Dr. Shea's primary research objective is to achieve better understanding of the biological mechanisms underlying the development of pulmonary fibrosis, with the hope that such knowledge will lead to new therapies for fibrotic lung diseases. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), the quintessential fibrotic lung disease, is in dire need of scientific breakthroughs. IPF is a disease of unknown etiology characterized by progressive scar formation in the lungs, leading to impaired lung function, difficulty breathing, and in many cases death. The therapeutic options for patients with IPF and other forms of pulmonary fibrosis are limited. Dr. Shea's basic science research is currently focused on two lysophospholipid mediators, lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) and sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P), which appear to be critical regulators of the development of lung fibrosis. Dr. Shea has also established a translational research program in interstitial lung diseases (ILDs) at MGH, the primary goals of which are to 1) identify potential biomarkers which may predict disease progression in IPF and other ILDs and 2) discover novel pathways involved in the pathogenesis of lung fibrosis.
Tager AM, LaCamera P*, Shea BS*, Campanella GK, Selman M, Zhao Z, Polosukhin V, Wain J, Karimi-Shah BA, Kim ND, Hart WK, Pardo A, Blackwell TS, Xu Y, Chun J, Luster AD. The lysophosphatidic acid receptor LPA1 links pulmonary fibrosis to lung injury by mediating fibroblast recruitment and vascular leak. Nat Med 2008;14(1):45-54.
Shea BS, Brooks SF, Fontaine BA, Chun J, Luster AD, Tager AM. Prolonged exposure to sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor-1 agonists exacerbates vascular leak, fibrosis, and mortality after lung injury. Am J Resp Cell Mol Biol 2010;43(6):662-73.
Liu F, Mih JD, Shea BS, Kho AT, Sharif AS, Tager AM, Tschumperlin DJ. Feedback amplification of fibrosis through matrix stiffening and COX-2 suppression. J Cell Biol 2010;190(4):663-706.
Hariri LP, Mino-Kenudson M, Shea B, Digumarthy S, Onozato M, Yagi Y, Fraire AE, Matsubara O, Mark EJ. Distinct histopathology of acute onset or abrupt exacerbation of hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Hum Path 2012;43(5):660-8.
Shea BS and Tager AM. Role of the lysophospholipid mediators lysophosphatidic acid and sphingosine 1-phosphate in lung fibrosis. Proc Am Thorac Soc 2012;9(3):102-110.
Shea BS and Tager AM. Sphingolipid regulation of tissue fibrosis. Open Rheum 2012;6:123-9.