by the NIH (~$3,000/year).
  6. Funds to partially cover tuition for an MSCR or MPH degree or for individual courses at UNC, if desired (requires separate application, please speak with the T32 Director).

Becoming a Trainee

If you would like to apply for a position as a Trainee in this Research Training Program, please contact Dr. Doerschuk ( and work with your research mentor to complete the following seven items:

  1. Your name
  2. Title of research project
  3. Primary mentor
  4. Secondary mentors
  5. Research project: In 1-2 pages, please describe your proposed research project, including these sections:
    1. Background and rationale;
    2. Question, hypothesis, and specific aims of the project; and
    3. Approach to be taken to answer the question. Candidates are encouraged to develop a multi-disciplinary plan
  6. Career plans or directions: Please provide 1-2 paragraphs describing your interest and motivation to do research, your overall career plan, and how this research training program will help you reach your goals
  7. Current CV

For more information and to submit your application, please contact Claire Doerschuk, MD,

T32 Training Program Oversight Committee


Claire M. Doerschuk, MD
Richard C. Boucher, MD
Terry L. Noah, MD

Senior Core Faculty

Shannon S. Carson, MD, Professor and Chief, Division of Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine

M. Bradley Drummond, MD, MHS, Associate Professor of Medicine, Director of the Obstructive Lung Diseases Clinical and Translational Research Center

James S. Hagood, MD, MPH, Professor of Pediatrics and Director, Program for Rare and Interstitial Lung Disease

Benny L. Joyner Jr, MD, Professor of Pediatrics and Chief, Division of Pediatric Critical Care

Matthew C. Wolfgang, PhD, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology.

Fellowship Program Directors

Ashley G. Henderson, MD, Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship, Department of Medicine

Charles R. Esther Jr, MD, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics, Pediatric Pulmonology Fellowship

T32 Program Administrative Assistant

Melissa Lawrence