Dr. Matthew Drake

Dr. Matthew Drake

 

My research focuses on mechanisms of asthma.  Specifically, I study interactions between environmental exposures, such as allergens and virus infections, and airway nerves.  My recent work has elucidated novel mechanisms related to eosinophil antiviral responses and Toll-like receptor-mediated bronchodilation.  This research builds on the larger theme of discovering how airways sense and respond to danger signals, and the subsequent effects of those responses on airway physiology.  My ultimate goal is to discover new therapies for asthma.  I am currently funded to investigate the role of Toll-like receptor 7 on airway physiology and on airway nerve function.  I have additional funding to evaluate the expression and function of Transient receptor potential V1 (TRPV1) and purinergic P2X3 receptors in the airways.  My research employs a variety of human and animal models to study airway responsiveness in vivo, including during respiratory virus infections, after ozone exposure, and following allergen sensitization and challenge.  To study receptor expression in greater detail, I utilize a novel whole mount imaging technique developed by our lab that enables precise quantification of airway receptors in three-dimensions.  This technique is well suited to identify changes in neuronal expression in experimental animals and in intact human airway biopsies. Mentoring remains an integral part of my scientific and clinical roles.  I have served as the primary mentor for 5 pulmonary and critical care fellows, and have co-mentored several fellows and graduate students in my lab.  I lead a BUILD EXITO Learning Center (NIH UL1-funded project through PSU).  In my clinical duties, I mentor medical students, residents and pulmonary fellows in the course of their clinical training.  I also serve as the Pulmonary Fellowship Associate Program Director for Research.