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Jeremy Hirota

Jeremy Hirota

Canada Research Chair in Respiratory Mucosal Immunology

Tier 2: 2017-04-01


Department of Medicine Profile

Research involves

Using translational research methods to explore the role of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters in mucosal immunology.

Research relevance

This research will provide a new understanding of ABC transporters in lung health, contributing to the development of new and innovative treatments of respiratory diseases such as asthma. 

The ABCs of Breathing Easy

It's hard to imagine, but we inhale over 10,000 litres of potentially harmful air every day – for 4 million Canadians living with chronic respiratory diseases, such as asthma, the consequences are frightening, if not devastating: from airway constriction to hospital visits to untimely death.   

Compared to a healthy individual, an asthmatic's respiratory system is crucially different; asthmatics have a greater risk for airway inflammation, they produce an excess of mucus, and are more susceptible to allergens. 

Epithelial cells line cavities and surfaces of organs throughout our bodies. Airway epithelial cells are especially important because they help protect against inhaled environmental insultsHowever, secretions by these cells in individuals with chronic respiratory diseases lead to increased airway inflammation – a big problem for those already finding it hard to breathe. Luckily, Jeremy Hirota's research can help us catch our breath. 

Jeremy Hirota, Canadian Research Chair in Respiratory Mucosal Immunology, is at the forefront of research into how ABC transporters – a protein superfamily that transports substances across membranes – impact the respiratory system. Hirota and his research team will continue to characterize ABC transporters by conducting translational experiments in vitro with human cells, and in vivo using live mice.  

Hirota's research will expand the existing body of knowledge by providing evidence that links ABC transporters to chronic respiratory diseases, boosts the development of ABC inhibitors, and, ultimately, leads to new and innovative treatments for respiratory diseases including asthma, cystic fibrosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.