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Professor of Pediatrics Chief, Division of Pulmonology

Dr. Ferkol is a pediatric pulmonologist with over thirty years of experience, who has special expertise in suppurative lung diseases, like cystic fibrosis, primary ciliary dyskinesia, and non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis. An American Lung Association Edward Livingston Trudeau Scholar and recipient of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation LeRoy Matthew’s Physician-Scientist Award and PCF Foundation Golden Cilium Award, his research has largely focused of genetic and molecular factors that contribute to chronic airway infection, inflammation, and epithelial injury, with nearly thirty-years of continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health. He currently co-leads the Genetic Disorders of Mucociliary Clearance Consortium, an established, multicenter collaborative that is defining the genetics, pathogenesis, and clinical manifestations of inherited, suppurative lung diseases. He has served on numerous international review groups and study sections, and written or co-authored over 200 original articles, scholarly reviews, and book chapters. Finally, Dr. Ferkol is a past-president of the American Thoracic Society, an international professional organization of over 15,000 members worldwide, only the second pediatrician to serve in this capacity during the 120-year history of the organization.

Education and Training

BA, Biology and Psychology, Case Western Reserve University
MD, The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Residency, Pediatrics, North Carolina Memorial Hospital, UNC School of Medicine
Chief Resident, Pediatrics, North Carolina Memorial Hospital, UNC School of Medicine
Fellowship, Pediatric Pulmonology, Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine


Selected research publications include:

  • Farberman M, Joseph T, Akers K, et al. Expression and polarized release of CXC-chemokines from differentiated primary cultures of wild type and cystic fibrosis murine airway epithelial cells. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2011;45:221-8. PMCID: PMC3266059
  • Horani A, Druley TE, Zariwala MA, et al. Whole exome capture and sequencing identifies HEATR2 mutation as a cause of primary ciliary dyskinesia. Am J Hum Genet. 2012;91:685-93. PMCID: PMC3484505.
  • Ferkol TW, Puffenberger EG, Lie H, et al. Primary ciliary dyskinesia-causing mutations in Amish and Mennonite communities. J Pediatr. 2013;163:383-7. PMCID: PMC3725203.
    Davis SD, Ferkol TW, Rosenfeld M, et al. Clinical features of childhood primary ciliary dyskinesia by genotype and ultrastructural phenotype. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2015;191:316-24. PMCID: PMC4351577.
  • Leigh MW, Ferkol TW, Davis SD, et al. Clinical features and associated likelihood of primary ciliary dyskinesia in children and adolescents. Annals of the American Thoracic Society 2016;13:1305-13. PMCID: PMC5021075.
  • Pittman JE, Wylie KM, Akers K, et al. Association of antibiotics, airway microbiome, and inflammation in infants with cystic fibrosis. Ann Am Thorac Soc 2017;14:1548-55. PMCID: PMC5718571.
  • Davis SD, Rosenfeld M, Lee HS, et al. Primary ciliary dyskinesia: longitudinal study of lung disease by ultrastructure defect and genotype. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2019;199:190-8. PMCID: PMC6353004.
  • Metwally AA, Ascoli C, Ran A, et al. Pediatric lung transplantation: dynamics of the microbiome and bronchiolitis obliterans in cystic fibrosis. Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation. 2020;39:824-34. PMCID: PMC7437357.
  • Sagel SD, Kupfer O, Wagner BD, et al. Airway inflammation in children with primary ciliary dyskinesia. Annals of the American Thoracic Society 2022; Aug 19. doi:10.1513/AnnalsATS.202204-314OC.

Special Interests

Dr. Ferkol’s interests include:

  • Primary ciliary dyskinesia
  • Non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Chronic lung disease related to prematurity
Thomas Ferkol, MD
  • Phone Number

    (919) 966-1055

  • Address

    450 MacNider Hall

    CB# 7217

    Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7217