Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common cause of bronchiolitis in young children worldwide. More than 33 million occurrences of RSV-related bronchiolitis have been estimated globally, with 3 million children requiring hospitalization. RSV is also a significant source of morbidity and mortality in elderly and high-risk adults. There are strong associations between RSV, persistent wheezing, and childhood asthma. Despite extensive research, no effective treatment is available for RSV infection, aside from supportive care. Nearly all children become infected with RSV by age 2, and while most experience a mild, self-limiting illness, some develop severe infection and persistent airway disease. While many host factors associated with disease severity such as prematurity, age, or underlying chronic lung diseases are well-described, the associations of RSV infection with many environmental exposures are not yet fully understood. For example, exposure to ambient particulate matter (PM) has been linked to pulmonary diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, otitis media, and severe viral infection in multiple epidemiologic studies. My laboratory investigates the mechanisms by which RSV infection injures the epithelial cell lining of human airways, and how exposure to environmental pollution enhances the severity of that injury. Identifying the mechanisms by which RSV and air pollution affect the lungs will aid the design of agents that specifically target virus-mediated pathology, and will have a significant impact on the well-being of both children and adults suffering from RSV.
Dr. Fariba Rezaee is an associate professor of Pediatrics and staff physician in the Center for Pulmonary Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Children's. Dr. Rezaee is a physician scientist whose research primarily focuses on the impact of viral infections and environmental factors on the airway epithelial barriers.
Education & Fellowships
Fellowship - University of Rochester Medical Center
Rochester, NY USA
Fellowship - West Virginia University
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Pediatrics
Morgantown, WV USA
Residency - Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
Newark, NJ USA
Residency- Isfahan University of Medical Sciences
Medical school- Isfahan University of Medical Sciences
1987 – 1994 (7-year program)
My lab is interested in investigating the impact of viral infection and environmental factors on airway epithelial barrier and inflammation. Regulation of airway epithelial barrier is one of the new frontiers in mucosal biology with relevance to respiratory viral infections and asthma.
My laboratory research primarily focuses on the signaling pathways responsible for the change in the integrity of airway epithelial junctional complexes following RSV infection, an area with many ambiguities.
Multiple epidemiologic studies report that exposure to environmental pollutants increases the risk of respiratory disease. However, the involved mechanisms remain unclear. Our study shows that disruption of the airway barrier by nanoparticles worsens RSV-induced airway injury and inflammation.
The goal of my research is to further identify further the molecular mechanisms of respiratory RSV-induced disruption of the airway epithelial barrier and how environmental pollutants exacerbate RSV infection and augment RSV-induced airway barrier disruption. We use combinations of studies using human airway epithelial cells as well as mouse models and to approach these problems.
View publications for Fariba Rezaee, MD, FAAP
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Our collaborative and friendly lab at the Center for Pediatric Research in the Department of Inflammation & Immunity at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute has an immediate position available for a motivated and qualified postdoctoral fellowship in the development and understanding of the role of viral infection and pollution on airway epithelial barriers. We are looking for a highly motivated individual with a PhD or MD/PhD to work in a training position. The ideal candidate will have relevant laboratory experience in the areas below. · Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) ·
This position will provide practical training and experience in a research setting, with an appointment through the Lerner Research Institute. The successful applicant will be able to demonstrate a commitment to research, a collaborative work ethic and strong communication skills, both written and verbal. This program is expected to be completed within 5 years.
For more information about the lab’s research, please visit: https://www.lerner.ccf.org/inflammation-immunity/rezaee/
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Dr. Rezaee showed that nanoparticles of titanium dioxide, a pollutant found in many household and personal care products, exacerbates RSV-associated airway inflammation and other disease-related changes.
New research led by Dr. Rezaee builds upon a growing body of evidence that points to vaping products containing THC as most harmful for teens and adolescents.