Prescott G. Woodruff, M.D., M.P.H.

Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep and Allergy & the Cardiovascular Research Institute

University of California, San Francisco
513 Parnassus Avenue
Room HSE-1305, Box 0130
San Francisco, CA 94143

Tel: 415-514-2061
Fax: 415-502-7814

Woodruff Lab

Prescott Woodruff is a Professor of Medicine, Vice Chief for Research in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep and Allergy and Associate Director of the UCSF Airway Clinical Research Center. He completed a B.A. at Wesleyan University, an M.D. at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, and an M.P.H. at the Harvard School of Public Health. He trained in Internal Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital, in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at UCSF and completed post-doctoral research training at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and UCSF.

Dr. Woodruff’s research comprises a program of NIH-funded clinical and translational research into a range of lung diseases including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and granulomatous lung diseases (e.g. sarcoidosis and hypersensitivity pneumonitis). His laboratory is in HSE13 and focuses on functional genomics in asthma, COPD and granulomatous lung disease, mechanisms of airway mucus production and biomarker development. His clinical studies are undertaken in the UCSF Airway Clinical Research Center, which is located on the 13th floor of Moffitt Hospital and serves as a shared and highly equipped resource for human studies in airway disease, including those contributing to SABRE projects. He is also the co-director (with John Fahy) of the UCSF Airway Tissue Bank. The primary function of this bank is to preserve human samples for ongoing research in the Woodruff and Fahy Laboratories, but this bank can also contribute human samples to SABRE projects contingent on a review of scientific need and adherence to formal sharing procedures.

Dr. Woodruff’s major contribution has been in the field of personalized pulmonary medicine through the identification of specific proteins expressed in human airway epithelial cells in response to canonical Th2 stimuli (Woodruff PNAS 2007). These bioresponse markers, including periostin, have been widely validated and used to identify patient subgroups responsive to anti-Th2 therapy (Woodruff AJRCCM 2009, Corren NEJM 2011, Hanania AJRCCM 2013). This work has led to the development of a blood biomarker that is being used to develop personalized asthma treatment strategies and is considered a model for a new era of "precision" drug development for lung diseases.

Lab Objectives:

These studies fall into three specific categories:

  1. The identification of distinct molecular sub-phenotypes of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and granulomatous lung diseases (e.g. sarcoidosis and hypersensitivity pneumonitis),
  2. The elucidation of disease-relevant mechanisms of airway inflammation and remodeling in the lung in these diseases and
  3. Clinical trials of novel therapeutic approaches.
Selected Publications:
  1. Siddiqui S, Johansson K, Joo A, Bonser LR, Koh KD, Le Tonqueze O, Bolourchi S, Bautista RA, Zlock L, Roth TL, Marson A, Bhakta NR, Ansel KM, Finkbeiner WE, Erle DJ, Woodruff PG. Epithelial miR-141 regulates IL-13-induced airway mucus production. JCI Insight. 2021 Mar 8;6(5): e139019. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.139019. PMID: 33682796.
  2. Christenson SA, van den Berge M, Faiz A, Inkamp K, Bhakta N, Bonser LR, Zlock LT, Barjaktarevic IZ, Barr RG, Bleecker ER, Boucher RC, Bowler RP, Comellas AP, Curtis JL, Han MK, Hansel NN, Hiemstra PS, Kaner RJ, Krishnanm JA, Martinez FJ, O'Neal WK, Paine R 3rd, Timens W, Wells JM, Spira A, Erle DJ, Woodruff PG. An airway epithelial IL-17A response signature identifies a steroid-unresponsive COPD patient subgroup. J Clin Invest. 2019 Jan 2;129(1):169-181.
  3. Godoy PM, Bhakta NR, Barczak AJ, Cakmak H, Fisher S, MacKenzie TC, Patel T, Price RW, Smith JF, Woodruff PG, Erle DJ. Large Differences in Small RNA Composition Between Human Biofluids. Cell Rep. 2018 Oct 30;25(5):1346-1358.
  4. Wells JM, Parker MM, Oster RA, Bowler RP, Dransfield MT, Bhatt SP, Cho MH, Kim V, Curtis JL, Martinez FJ, Paine R 3rd, O'Neal W, Labaki WW, Kaner RJ, Barjaktarevic I, Han MK, Silverman EK, Crapo JD, Barr RG, Woodruff P, Castaldi PJ, Gaggar A, Investigators TSAC. Elevated circulating MMP-9 is linked to increased COPD exacerbation risk in SPIROMICS and COPDGene. JCI Insight. 2018 Nov 15;3(22).
  5. Giraldez MD, Spengler RM, Etheridge A, Godoy PM, Barczak AJ, Srinivasan S, De Hoff PL, Tanriverdi K, Courtright A, Lu S, Khoory J, Rubio R, Baxter D, Driedonks TAP, Buermans HPJ, Nolte-'t Hoen ENM, Jiang H, Wang K, Ghiran I, Wang YE, Van Keuren-Jensen K, Freedman JE, Woodruff PG, Laurent LC, Erle DJ, Galas DJ, Tewari  M. Comprehensive multi-center assessment of small RNA-seq methods for quantitative miRNA profiling. Nat Biotechnol. 2018 Sep;36(8):746-757.
  6. Dunican EM, Elicker BM, Gierada DS, Nagle SK, Schiebler ML, Newell JD, Raymond WW, Lachowicz-Scroggins ME, Di Maio S, Hoffman EA, Castro M, Fain SB, Jarjour NN, Israel E, Levy BD, Erzurum SC, Wenzel SE, Meyers DA, Bleecker ER, Phillips BR, Mauger DT, Gordon ED, Woodruff PG, Peters MC, Fahy JV; National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Severe Asthma Research Program (SARP). Mucus plugs in patients with asthma linked to eosinophilia and airflow obstruction. J Clin Invest. 2018 Mar 1;128(3):997-1009.
  7. Bhakta NR, Christenson SA, Nerella S, Solberg OD, Nguyen CP, Choy DF, Jung KL, Garudadri S, Bonser LR, Pollack JL, Zlock LT, Erle DJ, Langelier C, Derisi JL, Arron JR, Fahy JV, Woodruff PG. IFN-stimulated Gene Expression, Type 2 Inflammation, and Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in Asthma. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2018 Feb 1;197(3):313-324.