The main interest of Dr. Looney’s laboratory is the investigation of novel disease mechanisms that contribute to the pathogenesis of acute lung injury. His research group has identified that platelets, which are underappreciated as inflammatory cells, are intricately involved in the innate immune response in lung injury. Platelets are capable of synergizing with neutrophils to promote lung damage, and his laboratory has identified that platelets are therapeutic targets. His group has also identified that activated platelets can trigger the formation of neutrophil extracellular traps, or NETs, which are damaging to lung tissue and pathogenic in a transfusion-related acute lung injury model developed by his laboratory. Finally, a major area of study is the application of live lung imaging to visualize in real-time immune events at the alveolar-capillary interface that contribute to lung injury.
Mark Roberts Looney, MD