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Investigating How Infection and Inflammation Drive Airway Destruction in Children With Cystic Fibrosis

Despite recent therapeutic advances in the care of people with cystic fibrosis (CF), infection and inflammation in the lower airways remains a significant cause of increased morbidity and early mortality. Chloride channel dysfunction leads to thick, stagnant mucus, infection and inflammation in the lungs, which results in obstructive lung disease and progressive damage to lung tissue. How and why this is remains an area of intense research focus.

Dr. Laguna’s laboratory is focused on studying infections in the CF airway, using next-generation sequencing techniques to identify bacterial and fungal communities that inhabit the lower airways. Using oropharyngeal swabs, sputum and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid samples from people with and without CF, Laguna aims to better define what pathogens live in the lower airways.

Through collaborations with investigators nationwide, the Laguna Laboratory aims to identify new therapeutic approaches to infection and inflammation in the lungs of people with CF to improve quality of life and extend life expectancy. Additionally, the Laguna Laboratory aims to develop a large biobank of airway specimens to inform additional investigation into other lung diseases such as primary ciliary dyskinesia.

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