Dr. Charles S. Dela Cruz holds dual appointments as associate professor at Yale University’s School of Medicine in the departments of internal medicine (pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine) and microbial pathogenesis. He is vice chief of basic and translational research and founding director for the Center for Pulmonary Infection Research and Treatment (CPIRT). He directs the physician scientist training program in the department of internal medicine.
He completed his education through an MD/PhD program at the and University of Toronto and Yale School of Medicine. He received clinical training at Yale in internal medicine, with a specialization in pulmonary and critical care medicine through the American Board of Internal Medicine Research Pathway, which he now directs.
His laboratory studies the role of respiratory viral and bacterial infection in the pathogenesis of acute and chronic lung diseases such as ARDS, COPD, and fibrosis. Using cell-based approaches, animal modeling and human translational studies, his work focuses on the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms that help explain how lung infections contribute to the unresolved inflammation, persistent injury, and dysregulated tissue repair in the lung. His group has been studying several candidate host mediators, which contribute to lung tissue homeostasis and during infection. He has established a large clinical and biospecimen database of a patient cohort with respiratory infections. Most recently, he has been pursuing basic, translational, and clinical research related to COVID-19, having established the importance of host responses to SARS-CoV-2 on immune phenotypes and multi-omic signatures, eicosanoid mediators, and immune dysfunctions in disease severity and in its treatment. He has been addressing important, clinically relevant questions in respiratory infection biology and has provided insights crucial to explain the lung host and respiratory pathogen interaction as it relates to pneumonia. Specifically, he and his collaborators have been focusing on acute, systemic, and chronic sequalae, a topic that is of significance to COVID-19 clinicians and researchers.
Dr. Dela Cruz is a strong advocate for the training and support of scientists and physician scientists.