Featured New Member

Kurt H. Albertine, Ph.D., FAAAS, FAAA
Associate Dean for Faculty Administration SOM
Adjunct Professor, Dept Of Internal Medicine
Adjunct Professor, Neurobiology & Anatomy Labs
Professor, Pediatrics
University of Utah

 

Bio

Dr. Kurt H. Albertine’s basic science and translational research is focused on bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), a worldwide public health problem in terms of mortality and long-term morbidity. Despite the magnitude of the pediatric health problem of BPD, its causes are not completely understood and effective prevention and/or therapy is unavailable. Kurt’s contributions have been possible in part because of his unique large-animal physiological model: chronically ventilated preterm lambs and former preterm lambs. This model integrates physiology and mechanism. Kurt has taken his discoveries to individual cell types in the lung and then to the genes controlling the developmental trajectory of those cell types. The results are leading to a paradigm shift about the molecular basis of BPD. His group’s data suggest that a molecular mechanism is epigenetic, a process by which the abrupt stresses of preterm birth, endotracheal intubation, mechanical ventilation, and all of the other things that happen in a neonatal intensive care setting disrupt regulation of expression of genes in the immature lung. The studies are branched out to include the other organs and processes that are harmed in preterm infants: brain, gut, and kidney, as well as nutrition. As well as providing the investigational basis of Kurt’s research, his lamb intensive care unit (LICU) provides an unparalleled training ground for young scientists. To date, his direct trainees’ number is more than 250 developing scientists. Of these developing scientists, the majority are undergraduate students (about 200 and counting, half of whom have gone on to medical schools) or medical students (several of whom are neonatologists). As well as scientific and research training success, Kurt’s activities impact the broader academic success of many. While he was Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs at the School of Medicine at the University of Utah, he led the initiative for paid family leave for women and men. He also created the Anatomy Teacher-Scholar Program for the Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy. That program transformed teaching faculty in human gross anatomy to scholars in their educational field. Graduates of the program are national leaders today. Kurt’s contribution to advocacy for science takes two other forms. He is Editor-in-Chief of The Anatomical Record, a flagship journal of the American Association of Anatomists, a role for him that began in 2006. In part because of the latter role, Kurt’s teaching and mentoring activities extend beyond the University of Utah. He is an internationally renowned instructor of grant and manuscript writing, and public speaking. Kurt has received a number of recognitions for his contributions in research and mentoring, including elected Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science (FAAAS) and the American Association of Anatomists (FAAA), Liley Lecturer for the Perinatal Research Society, President of the Western Society for Pediatric Research, Beacons of Excellence Individual Transformative Mentoring Award from the University of Utah’s Office of the President, Gary C. Schoenwolf Mentoring Award from the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Utah, 14th recipient of the Bodil M. Schmidt-Nielsen Distinguished Mentor and Scientist Award from the American Physiological Society, WSPR Abbott Nutrition Joseph W. St Geme, Jr. Education Award from the Western Society for Pediatric Research, and the Henry Gray Scientific Achievement Award from the American Association of Anatomists.