The Brownfield lab aims to reverse-engineer developmental processes for the rational synthesis of tissues and organs. The long-term goal of the lab is to understand how tissues are constructed during development, maintained in adulthood, and disrupted in disease. To achieve this goal, the lab will harness single-cell transcriptomics, microfabricated 3D organotypic culture, and genetically-engineered mouse models. Focusing on the lung, Dr. Brownfield’s previous work mapping the cellular and molecular programs that drive alveolar epithelial differentiation in the mouse lung have resulted in reconstruction of the full gene expression program as well as identification of the long-sought signal that selects and maintains throughout life alveolar epithelial cell fate. The lab hopes to translate its findings to applications for lung diseases such as bronchopulmonary dysplasia, pulmonary fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and emphysema.
Dr. Douglas Brownfield was appointed the Mark and Catherine Winkler Assistant Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology in the Department of Environmental Health in July of 2019. He received a BS in Biomedical Engineering from Tulane University and a PhD in Bioengineering from the University of California, Berkeley (mentored by Dr. Mina Bissell) with a minor in Management of Technology from the Haas School of Business. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Biochemistry at Stanford University (mentored by Dr. Mark Krasnow). Dr. Brownfield has received the NIH Pathway to Independence Award, American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellowship, and the NSF Graduate Research fellowship.