This study will help determine if smoking increases the risk of developing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and will evaluate the effect of COVID-19 on the immune system of people who smoke.
A team, led by Doug Bell, Ph.D., and Stavros Garantziotis, M.D., at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Clinical Research Unit in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
Douglas A. Bell, Ph.D. leads the Environmental Epigenomics Group in the Immunity Inflammation and Disease Laboratory, NIEHS. He works on functional analysis of human genetic variation, epigenetic features and environmental response gene expression in relation to human susceptibility. His group uses CyTOF, single cell RNA-seq, and whole genome methylation analysis to examine the relationship between environmental exposure—including viral exposure, altered DNA methylation and functional changes in human immune cells in the blood. He has a B.S. degree from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Environmental Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1988. Following postdoctoral fellowships at UNC-CH and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency he joined the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in 1990 becoming a Senior Investigator in 1996.
Stavros Garantziotis, M.D. is passionate about finding cures for chronic lung disease like asthma, COPD and pulmonary fibrosis. He believes that if we can understand the mechanism of disease development for every individual patient, we can design intelligent and effective treatment with less side effects. Dr. Garantziotis obtained his medical degree at the Albert-Ludwigs-University in Germany. He trained in Internal Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Duke University Medical Center, where he was a faculty member before joining the NIEHS to direct the Clinical Research Unit.
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