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Naftali Kaminski, MD

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Professor of Medicine (Pulmonary); Section Chief, Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine

Research Summary

Dr. Kaminski’s research is focused on improving our understanding, diagnosis and treatment of advanced lung diseases such as Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), using a combination of cutting-edge high throughput profiling technologies, advanced systems biology and disease modeling approaches. Among the key discoveries of his lab are reproducible outcome predictive peripheral blood biomarkers such as MMP7 and the 52 gene signature in IPF, the role of microRNAs in pulmonary fibrosis, the role of phosphatases in pulmonary fibrosis, the potential therapeutic role of thyroid hormone mimetics in pulmonary fibrosis and ARDS and most recently the identification of novel cell populations in IPF using single-cell profiling technologies.

Extensive Research Description

Dr. Kaminski’s team main ambition is to uncover the mechanisms, and thus have a significant impact on the management of advanced lung diseases with a specific focus on IPF, a chronic progressive interstitial lung disease that is currently incurable. To study these mechanisms Dr. Kaminski’s team applies systems biology approaches that incorporate a combination of traditional molecular biology methods, high-throughput genomic technologies such as transcript level profiling (single cell RNA sequencing and epigenomic profiling ) , genome scale analyses of gene variants, advanced bioinformatics approaches and targeted proteomic approaches. These studies have led to shifts in the perception of pulmonary fibrosis, the realization that aberrant activation of developmental pathways is at the core of lung fibrosis, the discovery of the role of microRNAs in IPF, the identification and validation of novel prognostic biomarkers in the bloodstream, as well many additional insights.

Mechanisms of pulmonary fibrosis and other chronic lung diseases

  • Understanding and identifying the genetic and molecular networks that determine the lung phenotype using high throughput high resolution genomic and proteomic technologies.
  • Role of miRNA in advanced lung disease (IPF, Emphysema).
  • Role of other non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs) in advanced lung disease
  • The IPF Cell Atlas (
  • The Normal Aging Lung Cell Atlas
  • The Pulmonary Fibrosis Connectome
  • Epigenomics of chronic lung disease.
  • Using computational approaches to Integrate clinical, biological, genomic and proteomic data to identify new molecular phenotypes of disease.

New molecular targets in Pulmonary Fibrosis

  • The role and regulation of microRNAs (let-7, mir-33, mir-29) in human pulmonary fibrosis and development of microRNA inhibitors and agonist for therapeutic interventions
  • The role of large non-coding RNAs in pulmonary fibrosis
  • The role of thyroid hormone signaling in epithelial cell protection in fibrosis
  • Novel lung resident cell specific therapeutic approaches in pulmonary fibrosis

Biomarker Discovery and Validation in chronic and progressive lung disease

  • Approaches to the development of liquid biopsy in human pulmonary fibrosis and other interstitial lung disease
  • Peripheral blood protein markers in lung fibrosis
  • Genetic predictors of outcome in lung fibrosis
  • Peripheral blood gene expression changes and disease progression


Research Interests

Emphysema; Fibrosis; Genetics, Medical; Lung Diseases; RNA; Gene Expression; Genomics; MicroRNAs; Metalloproteases; Biomarkers, Pharmacological

Public Health Interests

Aging; Bioinformatics; Biomarkers; Genetics, Genomics, Epigenetics; Respiratory Disease/Infections; Pollution

Research Images

Selected Publications