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Charles Dela Cruz, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Medicine (Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine) and of Microbial Pathogenesis; Director, Center for Pulmonary Infection Research and Treatment (CPIRT)

Contact Information

Charles Dela Cruz, MD, PhD

Patient Care Locations

Office Location

Mailing Address

  • Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine

    PO Box 208057, 300 Cedar Street

    New Haven, CT 06520-8057

    United States

Appointments

Biography

Dr. Dela Cruz completed his research training through an MD/PhD program in the area of immunology and virology from University of Toronto and Yale. Clinically, he is trained in internal medicine, and specializes in pulmonary and critical care medicine and is currently an Associate Professor at Yale University in the same department. He is also the founding director for the Center for Pulmonary Infection Research and Treatment (CPIRT). www.cpirt.yale.edu. His laboratory is interested in studying the role of respiratory infection in the pathogenesis of acute and chronic lung diseases. Specifically, his work focuses on how lung infection contribute to inflammation, injury and tissue repair in the lung. This has allowed the lab to carefully study the molecular and cellular responses of several novel mediators in the lung.

His laboratory focuses on two main research programs. (1) Studying novel immune regulators in the lung during respiratory infections. (2) Studying the effects of cigarette smoke (CS) exposure in the pathogenesis of airway and lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) using preclinical genetic mouse models and human biosamples. The goal of the lab is also to be able to confirm and translate the findings using biospecimens from the established and establishing cohort of human patients with various lung diseases.

COPD is a composite entity that includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, is a leading cause of death in the world, and is a disease that is in need of new treatments. One of the goal of our laboratory is to investigate the interaction between CS and respiratory virus infection in the pathogenesis of COPD and identify novel therapeutic targets for this respiratory disease. It has been long thought that the frequent respiratory infections in COPD patients are due to their depressed immune function. Our studies have revealed that CS-exposed hosts have an over-exaggerated immune reaction to viral infections. Frequent acute COPD exacerbations correlate with increased rate of disease progression and more loss of lung function in COPD especially if it is due to viral infections. Our studies have shown that CS exposure has an impressive ability to regulate the innate immunity in the lung after influenza virus and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. CS enhances the inflammation, alveolar destruction and airway fibrosis caused by influenza virus and RSV. These effects are mediated by type I interferon and RIG-like helicase antiviral innate immune pathway. CS exposure also results in the induction of interleukin-15 in the setting of these respiratory infections. We hypothesize that these novel mechanistic pathways may explain the heightened inflammatory response and worsening lung functions in COPD patients with multiple virally-induced exacerbations, and the chronic lung inflammation seen in stable COPD patients. We have also translated our findings by studying these immune mediators in patients infected with various respiratory viruses and have thus far collected >300 human biosamples.
YCCI Scholar 2011

Education & Training

  • Fellow
    Yale University School of Medicine (2009)
  • Resident
    Yale University School of Medicine (2005)
  • MD
    Yale University School of Medicine (2003)
  • PhD
    University of Toronto (2000)
  • BS
    University of Toronto (1994)

Honors & Recognition

AwardAwarding OrganizationDate
Elected Chair, Gordon Conference, Biology of Acute Lung Infections; Vice-chair (2022)2021
Chair, NHLBI, Lung Cellular and Molecular Immunity (LCMI) Study Section2020
co-Editors, Fishman’s Pulmonary Diseases and Disorders, 6e, Michael A. Grippi, Robert M. Kotloff, Allan I. Pack, Charles S. Dela Cruz, Camille Kotton, Danielle Antin-Ozerkis2019
American Thoracic Society (ATS) Fellow2018
Pulmonary Infection and Tuberculosis (PI-TB) Mid-Level Career AwardAmerican Thoracic Society (ATS)2018
Patterson Trust Clinical Scholar Award2015
Patterson Trust Clinical Scholar Award2014
American Thoracic Society (ATS) Microbiology, Tuberculosis and Respiratory Infection (MTPI) Junior Level Career Award2014
Yale Medicine Atkins Physician Scientist Lecture2013
Translational Science Scholars Award2012
Yale CTSA YCCI Clinical Translational Faculty Scholar Award2011
Federation of Clinical Immunology Society Travel Grant2010
Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute (FAMRI) Young Clinical Scientist Award (5 yrs)2009
American Thoracic Society Fellows Career Development Award (declined)2008
American Thoracic Society International Conference Award2008
Parker B. Francis Foundation Fellowship in Pulmonary Research (3 Years)2008
2nd Place Award, Fifth Annual Respiratory Disease Young Investigators Forum2008
National Jewish Hospital Pulmonary Mycobacterial Program2006
Johnson & Johnson Physician Scholar in International Health (Yale, Anchorage, Alaska)2004
American College of Physician Internal Medicine Award2003
Infectious Diseases Society of America Medical Scholarship2002
University of Toronto MD/PhD Fellowship Award2000
Canadian Society of Immunology Award2000
Canadian Association for HIV Research Scholarship2000
Elizabeth Glaser Pediatrics AIDS Foundation Intern Award2000
2nd place, Eastern Student Research Forum1999
Institute of Medical Sciences Merit Scholarship1998
Institute of Human Virology Travel Scholarship (2 Years)1998
Medical Research Council of Canada Graduate Scholarship (4 Years)1996
Ontario Graduate Scholarship1996
Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council Undergraduate Award1992
Life Sciences Undergraduate Research Fellowship (3 Years)1992
University of Toronto Faculty Scholar, Dean’s Certificate Award (4 Years)1991
University of Toronto Trinity College Dr. H. Parsons Scholarships (3 Years)1990
Governor General of Canada Award, Canada Scholarship & Ontario Scholarship1990

Professional Service

OrganizationRoleDate
DOD Study Section on COVID-19Chair2020
Medical School CommitteesDean’s COVID-19 Response Coordination (CoReCT) team2020 - Present
Medical School CommitteesCoReCT Translational Studies Committee2020 - Present
Medical School CommitteesCoReCT Clinical Trial Studies Committee2020 - Present
Medical School CommitteesIMPACT (Implementing Medical and Public Health Action against Coronavirus in Connecticut) COVID Biorepository (sub-PI) and member of Board of Governance2020 - Present
Departmental CommitteesYSM Translational Medicine working group2020 - Present
Departmental CommitteesCOVID-19 Yale New Haven Hospital Treatment Committee2020 - Present
NHLBI, LCMI Study SectionChair2020 - Present
American Thoracic SocietyATS Pulmonary Infection and Tuberculosis Assembly, Program Committe2019 - 2020
NHLBI, LCMI Study SectionMember2019
American Thoracic SocietyHost Response to Lung Infections2019
American Thoracic SocietyWhat you can't see might hurt you: the interplay between the microbiome and immunity in lung disease2019
Departmental CommitteesMedical Student Research for Department of Internal Medicine2019 - Present
Teaching/MentorshipCB601 MD/PhD – research course for MD/PhD students2019 - Present
Fishman’s Pulmonary Diseases and DisordersEditor2019 - Present
Frontiers in ImmunologyGuest Editor2019 - Present
Public ServiceMedia regarding COVID (WNTH, NPR, NYtimes, Washington Post, Rolling Stones, Frances foundation, others)2019 - Present
American Thoracic SocietyPITB, Planning Committee2019 - Present
Media regarding COVID (WNTH, NPR, NYtimes, Washington Post, Rolling Stones, Frances foundation, others)Featured Expert and Consultant2019 - Present
VA Merit Study Section, PulmonaryReviewer2018 - 2019
American Thoracic SocietyPulmonary Infection and Tuberculosis Assembly, Program Committee2018
American Thoracic SocietyWorkshop on Understanding the Host in the Management of Pneumonia2018
American Thoracic SocietySymposium on Immunometabolism: The Complex Interplay Between Metabolic Reprogramming And Immunity2018
American Thoracic SocietyATS May 2018 [Symposium on From Spanish flu of 1919 to today – lessons learnt from viruses]2018
JCI InsightReviewer2018 - Present
Cell ReportsReviewer2018 - Present
Chest Infection Network Steering CommitteeMember2018 - Present
American College of Chest PhysiciansChest Infection Network Steering Committee2018 - Present
Medical School CommitteesOrganizer (with Dr. Shangqin Guo, Cell Biology) Junior PI retreat for instructors, assistant professors, and early career associate professors who are involved in basic science or translational research. The retreat featured sessions on grant opportunities, grant reviews, faculty awards, journal submissions, faculty promotion and networking. Supported by the Offices of Dean of School of Medicine and Deputy Provost for Science and Technology2017
Gene Study, NTMAdvisor2017
National Institute of Health, NHLBI, Pneumonia Working Group: NHLBI: Advancing Pneumonia Research in Heart, Lung, and Blood DiseasesCo-Chair2017
American Heart Association, Lung Basic Science CommitteeReviewer2017
American Thoracic SocietyATS MTPI Program Committee2017
Departmental CommitteesInternal Medicine Residency2017 - Present
Departmental CommitteesFaculty, Internal Medicine Residency2017 - Present
Teaching/MentorshipMBIO705 - Evasion of Host Defenses by Viruses, Bacteria and Eukaryotic Parasites2017 - Present
Mucosal ImmunologyReviewer2017 - Present
Fishman’s Pulmonary Diseases and DisordersAssociate Editor2016 - 2018
NIH / LCMIAd-hoc reviewer2016 - 2018
Teaching/MentorshipYale Medical Students – Pulmonary lecture on lung infections, pneumonia2016 - 2017
American Thoracic SocietyATS MTPI Nominating Committee (voted)2016
American Thoracic SocietySymposium on Viral Pneumonia2016
American Thoracic SocietyATS May 2016 [Symposium on Climate Change and Respiratory Infections]2016
American Thoracic SocietyATS May 2016 [Poster Discussion on Gram Negative Pneumonia – from bench to bedside]2016
American Thoracic SocietyPoster Discussion on Host Defense, Lung Injury and Fibrosis: Innate Mechanisms2016
Teaching/MentorshipMCE – mentored clinical experience course for graduate students2016 - Present
Teaching/MentorshipMBIO734 – Molecular biology of animal viruses graduate course2016 - Present
Clinics in Chest Medicine, Viral and Atypical PneumoniaGuest Editor2016 - Present
American Thoracic SocietyATS May 2016 [Symposium on Fungal Lung Infections]2016 - Present
Medscape, Readmission From Sepsis, Medscape ChannelFeatured Expert and Consultant2015 - 2017
Scientific Advisory Board Committee, CempraCempra, Acute Pneumonia2015 - 2016
Pneumonia and the Chest Cough Confusion, Yale Exam RoomFeatured Expert and Consultant2015 - 2016
Clinic Chest Medicine on Viral and Atypical PneumoniaGuest Editor2015
Department of Defense, Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, (DOD/CDRMP), Peer Reviewed Medical Research ProgramGrant Reviewer2015
Department of Defense, Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, (DOD/CDRMP), Online Peer Reviewed Medical Research ProgramGrant Reviewer2015
NIH / NHLBI / K99/R00Ad-hoc reviewer2015
American Thoracic Society, Scientific Advisory Committee (Grant Review Committee)Member2015
Wellcome TrustReviewer2015
American Thoracic SocietyPoster Discussion on Host Pathogen Interaction2015
American Thoracic SocietySymposium on Innate Lymphoid Cells2015
Journal of VirologyReviewer2015 - Present
Journal of ImmunologyReviewer2015 - Present
American Thoracic Society, Scientific Advisory CommitteeAdvisor2015 - Present
American Lung Association, Research Fellowship GrantsReviewer2015 - Present
American Thoracic SocietyResearch Education Working Group, ATS, Education Committee2015 - Present
American Thoracic SocietyATS Science and Innovation Center2015 - Present
Teaching/MentorshipPHAR 504a – pulmonary pharmacology graduate class2014 - 2019
American Thoracic SocietyATS, Education Committee2014 - 2019
Editorial Board and Round Table Participant, Aventis Sanofi, Influenza Virus Infection in Older AdultsParticipant2014
Department of Defense, Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, (DOD/CDRMP), Peer Reviewed Medical Research ProgramGrant Reviewer2014
American Thoracic SocietySymposium on MDR Pneumonia2014
American Thoracic SocietySymposium on Recognition to Resolution of Inflammation During Acute Infection2014
Departmental CommitteesInternal Medicine Residency Distinction Project (Investigative Track)2014 - Present
PneumoniaReviewer2014 - Present
Nature MedicineReviewer2014 - Present
Journal of Clinical InvestigationReviewer2014 - Present
Journal of Experimental MedicineReviewer2014 - Present
Annals of American Thoracic SocietyReviewer2014 - Present
American Thoracic SocietyScientific Advisory Committee2014 - Present
American Thoracic SocietyAcute Pneumonia Working Group (appointed)2014 - Present
American Thoracic SocietyMTPI, Planning Committee2013 - 2017
American Thoracic SocietyMTPI, Planning Committee2013 - 2017
American Thoracic SocietyAII, Program Committee2013 - 2016
American Thoracic SocietyAII, Program Committee2013 - 2016
Science Translational MedicineAssociate Editor2013
American Thoracic SocietyMini-symposium on Immunopathology in Pneumonia2013
American Thoracic SocietyNew Insights into infections and sepsis: from animal models to clinical applications2013
Departmental CommitteesYale Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine Mentored Research Conference2013 - Present
Plos OneAssociate Editor2013 - Present
Plos PathogensReviewer2013 - Present
American Thoracic SocietyATS Junior Professionals Working Group Committee2013 - Present
Connecticut Lung Association / Connecticut Thoracic Society / Connecticut Pulmonary SocietyPlanning Committe2012 - 2013
JoveReviewer2012
Post Graduate MedicineReviewer2012
American Thoracic SocietyMini-symposium on Influenza Pathogenesis2012
Departmental CommitteesInternal Medicine Physician Scientist Track2012 - Present
Plos OneReviewer2012 - Present
European Journal of PharmacologyReviewer2012 - Present
American Thoracic SocietyAssembly Liaison, Assembly on Microbiology, Tuberculosis and Pulmonary Infections (MTPI)2012 - Present
Teaching/MentorshipInternal medicine resid4nts – bronchiectasis, MAI2011 - 2018
American Thoracic SocietyMTPI, Early Career Professionals Working Group (appointed)2011 - 2016
American Thoracic SocietyJunior Faculty Representative, MTPI, Executive Committee2011 - 2016
Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute (FAMRI): COPD, asthma, cilia/sinusitisGrant Reviewer2011 - 2014
American Thoracic SocietyMTPI, Program Committee2011 - 2014
Departmental CommitteesFellows Journal Club, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Yale2011 - 2013
Connecticut Lung Association / Connecticut Thoracic Society / Connecticut Pulmonary SocietyPlanning Committee2011 - 2013
Society of Critical Care MedicineMock Exam Online Committee2011 - 2013
American Thoracic SocietyMTPI, Poster Session Facilitator2011
Medical School CommitteesFaculty Committee Yale MD/PhD Program2011 - Present
Frontiers in Respiratory PharmacologyReviewer2011 - Present
Critical Care MedicineReviewer2011 - Present
American Thoracic SocietyMTPI, Early Career Professionals Working Group2011 - Present
American Thoracic SocietyAsthma/Allergy/Immunology (AII), Members Committee2011 - Present
American Thoracic SocietyAsthma/Allergy/Immunology (AII), Members Committee2011 - Present
Departmental CommitteesFellows Senior Research Advisory Committee, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Yale2010 - Present
Departmental CommitteesPulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Yale2010 - Present
Departmental CommitteesYale Internal Medicine Residency Selection Committee2010 - Present
Teaching/MentorshipGriffin hospital and affiliated hospital program – lectures on various topics2009 - 2018
Teaching/MentorshipYale Medical Students – Pulmonary lecture on lung infections, pneumonia2009 - 2014
Teaching/MentorshipPulmonary fellows – CAP, viral pneumonia, fungal infections, hemoptysis2009 - 2014
Teaching/MentorshipPhysician Associate Students – Pulmonary infections, Pleural infections2009 - 2013
Departmental CommitteesYale Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Selection Committee2009 - Present
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care MedicineReviewer2008 - Present
American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular BiologyReviewer2008 - Present
Connecticut Lung Association / Connecticut Thoracic Society / Connecticut Pulmonary SocietyMember2007 - Present
Departmental CommitteesSection Pulmonary and Critical Care Curriculum Committee, Yale School of Medicine2005 - 2010
American College of Chest PhysiciansMember2005 - Present
American Thoracic SocietyMTPI Assembly2005 - Present
Society of Critical Care MedicineMember2005 - Present
American College of PhysiciansMember2003 - Present
Medical School CommitteesMedical Education Committee2001 - 2003

Departments & Organizations