Explore This Research Program

In addition to delivering exceptional clinical care, we offer patients the opportunity to participate in clinical trials of new therapies and scientific investigations into the causes of interstitial lung diseases.

Current Clinical Trials

If you are interested in learning about the research we are doing at Mass General, please contact our research coordinators: Layla Rahimi (layla.rahimi@mgh.harvard.edu) or Caroline Fromson (cfromson@mgh.harvard.edu). Below are some of the research studies our interstitial lung disease physicians are currently involved with.

You can also search for ongoing research projects at Mass General and other Mass General Brigham institutions at rally.partners.org.

General information about clinical trials can be found at the National Institute of Health website. You can search by disease, by keyword or by location.

JUNIPER

JUNIPER: A Phase 2 Study to Evaluate the Safety, Biological Activity, and PK of ND-L02-s0201 in Subjects With IPF

Summary: A phase 2, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter study to evaluate the safety, tolerability, biological activity, and pharmacokinetics (PK) of ND-L02-s0201 for Injection in subjects with IPF.

  • Status: Enrolling
  • Clinical Trials ID: NCT03538301
  • Sponsor: Nitto Denko
Evaluation of Efficacy and Safety of PLN-74809 in Patients With Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Evaluation of Efficacy and Safety of PLN-74809 in Patients With Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis: A randomized, double-blind, dose-ranging, placebo-controlled Phase 2a evaluation of the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of PLN-74809 in participants with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)

Summary: A Phase 2a, multicenter, 3-part, randomized, double-blind, dose-ranging, placebo-controlled study to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and PK of once-daily treatment with PLN-74809 in participants with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

  • Status: Enrolling soon
  • Clinical Trials ID: NCT04396756
  • Sponsor: Pliant Therapeutics
PRECISIONS

PRECISIONS: Prospective tReatment EffiCacy in IPF uSIng genOtype for Nac Selection (PRECISIONS) Trial

Summary: Hypothesis: Patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) that have the TOLLIP rs3750920 TT genotype will exhibit improved clinical outcomes when treated with N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) compared to placebo, while receiving standard care.

  • Status: Start Up
  • Clinical Trials ID: NCT04300920
  • Sponsor: University of Michigan
A Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of Recombinant Human Pentraxin-2 (rhPTX-2; PRM-151) in Participants With Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

A Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of Recombinant Human Pentraxin-2 (rhPTX-2; PRM-151) in Participants With Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Summary: This phase III study will evaluate the efficacy, safety and pharmacokinetics (PK) of recombinant human pentraxin-2 (rhPTX-2; PRM-151) compared with placebo in participants with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

  • Status: Start up
  • Clinical Trials ID: NCT04552899
  • Sponsor: Genentech
A Study to Evaluate Long-Term Safety and Efficacy of Recombinant Human Pentraxin-2 (rhPTX-2; PRM-151) in Participants With Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

A Study to Evaluate Long-Term Safety and Efficacy of Recombinant Human Pentraxin-2 (rhPTX-2; PRM-151) in Participants With Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Summary: This study will evaulate the long-term safety, efficacy and pharmacokinetics (PK) of recombinant human pentraxin-2 (rhPTX-2; PRM-151) administered by intravenous (IV) infusion to participants with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

  • Status: Start up
  • Clinical Trials ID: NCT04594707
  • Sponsor: Genentech

Translational Research

Innate Immunity in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Innate Immunity in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

  • Status: Enrolling
  • Sponsor: DARPA
Contrast-enhanced Lung MRI to Assess Disease Activity in Fibrotic Interstitial Lung Disease

Contrast-enhanced Lung MRI to Assess Disease Activity in Fibrotic Interstitial Lung Disease

  • Status: Enrolling
  • Sponsor: Chest Research Foundation
Preliminary Evaluation of [68Ga]CBP8 in Healthy Individuals, Lung Cancer, and Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Patients

Preliminary Evaluation of [68Ga]CBP8 in Healthy Individuals, Lung Cancer, and Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Patients: Preliminary evaluation of [68Ga]CBP8 (ColliBright) in healthy individuals, in lung cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy prior to the resection of locally advanced tumors, and in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients.

Summary: The goal of this study is to investigate the safety of [68Ga]CBP8 and its efficacy to detect collagen deposition in pulmonary fibrosis.

  • Status: Enrolling
  • Clinical Trials ID: NCT03535545
  • Sponsor: NIH-NHLBI
Exhaled Breath Condensate and Plasma Collection for Interstitial Lung Diseases (ILDs)

Exhaled Breath Condensate and Plasma Collection for Interstitial Lung Diseases (ILDs)

  • Status: Enrolling
  • Sponsor: Merck
Longitudinal Assessment of Pulmonary Fibrosis with OCT

Longitudinal assessment of pulmonary fibrosis with OCT

  • Status: Enrolling
  • Sponsor: Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Evaluating Pulmonary Fibrosis with Optical Coherence Tomography: Pilot Study

Evaluating pulmonary fibrosis with optical coherence tomography: Pilot Study

  • Status: Not enrolling
  • Sponsor: NIH-NHLBI

Biorepositories and Registries

Biorepository for Interstitial Lung Diseases (ILDs)

Biorepository for Interstitial Lung Diseases (ILDs)

  • Status: Enrolling
  • Sponsor: Scleroderma Foundation
Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Patient Registry (Data Entry)

Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Patient Registry (Data entry)

  • Status: Follow up
  • Sponsor: University of Michigan
Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Bioregistry (Blood Draw)

Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Bioregistry (Blood draw)

  • Status: Follow up
  • Sponsor: University of Michigan

Our Physician Scientists

Katharine Black, MD

Research Interests

My overarching interest is in fostering translational research, especially basic science using human sample-derived models, with the goal of understanding pathways that could treat, cure, or prevent interstitial lung disease. To this end, I organize an ongoing tissue bank to collect lung and other samples from patients undergoing lung transplant or other lung surgeries, and of collaborating with other investigators working on ILD and other severe lung diseases. In addition, I have worked on improving models of epithelial cell-fibroblast interactions, and have ongoing interest in autoimmune ILD, acute exacerbations and critical illness in ILD, and in and lung transplantation.


Peter Caravan

Research Interests

My research focuses on the development and application of advanced imaging methods to characterize the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis. We use multi-modal (PET, MRI, HRCT) and multiparametric lung imaging for early detection and quantitative assessment of disease, to better inform prognosis, and to provide an early measure of treatment response. Our lab has developed novel molecular probes for PET imaging of fibrosis, fibrogenesis, and specific markers of fibrosis pathobiology, and translated these probes for use in human research. Our work encompasses both clinical and preclinical research and we have active projects involving different fibrosing lung disease such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, radiation induced lung injury, and systemic sclerosis.


Raghu ChivukulaRaghu Chivukula, MD, PhD

Research Interests

Dr. Chivukula conducts basic scientific research in the Sabatini group at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. His prior work has elucidated novel in vivo roles for microRNAs in mammals and revealed a previously undescribed form of human lung disease caused by short airway cilia. His current work focuses on the roles of lysosome dysfunction in driving genetic and sporadic forms of interstitial lung disease. Dr. Chivukula’s research has been recognized with the Michael A. Shanoff Award, selection to Forbes Magazine “30 Under 30”, and with selection as a fellow of the Parker B. Francis Foundation.


Rob HallowellRobert Hallowell, MD

Research Interests

My research focuses on factors that influence outcomes in patients with various types of interstitial lung disease (ILD), including pulmonary fibrosis. I aim to better characterize the natural history of disease phenotypes in different ILD patient populations through their link to autoantibodies, with the ultimate goal being to optimize treatment algorithms. My work has afforded me the privilege to collaborate with colleagues across multiple disciplines, including but not limited to Radiology, Pathology, and Rheumatology. In parallel, I am an investigator on several clinical trials related to pulmonary fibrosis.


Rachel KnipeRachel Knipe, MD

Research Interests

My research program is focused on 1) better understanding the pathogenesis of fibrotic diseases in the lung, including IPF, and 2) using that understanding to develop novel therapies to help patients with pulmonary fibrosis. I began by studying a key cytoskeletal regulation enzyme, Rho kinase (ROCK) and its role in pro-fibrotic signaling in pulmonary epithelial cells, endothelial cells and fibroblasts. Based on a striking phenotype in ROCK haploinsufficient mice who were protected from vascular permeability in addition to fibrosis in the bleomycin model, I have focused my K08 work on the role of vascular permeability in pulmonary fibrosis. I am studying the ROCK signaling pathway in addition to bioactive lipid signaling by fibrotic mediators LPA and S1P. There is also accumulating evidence from human studies that there are abnormalities in the pulmonary endothelium in patients who develop pulmonary fibrosis, such as increased vascular permeability, but also loss of capillaries and expansion of bronchial vessels. The mechanisms behind these observations remain poorly understood and the cause/effect relationship between the endothelium and the subsequent development of fibrosis has yet to be defined. I am currently focused on identifying vascular abnormalities in pulmonary fibrosis that may provide opportunities for early detection of patients likely to experience disease progression and for early therapeutic intervention for this devastating disease.


David LagaresDavid Lagares, PhD

Research Interests

The central mission of the Lagares Laboratory is to perform cutting-edge research to unravel the biological mechanisms that regulate tissue regeneration, fibrosis (scarring) and tumorigeneses. Ultimately, his laboratory seeks to develop novel anti-fibrotic therapies for the treatment of human fibrotic diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, systemic sclerosis, liver cirrhosis, and desmoplastic tumors. Dr. Lagares’s laboratory has made multiple seminal contributions to this field including the discovery of a novel potential treatment for lung fibrosis by targeting the ADAM10-sEphrin-B2 pathway and the use of BH3 mimetic drugs to reverse established fibrosis by inducing apoptosis of scar-forming cells. This research has been published in journals such as Nature Medicine and Science Translational Medicine. Recently, his laboratory has identified durotaxis as a major mechanism promoting cancer metastasis in fibrotic tumors. These advances seek to revolutionize the treatment of fibrotic diseases by developing novel classes of drugs known as “mechano-therapeutics” and “senolytics”. Dr. Lagares is also a Co-Founder of Mediar Therapeutics and Zenon Biotech, biotech companies developing innovative anti-fibrotic therapies. He is a recipient of multiple honors and career awards from the National Institutes of Health and the American Thoracic Society. The Lagares Laboratory is a fertile training ground for the next generation of scientists and physician-scientists.


Benjamin MedoffBenjamin Medoff, MD

Research Interests

Despite recent approval of two new therapies, many patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) continue to have progressive disease, impaired exercise capacity, and poor quality of life. Clearly more effective and targeted therapy for IPF could have a positive impact on the well-being of the numerous people affected by this disease. Endothelial cell dysfunction and exaggerated vascular permeability are cardinal components of the initial pathways activated in response to repetitive lung injury. We and others have demonstrated that endothelial cell dysfunction and unresolved vascular leak in the lung is not simply a consequence of pulmonary fibrosis, but a central contributor to its progression. Despite these observations, mitigating the vascular responses that lead to hyperpermeability and fibrosis have received relatively little investigative attention. The lab seeks to (1) understand the roles of endothelial ROCK1 and ROCK2 in the vascular response to lung injury and in the development of pulmonary fibrosis; and (2) to investigate whether the endothelial-specific delivery of ROCK inhibitors can halt the progression of lung fibrosis.


Sydney MontesiSydney Montesi, MD

Research Interests

My research focuses on using advanced and molecular imaging to assess disease activity in pulmonary fibrosis. Together with collaborators at the MGH Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging and the laboratory of Dr. Peter Caravan, we have translated the first type I collagen-specific positron emission tomography (PET) probe into humans for non-invasive detection of lung fibrosis. We are currently investigating the ability of this probe to predict disease progression in patients with pulmonary fibrosis. In addition, we are using advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to detect changes in the microvasculature of fibrotic lungs to better understand the significance of these changes during the course of the disease. The goal of this research is to be able to more accurately assess disease activity and ultimately be able to incorporate these imaging techniques in clinical trials for early assessment of treatment response.