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Personal profile

Research Interests

My research interests focus on the intermediate filaments (IFs), which are cytoskeletal structures that are crucial for maintaining the structural integrity of cells and tissues. In general, my lab focuses on the non-mechanical roles for the IF cytoskeleton such as how IFs regulate cell migration and cell survival, and the mechanisms by which IFs are a scaffold for stress-activated kinases and adaptor proteins. We investigated whether micromechanical forces, such as shear stress and stretch, had an effect on the keratin intermediate filament (IF) network in alveolar epithelial cells. We demonstrated that these forces resulted in altered keratin IF expression in alveolar epithelial type II (ATII) cells. This work impacted the field of intermediate filament biology as it describes a mechanism by which mechanical forces and signaling molecules, such as ROS, can lead to the disassembly of the keratin IF network. More recently, we have been examining vimentin, a type III intermediate filament, that acts as a scaffold for the assembly and activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome. The existing paradigm for NOD-like receptor (NLR) signaling is that NLR proteins interact with an apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a C-terminal caspase recruitment domain (ASC) and or a CARD domain to form a multi-protein complex called the “inflammasome”. We revealed that optimal localization and activity of the inflammasome requires the vimentin IF network, which suggests a broad biologic role for vimentin in the regulation of NLR proteins in the lung.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Illinois - Chicago

… → 1998

Research interests

  • Aging
  • Cell Biology
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Immunology
  • Interstitial Lung Disease
  • Lung Cancer / Chest Cancer
  • Lung Injury

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Karen M Ridge is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Alveolar Epithelial Cells Medicine & Life Sciences
Lung Medicine & Life Sciences
Lung Injury Medicine & Life Sciences
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Intermediate Filaments Medicine & Life Sciences
Active Biological Transport Medicine & Life Sciences
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Hyperoxia Medicine & Life Sciences

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Grants 2003 2024

training program
Intermediate Filaments
Actin Cytoskeleton
Pulmonary Fibrosis
Alveolar Macrophages
Acute Lung Injury
Mitochondrial Membranes
Influenza A virus
Virus Diseases
Acute Lung Injury
Lung Injury

Research Output 1989 2019

Erratum: Metformin Targets Mitochondrial Electron Transport to Reduce Air-Pollution-Induced Thrombosis (Cell Metabolism (2019) 29(2) (335–347.e5), (S1550413118305862) (10.1016/j.cmet.2018.09.019))

Soberanes, S., Misharin, A. V., Jairaman, A., Morales-Nebreda, L., McQuattie-Pimentel, A. C., Cho, T., Hamanaka, R. B., Meliton, A. Y., Reyfman, P. A., Walter, J. M., Chen, C. I., Chi, M., Chiu, S., Gonzalez-Gonzalez, F. J., Antalek, M., Abdala-Valencia, H., Chiarella, S. E., Sun, K. A., Woods, P. S., Ghio, A. J. & 12 others, Jain, M., Perlman, H., Ridge, K. M., Morimoto, R. I., Sznajder, J. I., Balch, W. E., Bhorade, S. M., Bharat, A., Prakriya, M., Chandel, N. S., Mutlu, G. M. & Budinger, G. R. S., Feb 5 2019, In : Cell Metabolism. 29, 2, 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Air Pollution
Electron Transport
27 Citations (Scopus)

Single-cell transcriptomic analysis of human lung provides insights into the pathobiology of pulmonary fibrosis

Reyfman, P. A., Walter, J. M., Joshi, N., Anekalla, K. R., McQuattie-Pimentel, A. C., Chiu, S., Fernandez, R., Akbarpour, M., Chen, C. I., Ren, Z., Verma, R., Abdala-Valencia, H., Nam, K., Chi, M., Han, S. H., Gonzalez-Gonzalez, F. J., Soberanes, S., Watanabe, S., Williams, K. J. N., Flozak, A. S. & 29 others, Nicholson, T. T., Morgan, V. K., Winter, D. R., Hinchcliff, M., Hrusch, C. L., Guzy, R. D., Bonham, C. A., Sperling, A. I., Bag, R., Hamanaka, R. B., Mutlu, G. M., Yeldandi, A. V., Marshall, S. A., Shilatifard, A., Amaral, L. A. N., Perlman, H. R., Sznajder, J. I., Christine Argento, A., Gillespie, C. T., Dematte, J., Jain, M., Singer, B., Ridge, K. M., Lam, A. P., Bharat, A., Bhorade, S. M., Gottardi, C., Budinger, GR. S. & Misharin, A., Jun 15 2019, In : American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 199, 12, p. 1517-1536 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Single-Cell Analysis
Pulmonary Fibrosis
RNA Sequence Analysis
Alveolar Macrophages
4 Citations (Scopus)

A beginner’s guide to analysis of RNA sequencing data

Koch, C. M., Chiu, S. F., Akbarpour, M., Bharat, A., Ridge, K. M., Bartom, E. T. & Winter, D. R., Aug 2018, In : American journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology. 59, 2, p. 145-157 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

RNA Sequence Analysis
Research Personnel
12 Citations (Scopus)

Future research directions in pneumonia

Dela Cruz, C. S., Wunderink, R. G., Christiani, D. C., Cormier, S. A., Crothers, K., Doerschuk, C. M., Evans, S. E., Goldstein, D. R., Khatri, P., Kobzik, L., Kolls, J. K., Levy, B. D., Metersky, M. L., Niederman, M. S., Nusrat, R., Orihuela, C. J., Peyrani, P., Prince, A. S., Ramírez, J. A., Ridge, K. M. & 9 others, Sethi, S., Suratt, B. T., Sznajder, J. I., Tsalik, E. L., Walkey, A. J., Yende, S., Aggarwal, N. R., Caler, E. V. & Mizgerd, J. P., Jul 15 2018, In : American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine. 198, 2, p. 256-263 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Direction compound
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (U.S.)
Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome
12 Citations (Scopus)

Inflammatory monocytes drive influenza A virus-mediated lung injury in juvenile mice

Coates, B. M., Staricha, K. L., Koch, C. M., Cheng, Y., Shumaker, D. K., Budinger, G. R. S., Perlman, H., Misharin, A. V. & Ridge, K. M., Apr 1 2018, In : Journal of Immunology. 200, 7, p. 2391-2404 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Influenza A virus
Lung Injury
Human Influenza