Research Core Directors

David J. Erle, M.D.

Professor of Medicine

University of California, San Francisco
Mission Bay Rock Hall – 1550 4th Street
Room 548D, Box 2922
San Francisco, California 94143-2922

Tel: (415) 514-4370
Fax: (415) 514-4278

Email: [email protected]

Functional Genomics 
Pulmonary and Critical Care 
Lung Biology

Dr. Erle received an A.B. degree (Biochemistry) from Harvard College in 1980 and an M.D. degree from UCSF in 1984. He was trained in internal medicine and in pulmonary disease at UCSF. He joined the UCSF Lung Biology Center faculty in 1990. His academic activities include laboratory research and clinical teaching. He is the Director of the Functional Genomics Core Facility, UCSF Sandler Center for Basic Research in Asthma, Director of the UCSF NHLBI Shared Microarray Facility, and Associate Program Director for Genomics of the UCSF/SFGH General Clinical Research Center (GCRC). He is a member of the UCSF Program in Immunology and the Cardiovascular Research Institute. He serves as an Attending Physician in the San Francisco General Hospital Medical ICU and the Pulmonary Consultation Service.

The role of T cell cytokines in murine models of asthma. T helper cells are increased in airways of people with asthma. In animal models, cytokines produced by these cells cause airway inflammation, mucus overproduction, and airway hyperresponsiveness (all of which are hallmarks of asthma). We are now working with a variety of mouse models of asthma in order to understand the mechanisms of these cytokine effects. For example, we have produced transgenic mice that lack the capacity to respond to specific cytokines in all cells except airway epithelial cells. These experiments, together with experiments involving cultured human lung cells, allow us to directly determine how the effects of these cytokines on epithelial cells contribute to asthma pathogenesis.

Functional genomics. The sequencing of the human genome marks the beginning of a new era in biological research. We are producing tools that allow for the large-scale analysis of gene expression in human and mouse cells and tissues. The current focus is on the production and use of oligonucleotide microarrays. We are working closely with collaborators at UCSF and elsewhere, and are using microarrays to address problems relevant to asthma and other lung diseases