• Dr. Bernard is an Assistant Professor in the UAB Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine. She began her research training by earning degrees in Life Sciences and Cellular Biology & Physiology from France's University of Nice. She followed this initial training with an MSc in Pharmacology and a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology, also from the University of Nice. Dr. Bernard worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the UAB Department of Physiology & Biophysics starting in 2004, before taking on research responsibilities in Georgia's Emory School of Medicine. In 2011, she returned to UAB, this time working in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine. She is currently engaged in research on idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title Altmetric
    2020 NADPH Oxidase Inhibition in Fibrotic Pathologies. 2020
    2019 Fibronectin on the surface of extracellular vesicles mediates fibroblast invasion 2019
    2019 Glutaminolysis epigenetically regulates antiapoptotic gene expression in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis fibroblasts 2019
    2019 NADPH oxidases and aging models of lung fibrosis 2019
    2018 Erratum to: Metformin reverses established lung fibrosis in a bleomycin model (Nature Medicine, (2018), 24, 8, (1121-1127), 10.1038/s41591-018-0087-6) 2018
    2018 Metformin reverses established lung fibrosis in a bleomycin model 2018
    2018 Collagen biosynthesis in pulmonary fibrosis: Unraveling the metabolic web 2018
    2018 Glutaminolysis is required for transforming growth factor-β1-induced myofibroblast differentiation and activation 2018
    2017 Mitochondrial dysfunction in pulmonary fibrosis 2017
    2017 NADPH Oxidase 4 (Nox4) suppresses mitochondrial biogenesis and bioenergetics in lung fibroblasts via a nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2-like 2 (Nrf2)-dependent pathway 2017
    2016 Developmental Reprogramming in Mesenchymal Stromal Cells of Human Subjects with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis 2016
    2016 Novel mechanisms for the antifibrotic action of nintedanib 2016
    2015 Glycolytic reprogramming in myofibroblast differentiation and lung fibrosis 2015
    2015 Metabolic reprogramming is required for myofibroblast contractility and differentiation 2015
    2014 NADPH oxidases in lung health and disease 2014
    2014 Reversal of persistent fibrosis in aging by targeting Nox4-Nrf2 redox imbalance 2014
    2013 Origin and evolution of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator protein R domain 2013
    2013 Inhibition of mechanosensitive signaling in myofibroblasts ameliorates experimental pulmonary fibrosis 2013
    2013 Histone modifications in senescence-associated resistance to apoptosis by oxidative stress 2013
    2010 Identification of RL-TGR, a coreceptor involved in aversive chemical signaling 2010
    2010 Cross-linking of ΔF508-CFTR promotes its trafficking to the plasma membrane. 2010
    2010 ATP-independent CFTR channel gating and allosteric modulation by phosphorylation 2010
    2010 Cross-linking of ΔF508-CFTR promotes its trafficking to the plasma membrane 2010
    2009 Curcumin cross-links cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) polypeptides and potentiates CFTR channel activity by distinct mechanisms 2009
    2007 Curcumin opens cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator channels by a novel mechanism that requires neither ATP binding nor dimerization of the nucleotide-binding domains 2007
    2007 Enhancement of P2Y 6 -induced Cl - secretion by IL-13 and modulation of SK4 channels activity in human bronchial cells 2007
    2005 Vasotocin and vasopressin stimulation of the chloride secretion in the human bronchial epithelial cell line, 16HBE14o- 2005
    2003 Modulation of Calcium-dependent Chloride Secretion by Basolateral SK4-like Channels in a Human Bronchial Cell Line 2003


    Year Title Altmetric
    2010 Neutrophil elastase-mediated modulation of pathophysiology in cystic fibrosis lung disease.  87-111. 2010

    Research Overview

  • Dr. Bernard's research background and training is in biochemistry and cellular biology of the lung. She completed her postdoctoral training at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where her research focused on identifying mechanisms by which correctors and/or potentiators rescue CFTR (Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane conductance Regulator) expression and/or activity in the airway epithelium. Her research interests have evolved to studies of lung injury-repair and myofibroblast biology. Her research has recently shown that metabolic reprogramming is an essential feature of myofibroblast differentiation. She is also working in collaboration with Southern Research Institute (SRI) on identifying specific inhibitors of the NADPH oxidase 4 (Nox4). Specifically, she assisted in the 30,000 compound library HTS by developing cell-based assays of Nox4 activity and myofibroblast activation, as well as animal models of lung fibrosis (including the aging model).
  • Education And Training

  • University of Nice-Sophia, Other
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Cell / Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis 2004
  • Full Name

  • Karen Bernard