Luke Hoffman, MD, PhD

Luke Hoffman, MD, PhD


  • Children's Title: Director, Seattle Children's TDN Center for CF Microbiology
  • Academic Title: Professor of Pediatrics
  • Research Center: Center for Respiratory Biology and Therapeutics
  • Language (Other than English): Spanish
  • On Staff Since: September 2004
  • Biography

    Lucas R. Hoffman, MD, PhD, is attending physician at Seattle Children's Hospital and associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Hoffman's research focuses on chronic lung infections, particularly in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). Chronic infections have proven to be particularly difficult to treat with standard antibiotic therapies. For example, the lung infections in children with CF are not improved by antibiotics to the degree we would expect.

    Hoffman is working to understand why chronic lung infections are so difficult to treat and how to improve current treatments. Hoffman is also dedicated to the care of patients and to teaching medical students, residents and fellows. His areas of clinical expertise include asthma, CF, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, restrictive lung diseases and the pulmonary complications of neuromuscular disease. He is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Thoracic Society, and the American Society for Microbiology.

    Board Certification(s)

    Pediatric Pulmonology


    University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA


    University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA


    University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA

    Research Description

    We are working to understand why children with chronic lung infections don't improve with antibiotics as predicted based on our knowledge of the microbes involved. As a paradigm for this problem, we focus on the chronic lung infections in people with the genetic disease cystic fibrosis (CF), infections that usually respond incompletely to antibiotics predicted to be effective against the bacteria we know to be present. They exhibit several other characteristics common to many difficult to treat, chronic lung infections, including the following:

    1) They frequently include multiple microbial species infecting together, which makes it difficult to know which of these species impact lung disease either by themselves or by interacting with other pathogenic microbes.

    2) The chemical and microbial environment in which these infections occur is probably different from that used in laboratory microbial tests, including the availability of nutrients that impact microbial behavior.

    Currently, our laboratory studies the behavior of the microbes causing CF and other chronic lung infections in models that attempt to more closely reflect the airway environment, which includes multiple microbial species, antibiotics, and specific nutrients. We hope to identify new and more effective treatments for children with chronic, polymicrobial lung infections, starting with CF.

    Research Focus Area

    Cystic Fibrosis, Pulmonary

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