Dr. Boitano has over 24 years experience in lung epithelial cell biology with cell junctions and cell signaling as prominent foci of this work. His move to the University of Arizona and the Arizona Respiratory Center was predicated on developing lung epithelial models to evaluate lung disease.
Dr. Boitano has successfully developed programs aimed at understanding effects of environmental exposure of toxic materials (arsenic, nanoparticles) and a project aimed at understanding the role for protease activated receptor-2 (PAR2) in asthma (and a related project on PAR2 in chronic pain), including a recently funded opportunity to develop novel drugs to PAR2. With his membership at the University of Arizona Cancer Center and his ongoing collaboration with Drs. R. Clark Lantz, Walt Klimecki and Jefferey L. Burgess, allows for examination of lung toxicity using genomic (Klimecki) cellular (Boitano, Klimecki), animal (Lantz) and human epidemiological (Burgess) approaches, while the ongoing collaboration with Drs. Michael O. Daines, Josef Vagner and Theodore J. Price allows for the development of novel understanding and potential treatments for the asthma and pain via PAR2 signaling. As can be gleaned from these projects, Dr. Boitano provides cellular mechanistic studies that complement work from our collaborators to contribute to understand systems and integrative physiology.
Over the years five post-doctoral fellows have worked in Dr. Boitano's group, four PhD students have completed their dissertation studies in his laboratory, and two PhD students are currently in training. In addition to these trainees, Dr. Boitano has provided research experience to multiple PhD students (serving on 25 Ph.D. committees) who pursued their dissertations in the labs of collaborators and trained several Masters students (3 students, 9 committees) and undergraduates (25 students with laboratory training). Almost all of the Masters and Undergraduate students have moved on to further their graduate education, either in the pursuit of Ph.D. or M.D. degrees.