The Britt Lab studies mechanisms that contribute to corticosteroid insensitivity in airway diseases. Airway inflammation, particularly Th1 and/or Th17-mediated immune responses, is thought to play a key role in the development of corticosteroid insensitivity. The Britt Lab is interested in examining how inflammatory pathways disrupt the anti-inflammatory effects of corticosteroids. The team uses human primary cells, most notably airway smooth muscle, and mouse models of severe allergic airway inflammation to study mechanisms that contribute to impaired corticosteroid sensitivity. Using these models, they investigate how innate and adaptive immune cells affect airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and remodeling. The Britt Lab uses a variety of techniques to assess airway inflammation, AHR, remodeling including histology, flow cytometry and next generation sequencing (RNA-, ATAC-, Chip-seq). Its work aims to define physiological and immunological mechanisms involved in corticosteroid insensitivity in airway disease while also developing novel strategies that can improve corticosteroid sensitivity.
Rodney D. Britt Jr., PhD, is a principal investigator at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and an assistant professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University. Dr. Britt earned his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from North Carolina A&T State University and his doctorate degree in Biomedical Sciences from The Ohio State University. He completed his postdoctoral training at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. His research training centered on understanding mechanisms in neonatal and pediatric airway diseases, most notably asthma and bronchopulmonary dysplasia.
Children with airway disease experience significant airflow obstruction, airway hyperresponsiveness and chronic inflammation. Furthermore, development of airway disease as a child increases the risk of having chronic airway disease as an adult. Dr. Britt’s lab aims to advance understanding of mechanisms related to neonatal and pediatric airway disease, with emphasis on how airway inflammation affects airway structure and function in asthma.
Brandon Lewis, PhD
Originally from Vicksburg, Mississippi, Dr. Lewis obtained his bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Mississippi and his master’s degree in Biological Sciences from Mississippi College. He completed his doctorate degree in Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences with an emphasis in lung diseases and immunology at Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine. As a graduate student, he investigated immunological responses, particularly T-helper and innate cell responses, in a cystic fibrosis mouse model (Scnn1b-Tg+ mouse model).
Dr. Lewis began his postdoctoral training in the Britt Lab in 2019. As a postdoc, his current projects are centered on understanding the role macrophages in the initiation and development of the adaptive immunity, airway hyperresponsiveness and remodeling in asthma. He has additional research interests in how macrophages contribute to muco-obstructive lung disease and asthma. Upon completion of his postdoctoral research, Dr. Lewis plans to continue academic research as principal investigator.
Senior Research Associate
Joshua is a senior technician with extensive experience in molecular biology and bioinformatic analysis. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Molecular Genetics and Mathematical Biology from The Ohio State University. In the Britt Lab, Joshua leads the development and implementation of bioinformatic tools to study molecular mechanisms involved in corticosteroid insensitivity in asthma.
Senior Research Associate
Aiman has a bachelor’s degree in Bioinformatics and Biotechnology from the Government College University Faisalabad, Punjab, Pakistan. She also has a master’s degree in Pharmacology and Toxicology from Wright State University. In Dr. Britt’s lab, Aiman’s work centers on vitamin D3 metabolism and corticosteroid sensitivity in severe allergic airway inflammation. She maintains analytical instrumentation (LC-MS/MS, HPLC-UV, GCMS, GC) and also analyzes RNA-sequencing data sets.
Maria Ford earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Currently, she is a doctorate student at The Ohio State University in the Biomedical Sciences graduate program. In the Britt Lab, Maria focuses on CD38 and its role in airway hyperresponsiveness.