Andrew P. Fontenot, MD
Dr. Fontenot received his training in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Upon completion of his clinical training, he joined the laboratory of Dr. Brian Kotzin to study the role of T cells in the pathogenesis of immunologically-mediated lung disease. He focused on chronic beryllium disease which serves as an important model of organ-specific, immune-mediated destruction. As such, his findings are applicable to other immune-mediated diseases in which the target organ is inaccessible and the initiating antigen is unknown. His initial work established a novel mechanism that links genetic susceptibility of beryllium-induced granulomatous disease to T cell recognition of antigen presented by HLA molecules. More recent studies have defined the structural basis of beryllium-induced lung disease. Dr. Fontenot is now a Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado Denver and serves as the Head of the Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. His laboratory currently has four major areas of interest in the study of immunologically-mediated lung disease: 1) delineating the mechanism of beryllium binding to HLA-DP molecules and its subsequent recognition by CD4+ T cells, 2) defining the maintenance of antigen-specific, memory and effector T cell subsets in blood and lung, 3) determining the role of regulatory T cell subsets in the controlling lung inflammation and 4) defining the role of various T cell subsets, including γδ T cells, in innate immunity and lung fibrosis.