Welcome to the Horani lab. Our lab studies airway and motile cilia biology and investigates the effects of mutations on cilia function.
The airway is lined with microscopic, hair-like structures called cilia that sweep the airway in a rhythmic motion. Cilia are essential in defending the airway from infection and injury.
Cilia dysfunction causes significant disease as evidenced by the genetic syndrome, primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD). PCD is the prototype of inherited motile ciliopathy, though secondary dysfunction of cilia can occur in common conditions such as asthma, COPD, and may contribute to idiopathic bronchiectasis.
Other types of cilia called sensory or primary cilia are important for other cellular functions, and are related to conditions such as kidney disease, hearing loss, and blindness.
The Horani lab research focuses on airway epithelial cell differentiation and regulation, with special interest in cilia assembly and how it relates to impaired mucociliary clearance and the biology of primary ciliary dyskinesia. The lab uses primary culture of human and mouse cells, and employs genetic manipulation methods to investigate the function of novel proteins involved in ciliogenesis.