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Michael J. Holtzman, MD

Michael J. Holtzman, MD, the Selma and Herman Seldin Professor of Medicine and Professor of Cell Biology and Physiology, is honored for his distinguished contributions to understanding and treating chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

With a strong commitment to multidisciplinary research, Holtzman has performed pioneering work on the link between acute viral infection and chronic inflammatory disease. To explain this connection, he has uncovered new paradigms in which the epithelial barrier cells may take a dominant role in immunity and epithelial stem cells may undergo viral reprogramming to become a renewable trigger for inflammatory disease. In addition to defining the pathogenesis of respiratory disease, Holtzman has led the development of a Drug Discovery Program that includes new facilities for high-throughput screening, medicinal chemistry and structural biology. As part of this program, his group is identifying new therapeutics and translating them into practice to combat viral infection, mucus production and airway inflammation.

Holtzman earned his bachelor’s and medical degrees from Northwestern University in 1971 and 1975, respectively, then completed his residency at Duke University and pulmonary fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. He came to Washington University in 1987 and became director of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine in 1992.

He has been honored by the American Lung Association, the American Thoracic Society, the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the American College of Chest Physicians and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a member of the Advisory Council for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He has trained more than 80 postdoctoral trainees who have become leaders in academia and industry.

Published: 02/20/2015