Through his work on tissue regeneration, Dr Jonathan McQualter hopes to identify therapeutic strategies to restore lung function for patients with chronic lung disease.
lung regeneration; stem cells; lung disease; tissue remodelling; epithelial-mesenchymal interactions
Inefficient or aberrant tissue regeneration plays a key role in the progression of chronic lung diseases. Dr McQualter researches the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate tissue regeneration in the adult lung. His laboratory has made key advances in clarifying the identity of epithelial stem cells in the adult lung and provides novel insights into how they are regulated by the surrounding microenvironment.
Dr McQualter’s current work builds on these discoveries to determine how epithelial and mesenchymal stem cells communicate, in order to determine their fate and orchestrate the complex process of tissue regeneration. He also explores how these processes go awry or fail to initiate in lung diseases.
Dr McQualter joins RMIT from the Lung Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre, California, where he researched the role of stem cell dysfunction in pulmonary fibrosis. He earned his PhD in 2004 from La Trobe University for his work on innate immune regulation of Multiple Sclerosis. He shifted his focus to the lung when he joined the Australian Stem Cell Centre to lead the lung stem cell research program.
Dr McQualter was awarded a Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellowship in 2017 and is based in the School of Health and Biomedical Sciences.