The O'Kane Group
Current research involves looking at mechanisms (particularly protease-mediated) of injury in the lung in response to infection and inflammation and identification of potential pharmacotherapies to modulate this/improve repair. This spans from basic lab research (in Cystic Fibrosis (CF), Tuberculosis (TB), and Acute Lung Injury (ALI)) to human models of inflammation and injury (LPS inhalation/oesophageal surgery) and ultimately in collaboration with the McAuley group to clinical trials of novel therapeutics.
The O'Kane group have identified complex role for MMPs (particularly MMP-9) in mediating damage but also in driving epithelial repair processes in ALI. These data have been important in cautioning against the use of broad spectrum MMP inhibition in ALI as this strategy may also inhibit the repair process.