Thomas Ferkol, M.D.

Profile picture
Alexis Hartmann Professor of Pediatrics
Director, Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonary Medicine
Professor of Cell Biology and Physiology
Researcher, Pathobiology
Cell Biology & PhysiologyAllergy, Immunology and Pulmonary Medicine

phone: (314) 454-2694

Research Interests

Dr. Ferkol graduated from Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio) in 1981, and he received his M.D. degree from the Ohio State University College of Medicine (Columbus, Ohio) in 1985. He was a pediatric resident at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1985-1988), where he also served as Chief Resident and Clinical Instructor (1988-1989). Dr. Ferkol returned to Case Western Reserve University in 1989 for fellowship training in pediatric pulmonology, and subsequently joined the pediatric faculty of Case Western Reserve University and Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital (Instructor in 1992-1994, and Assistant Professor 1994-2000). Dr. Ferkol moved to Washington University School of Medicine in 2000, where he currently is Professor of Pediatrics, Cell Biology and Physiology and Director of the Division of Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonary Medicine. In addition, he serves as the Director of the Pediatric Pulmonology Fellowship Training Program at Washington University School of Medicine and St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and is past director of the comprehensive, accredited Washington University Cystic Fibrosis Center, which supports premier clinical and research programs in cystic fibrosis. The Center is a member of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics Development Network. An American Lung Association Edward Livingston Trudeau Scholar and recipient of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation LeRoy Matthew’s Physician-Scientist Award, Dr. Ferkol’s research has focused on the development of cell and animal models to study cystic fibrosis, defining genetic and molecular factors that contribute to chronic endobronchial infection, inflammation, and airway injury. With funding from the National Institutes of Health, March of Dimes, and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, he and his collaborators have developed novel approaches for airway-specific drug delivery and non-invasive measures of inflammation in the cystic fibrosis lung. These approaches will provide better assessment tools and novel treatment strategies for suppurative lung diseases in children. More recently, his laboratory has turned its research focus to another airway disease, primary ciliary dyskinesia, a genetic condition that results in impaired mucociliary clearance, causing progressive involvement of the respiratory tract characterized by recurrent infections of the lungs, middle ear, and paranasal sinuses. Dr. Ferkol serves as an investigator for the National Institutes of Health-supported Genetic Disorders of Mucociliary Clearance Consortium, a clinical research network to study rare diseases of the airways, concentrating on primary ciliary dyskinesia and variant forms of cystic fibrosis. He has also created a multidisciplinary research collaborative that will coordinate clinical characterization, identify functional and ultrastructural defects, and perform genetic testing of patient subpopulations with known or suspected ciliopathies, a project funded by the Children’s Discovery Institute. Dr. Ferkol has assembled clinical and scientific expertise from across the university campus that are studying the genetic and phenotypic spectrum of ciliopathies, which should lead to improved standards for diagnosis, clinical care, and identification of novel therapeutic approaches. He has been a reviewer for the National Institutes of Health Gene and Drug Delivery Study Section, American Thoracic Society Career Development Grants Review Committee, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Research Development Program Review Committee, and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Functional Genomics Review Committee.


  • BA, magna cum laude, Case Western Reserve University1981
  • MB, University of Nottingham, School of Biological Sciences1980
  • MD, Medicinae doctor, The Ohio State University College of Medicine1985


  • Intern, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill1985 - 1986
  • Resident, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill1986 - 1988
  • Chief Resident, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill1988 - 1989
  • Pulmonology Fellow, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine1989 - 1992

Licensure and Board Certification

  • Medical License, State of Missouri (current)
  • Medical License, State of North Carolina (expired voluntarily)
  • Medical License, State of Ohio (expired voluntarily)
  • National Board of Medical Examiners, Diplomate
  • US Drug Enforcement Agency, Certified
  • 1990American Board of Pediatrics, General Pediatrics Diplomate, Certified (Re-certified, 1998, 2005)
  • 1994American Board of Pediatrics, Pediatric Pulmonology Subboard Diplomate (Re-certified, 2002, 2009)

Honors and Awards

  • Cystic Fibrosis Foundation LeRoy Matthews Physician-Scientist Award1989
  • Floyd Denny Pediatric Alumni Society Award, Department of Pediatrics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina1989
  • Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital Trustees New Investigator Award1992
  • American Lung Association Edward Livingston Trudeau Scholar1994
  • Teaching Excellence Award, Department of Pediatrics, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio1994
  • Society for Pediatric Research, member1997
  • Best Doctors of America®1998 - Pres
  • EDI Innovation Award.1999
  • European Cystic Fibrosis Conference Presentation Award2004
  • America's Top Pediatricians, Consumer's Research Council of America2006 - Pres
  • American Pediatric Society, member2009 - Pres
  • Alexis Hartmann MD Professorship Award2012
  • Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia Foundation Golden Cilium Award2019
  • Vanderbilt University Thomas Hazinski MD Lectureship, Nashville, Tennessee2019

Selected Publications view all (158)