Researcher's Profile

PO-NIEN TSAO (曹伯年)

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(PO-NIEN)

  • Neonatology (新生兒科)
  • Pediatrics (小兒科/部)
  • Clinical Associate Professor (臨床副教授)
  • +886-2-2312-3456#71551

Research Outline      2014-10-29 18:33:45

I am interested in lung development which is an important issue for a neonatologist. I got my Ph.D. degree from Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine of National Taiwan University on 2004. During this study, we found that over-expression of placenta growth factor (PlGF) induced lung epithelial apoptosis and resulted in pulmonary emphysema phenotype. This is the first paper reporting the association between placenta growth factor and pulmonary emphysema, and it was published in the American Journal of Critical Care Medicine (publication list No. 34). Due to this phenotype is similar to the pathologic findings of preterm infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), which is the most common complication in preterm infants. Then, we want to determine whether PlGF levels in the cord blood of preterm infants could predict increased risk for subsequent BPD. We found PlGF levels in cord blood correlated significantly and negatively with GA and BW. The cord blood PlGF elevation preceded BPD and was an independent risk factor. High PlGF levels in cord blood were significantly correlated with the clinical severity of BPD, indicating that PlGF might play a role in the pathogenesis of BPD (# 36).

After that, I got 2004 NHRI Physician Scientist Award and went to Pulmonary Center of Boston University School of Medicine for his 2 years postdoctoral research since 2006. During this period, I got the precious opportunity to be mentored by Prof. Wellington V. Cardoso who is excellent scientist in the field of developmental biology of the lung. By using pharmacologic approach to block Notch signaling in embryonic lung organ culture system, we found Notch signaling is not required for lung bud formation. However, Notch signaling is required to restrict the expansion of distal lung progenitor cells and form the proximal cell fate (#79). Furthermore, by using conditional knockout technology, we found Notch signaling is required to silence the ciliated program in the cells which will differentiate into secretory cell fate during lung development (#83). This study was published in Development and became their cover story. After I finished my 2 years postdoctoral research training, I Came back to Taiwan and keep working on Notch signaling and lung development. Recently, we found during postnatal life Notch signaling is required to maintain the Clara cell phenotype and prevent goblet cell differentiation in proximal airways. Notch may be critical in regulating the response of the lung to environmental injurants or allergens that result in goblet cell metaplasia and it likely plays an important role in the pathogenesis of asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (#83).