Deep Immunophenotyping of the Immune Response in Obstructive and Interstitial Lung Disease: Optimizing a Cellular and Protein Biomarker Discovery Pipeline for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), is a chronic debilitating lung disorder that affects thousands of Canadians and millions of individuals worldwide. The signs and symptoms of IPF often overlap with other common respiratory illnesses making a definitive diagnosis of this disease difficult. As a result, patients are frequently misdiagnosed and treated with inappropriate therapies. As such, there is a unmet clinical need to develop blood-based biomarkers for the confirmation of IPF to minimize the incidence of misdiagnosis. The intern will analyze immune cells and their expressed proteins at a single cell level to understand the immune response in IPF with the goal of discovering novel blood-based biomarkers and to differentiate the characteristic immune response in IPF to other chronic lung disorders like COPD and asthma that present with overlapping signs and symptoms. The biomarkers discovered through this research will play an important role in guiding clinical decision making at the Providence Airway Centre under the Providence Health Care partner organization.