Philip L. Leopold   Associate Professor of Research in Genetic Medicine

Dr. Leopold is an Associate Professor of Research in the Department of Genetic Medicine with over 20 years of experience in cell biology, virology, and molecular biology. The Department has expertise in the development and translation of genetic therapies as well as the biology and pathophysiology of airway disease. For twelve years between 1996 and 2008, Dr. Leopold worked in this department on genetic therapies, virus-host cell interactions, microscopy, and the biology of airway disease. From 2008 to 2016, he moved to the Stevens Institute of Technology where he developed programs in nanoparticle-based gene delivery and other biomedical engineering applications of cell biology. He returned to the department in 2016 to take advantage of the unique access to a vast amount of human genome-wide datasets related to smoking and lung disease from various clinical specimens developed by Dr. Ronald Crystal, which has provided a valuable resource for downstream data mining to identify specific cellular pathways that are disrupted by cigarette smoke exposure in the human airway epithelium. At present, his work has a particular focus on the identification, validation and subsequent in vitro assessment of smoking disrupted pathways using relevant models of the human airway epithelium. This work plays a critical role in translating genome-wide human data sets into relevant, prioritized cellular targets and pathways in the lab to determine underlying mechanisms of smoking-induced disease pathogenesis in the airway epithelium.


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