• Dr. Gaggar obtained his medical degree from the University of Michigan in 2000 as a member of the prestigious Inteflex program. He then moved to Birmingham, AL where he completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in 2003. Following residency training, he began fellowship training at UAB in pulmonary and critical care medicine. During the research phase of his fellowship training, he worked in the laboratories of Dr. JP Clancy (Chief, Pediatric Pulmonology) and Dr. J. Edwin Blalock (Professor, Department of Medicine). He completed his fellowship in 2006, with special emphasis in cystic fibrosis and lung transplantation.

    The following year, Dr. Gaggar completed a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Physiology at UAB. Dr. Gaggar was invited to joined the UAB Division of Pulmonary, Allergy & Critical Care Medicine in 2006 as instructor in medicine. He currently serves as a director of the Pulmonary Biospecimen Repository and the Cystic Fibrosis Inflammation Group at UAB. He continues to see patients as both an inpatient physician and in the clinic setting. In addition, his laboratory program continues to investigate the roles of proteases in lung disease.

    Dr. Gaggar currently sees patients after lung transplantation and individuals with cystic fibrosis at University Hospital. He also holds a staff position at the Birmingham VA Medical Center (BVAMC) where he sees individuals with chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD). In addition, he serves as an attending physician at both the UAB and the BVAMC intensive care units.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title Altmetric
    2022 An in vivo model for extracellular vesicle–induced emphysemaJCI insight.  7. 2022
    2022 Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae Redox Recycling of Protein Thiols Promotes Resistance to Oxidative Killing and Bacterial Survival in Biofilms in a Smoke-Related Infection ModelmSphere.  7. 2022
    2021 The molecular evolution of function in the CFTR chloride channelJournal of General Physiology.  153. 2021
    2021 MicroRNA 219-5p inhibits alveolarization by reducing platelet derived growth factor receptor-alphaRespiratory Research.  22. 2021
    2021 HLA-C and KIR permutations influence chronic obstructive pulmonary disease riskJCI insight.  6. 2021
    2021 N-myc-interactor mediates microbiome induced epithelial to mesenchymal transition and is associated with chronic lung allograft dysfunction 2021
    2021 Spatial mapping of SARS-CoV-2 and H1N1 lung injury identifies differential transcriptional signatures 2021
    2021 Transcriptional firing represses bactericidal activity in cystic fibrosis airway neutrophils 2021
    2021 A mechanism for matrikine regulation in acute inflammatory lung injuryJCI insight.  6. 2021
    2021 Prolyl endopeptidase contributes to early neutrophilic inflammation in acute myocardial transplant rejectionJCI insight.  6. 2021
    2021 Neutrophilic inflammation during lung development disrupts elastin assembly and predisposes adult mice to COPDJournal of Clinical Investigation.  131. 2021
    2020 The closed eye harbours a unique microbiome in dry eye diseaseScientific Reports.  10. 2020
    2020 Damage to red blood cells during whole blood storageJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery.  89:344-350. 2020
    2020 Reply to de Steenhuijsen Piters and BogaertAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.  201:1311-1312. 2020
    2020 Differences in airway microbiome and metabolome of single lung transplant recipientsRespiratory Research.  21. 2020
    2020 Immunomodulation in cystic fibrosis: Why and how?International Journal of Molecular Sciences.  21. 2020
    2020 Human Fetal Lungs Harbor a Microbiome SignatureAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.  201:1002-1006. 2020
    2020 Effects of hyperoxia on alveolar and pulmonary vascular development in germ-free mice 2020
    2020 Abnormal pro-gly-pro pathway and airway neutrophilia in pediatric cystic fibrosisJournal of Cystic Fibrosis.  19:40-48. 2020
    2019 Neutrophil-Targeted, protease-Activated pulmonary drug delivery blocks airway and systemic inflammationJCI insight.  4. 2019
    2019 An Ancient CFTR Ortholog Informs Molecular Evolution in ABC TransportersDevelopmental Cell.  51:421-430.e3. 2019
    2019 The matrikine acetyl-proline-glycine-proline and clinical features of COPD: Findings from SPIROMICSRespiratory Research.  20. 2019
    2019 Benzyloxycarbonyl-proline-prolinal (ZPP): Dual complementary roles for neutrophil inhibitionBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications.  517:691-696. 2019
    2019 What lies beneath: Preformed autoantibodies and lung transplantationAmerican Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology.  60:613-614. 2019
    2019 Differences among cigarette-only smokers compared to dual users of cigarettes and little cigars/cigarillos in the criminal justice populationAddictive Behaviors.  90:236-240. 2019
    2019 Vitamin D for the Immune System in Cystic Fibrosis (DISC): A double-blind, multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trialAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  109:554-565. 2019
    2019 Activated PMN Exosomes: Pathogenic Entities Causing Matrix Destruction and Disease in the LungCell.  176:113-126.e15. 2019
    2019 Induced pluripotent stem cell-derived endothelial cells attenuate lipopolysaccharide-induced acute lung injury 2019
    2019 Proline-glycine-proline peptides are critical in the development of smoke-induced emphysemaAmerican Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology.  61:560-566. 2019
    2019 Response to Comment on "An extracellular matrix fragment drives epithelial remodeling and airway hyperresponsiveness"Science Translational Medicine.  11. 2019
    2018 ADAM9: A damaging player in chronic obstructive pulmonary diseaseAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.  198:1465-1466. 2018
    2018 Elevated circulating MMP-9 is linked to increased COPD exacerbation risk in SPIROMICS and COPDGeneJCI insight.  3. 2018
    2018 Early airway microbial metagenomic and metabolomic signatures are associated with development of severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia 2018
    2018 The neutrophil chemoattractant peptide proline-glycine-proline is associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome 2018
    2018 The neutrophil chemoattractant peptide proline-glycine-proline is associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome. 2018
    2018 Frontline Science: Pathological conditioning of human neutrophils recruited to the airway milieu in cystic fibrosisJournal of Leukocyte Biology.  104:665-675. 2018
    2018 An extracellular matrix fragment drives epithelial remodeling and airway hyperresponsivenessScience Translational Medicine.  10. 2018
    2018 Fibroblast growth factor 23 and Klotho contribute to airway inflammationEuropean Respiratory Journal.  52. 2018
    2018 Systemic markers of adaptive and innate immunity are associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease severity and spirometric disease progressionAmerican Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology.  58:500-509. 2018
    2018 Exosomal microRNA predicts and protects against severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia in extremely premature infantsJCI insight.  3. 2018
    2018 Implementation of a successful eradication protocol for Burkholderia Cepacia complex in cystic fibrosis patientsBMC Pulmonary Medicine.  18. 2018
    2018 Airway inflammatory/immune responses in COPD and cystic fibrosisMediators of Inflammation.  2018. 2018
    2017 The Matrikine Acetylated Proline-Glycine-Proline Couples Vascular Inflammation and Acute Cardiac RejectionScientific Reports.  7. 2017
    2017 The Vitamin D for Enhancing the Immune System in Cystic Fibrosis (DISC) trial: Rationale and design of a multi-center, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of high dose bolus administration of vitamin D3 during acute pulmonary exacerbation of cystic fibrosisContemporary Clinical Trials Communications.  6:39-45. 2017
    2017 Doxycycline improves clinical outcomes during cystic fibrosis exacerbationsEuropean Respiratory Journal.  49. 2017
    2017 Ureaplasma infection-mediated release of matrix metalloproteinase-9 and PGP: A novel mechanism of preterm rupture of membranes and chorioamnionitisPediatric Research.  81:75-79. 2017
    2016 Absorbance and redox based approaches for measuring free heme and free hemoglobin in biological matricesRedox Biology.  9:167-177. 2016
    2016 Bioactive extracellular matrix fragments in lung health and diseaseJournal of Clinical Investigation.  126:3176-3184. 2016
    2016 CXCR1 Regulates Pulmonary Anti- Pseudomonas Host DefenseJournal of Innate Immunity.  8:362-373. 2016
    2016 Matrix remodeling in pulmonary fibrosis and emphysemaAmerican Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology.  54:751-760. 2016
    2016 Neutrophil fates in bronchiectasis and alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiencyAnnals of the American Thoracic Society.  13:S123-S129. 2016
    2016 Genetic regulation of expression of leukotriene A4 hydrolaseERJ Open Research.  2. 2016
    2016 Inhaled alpha1-proteinase inhibitor therapy in patients with cystic fibrosisJournal of Cystic Fibrosis.  15:227-233. 2016
    2016 Toll-like receptor 4 engagement mediates prolyl endopeptidase release from airway epithelia via exosomesAmerican Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology.  54:359-369. 2016
    2016 Alterations in blood leukocytes of G551D-bearing cystic fibrosis patients undergoing treatment with ivacaftorJournal of Cystic Fibrosis.  15:67-73. 2016
    2016 Protective effect of suppressing STAT3 activity in LPS-induced acute lung injury 2016
    2016 There is blood in the water: Hemolysis, hemoglobin, and heme in acute lung injury 2016
    2015 Changes in mineral micronutrient status during and after pulmonary exacerbation in adults with cystic fibrosisNutrition in Clinical Practice.  30:838-843. 2015
    2015 A fragment in time: Elastin peptides and progression of emphysemaAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.  192:1141-1143. 2015
    2015 A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of roflumilast effect on proline-glycine-proline and neutrophilic inflammation in chronic obstructive pulmonary diseaseAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.  192:934-942. 2015
    2015 Addendum: Kong, M.Y.; Whitley, R.J.; Peng, N.; Oster, R.; Schoeb, T.R.; Sullender, W.; Ambalavanan, N.; Clancy, J.P.; Gaggar, A.; Blalock J.E. Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 Mediates RSV Infection in Vitro and in Vivo. Viruses 2015, 30, 7, 4230–4253.Viruses.  7:5609. 2015
    2015 Matrikines are key regulators in modulating the amplitude of lung inflammation in acute pulmonary infectionNature Communications.  6. 2015
    2015 Matrix metalloproteinase-9 mediates RSV infection in vitro and in vivoViruses.  7:4230-4253. 2015
    2015 The matrikine PGP as a potential biomarker in COPD 2015
    2015 MMP generated matrikines 2015
    2015 The matrikine N-α-PGP couples extracellular matrix fragmentation to endothelial permeabilityScience Advances.  1. 2015
    2015 Subsets of airway myeloid-derived regulatory cells distinguish mild asthma from chronic obstructive pulmonary diseaseJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.  135:413-424.e15. 2015
    2014 Exposure to cigarette smoke impacts myeloid-derived regulatory cell function and exacerbates airway hyper-responsivenessLaboratory Investigation.  94:1312-1325. 2014
    2014 Factors influencing the measurement of plasma/serum surfactant protein D levels by ELISAPLoS ONE.  9. 2014
    2014 Fibrosis: Ultimate and proximate causesJournal of Clinical Investigation.  124:4673-4677. 2014
    2014 L-4F Inhibits Lipopolysaccharide-Mediated Activation of Primary Human NeutrophilsInflammation.  37:1401-1412. 2014
    2014 An aberrant leukotriene A4 hydrolase-proline-glycine-proline pathway in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseaseAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.  190:51-61. 2014
    2014 Targeting prolyl endopeptidase with valproic acid as a potential modulator of neutrophilic inflammationPLoS ONE.  9. 2014
    2014 Pulmonary matrix metalloproteinase-9 activity in mechanically ventilated children with respiratory syncytial virusEuropean Respiratory Journal.  43:1086-1096. 2014
    2014 Development and maintenance of a biospecimen repository for clinical samples derived from pulmonary patientsClinical and Translational Science.  7:336-341. 2014
    2013 IP-10 Is a Potential Biomarker of Cystic Fibrosis Acute Pulmonary ExacerbationsPLoS ONE.  8. 2013
    2013 Anti-Inflammatory Mechanisms of Apolipoprotein A-I Mimetic Peptide in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Secondary to SepsisPLoS ONE.  8. 2013
    2013 Erratum: Elevated levels of NO are localized to distal airways in asthma (Free Radical Biology and Medicine (2011) 50 (1679-1688))Free Radical Biology and Medicine.  58:45. 2013
    2013 Acquired cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator dysfunction in the lower airways in COPDChest.  144:498-506. 2013
    2013 Characterization and prevention of the adsorption of surfactant protein D to polypropylene.PLoS ONE.  8. 2013
    2012 Innate immunity in cystic fibrosis lung diseaseJournal of Cystic Fibrosis.  11:363-382. 2012
    2012 MMP-9 cleaves SP-D and abrogates its innate immune functions in vitroPLoS ONE.  7. 2012
    2012 Proline-glycine-proline as a potential biomarker in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cystic fibrosisTanaffos : Journal of Respiratory Disease, Thoracic Surgery, Intensive Care and Tuberculosis.  11:12-15. 2012
    2012 CXCR1 and CXCR2 haplotypes synergistically modulate cystic fibrosis lung diseaseEuropean Respiratory Journal.  39:1385-1390. 2012
    2012 Extensive surgical and comprehensive postoperative medical management for cystic fibrosis chronic rhinosinusitis 2012
    2011 Free radical-producing myeloid-derived regulatory cells: Potent activators and suppressors of lung inflammation and airway hyperresponsivenessMucosal Immunology.  4:503-518. 2011
    2011 Series "matrix metalloproteinases in lung health and disease": The role of matrix metalloproteinases in cystic fibrosis lung diseaseEuropean Respiratory Journal.  38:721-727. 2011
    2011 Early elevation of matrix Metalloproteinase-8 and -9 in pediatric ARDS is associated with an increased risk of prolonged mechanical ventilationPLoS ONE.  6. 2011
    2011 Elevated levels of NO are localized to distal airways in asthmaFree Radical Biology and Medicine.  50:1679-1688. 2011
    2011 A self-propagating matrix metalloprotease-9 (MMP-9) dependent cycle of chronic neutrophilic inflammationPLoS ONE.  6. 2011
    2010 A critical role for LTA4H in limiting chronic pulmonary neutrophilic inflammationScience.  330:90-94. 2010
    2010 Is there a doctor in the house? The downside of 24/7 attending coverage in academic intensive care unitsAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.  181:1280-1281. 2010
    2010 Human neutrophil elastase-mediated cleavage sites of MMP-9 and TIMP-1: Implications to cystic fibrosis proteolytic dysfunctionMolecular Medicine.  16:159-166. 2010
    2010 Proline-Glycine-Proline (PGP) and high mobility group box protein-1 (HMGB1): Potential mediators of cystic fibrosis airway inflammationOpen Respiratory Medicine Journal.  4:32-38. 2010
    2010 Incidence, relevance and response for Ralsfonia respiratory infections.Clinical Laboratory Science.  23:99-106. 2010
    2009 Neutrophils contain prolyl endopeptidase and generate the chemotactic peptide, PGP, from collagenJournal of Neuroimmunology.  217:51-54. 2009
    2009 N-α-PGP and PGP, potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets for COPDRespiratory Research.  10. 2009
    2009 The presence of a matrix-derived neutrophil chemoattractant in bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome after lung transplantationJournal of Immunology.  182:4423-4431. 2009
    2009 Attacking the multi-tiered proteolytic pathology of COPD: New insights from basic and translational studiesPharmacology and Therapeutics.  121:132-146. 2009
    2008 Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome and survival following lung transplantation for patients with sarcoidosis 2008
    2008 Potential role of high-mobility group box 1 in cystic fibrosis airway diseaseAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.  178:822-831. 2008
    2008 Inhibition of airway proteases in cystic fibrosis lung diseaseEuropean Respiratory Journal.  32:783-795. 2008
    2008 TLR expression on neutrophils at the pulmonary site of infection: TLR1/TLR2-mediated up-regulation of TLR5 expression in cystic fibrosis lung diseaseJournal of Immunology.  181:2753-2763. 2008
    2008 Interfering with extracellular matrix degradation to blunt inflammationCurrent Opinion in Pharmacology.  8:242-248. 2008
    2008 A novel proteolytic cascade generates an extracellular matrix-derived chemoattractant in Chronic neutrophilic inflammationJournal of Immunology.  180:5662-5669. 2008
    2008 Genetic and reproductive knowledge among adolescents and adults with cystic fibrosisChest.  133:1533. 2008
    2007 Matrix metalloprotease-9 dysregulation in lower airway secretions of cystic fibrosis patients 2007
    2007 Matrix metalloproteinase 9 activity enhances host susceptibility to pulmonary infection with type A and B strains of Francisella tularensisJournal of Immunology.  178:1013-1020. 2007
    2007 The ups and downs of peer reviewAdvances in Physiology Education.  31:145-152. 2007
    2006 Biologic markers of mortality in acute lung injuryClinica Chimica Acta.  372:24-32. 2006


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

    Research Overview

  • Dr. Gaggar's laboratory interests focus on the roles proteases play in modulation of lung disease. Dr. Gaggar utilizes a combination of cell-based systems, unique murine models, and clinical specimens, leading to research which is truly "translational" in nature. The Gaggar lab's interests focus on 3 major arenas: proteases and neutrophilic airway inflammation, proteases and ion transportation, and the Regulation of Surfactant Protein D by Airway Proteases.

    Recently, Dr. Gaggar's laboratory and Dr. J. Edwin Blalock's laboratory have worked together to describe the proteolytic pathways involved in the generation of a novel neutrophil chemoattractant, proline-glycine-proline (PGP). Dr. Gaggar's group has shown that this chemoattractant is generated by the cleavage of collagen by matrix metalloprotease (MMP)-8 and MMP-9, in conjunction with a novel serine protease, prolyl endopeptidase (PE). Dr. Gaggar's group has also highlighted the relative contribution of PGP in development of BOS, demonstrating for the first time the impact this peptide might play in clinical lung disease. Ongoing efforts are now being focused in further delineation of the biological roles PGP may induce in the airway beyond neutrophil recruitment.
  • Investigator On

  • A Novel Exosomal Inflammatory Pathway  awarded by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute/NIH/DHHS
  • Cellular Lipids and Leukocyte Function  awarded by National Institute of General Medical Sciences/NIH/DHHS
  • Environmental Cadmium and COPD  awarded by National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences/NIH/DHHS
  • Genetics of Smoke-Altered LTA4H in COPD  awarded by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute/NIH/DHHS
  • Influenza Regulation of Epithelial Pneumococcal Host Defense  awarded by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute/NIH/DHHS
  • Integrating Genomic Risk Assessment for Chronic Disease Management in a Diverse Population  awarded by National Human Genome Research Institute/NIH/DHHS
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Driven Lung Inflammation in RSV Disease  awarded by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute/NIH/DHHS
  • Mechanisms Driving Endothelial Angiopoietin-2 Expression and Vascular Dysfunction during Pediatric Sepsis  awarded by National Institute of General Medical Sciences/NIH/DHHS
  • Mechanisms and Correlates of Immune Protection against Genital Chlamydia in Humans  awarded by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/NIH/DHHS
  • Mechanisms of Pulmonary Microbiota-Induced Inflammation and Vascular Dysfunction in Neonatal Lung Injury  awarded by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute/NIH/DHHS
  • Molecular Pathogenesis and Phenotype of Acquired CFTR Dysfunction in COPD  awarded by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute/NIH/DHHS
  • Pediatric Critical Care Scientist Development Program: "RSV-Induced Respiratory Failure: Role of MMP-9 in Lung Injury Through Generation of PGP"  awarded by University of Utah
  • Private Grant  awarded by VERTEX PHARMACEUTICALS, INC.
  • Private Grant  awarded by INSMED PHARMACEUTICALS, INC.
  • Private Grant  awarded by VERTEX PHARMACEUTICALS, INC.
  • Private Grant  awarded by VERTEX PHARMACEUTICALS, INC.
  • Private Grant  awarded by VERTEX PHARMACEUTICALS, INC.
  • Private Grant  awarded by VERTEX PHARMACEUTICALS, INC.
  • Private Grant  awarded by PROQR THERAPEUTICS
  • Private Grant  awarded by CELTAXSYS, INC.
  • Private Grant  awarded by NIVALIS THERAPEUTICS, INC. - NEW
  • Private Grant  awarded by CARTESIAN THERAPEUTIC INC
  • Private Grant  awarded by EDESA BIOTECH INC
  • Private Grant  awarded by Gilead Sciences ^
  • Proof of Principal Evaluation of IV Gallium Nitrate (Ganite) in Patients with Cystic Fibrosis  awarded by SEATTLE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL
  • Role of Heme and PGP Matrikines in Lung Inflammation  awarded by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute/NIH/DHHS
  • Standardized Treatment of Pulmonary Exacerbations II  awarded by SEATTLE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL
  • Targeted Cell Therapy for Acute Lung Injury  awarded by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute/NIH/DHHS
  • UAB CF Research and Translation Core Center  awarded by National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases/NIH/DHHS
  • UAB CF Research and Translation Core Center - Admin Core  awarded by National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases/NIH/DHHS
  • UAB CF Research and Translation Core Center - Core C  awarded by National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases/NIH/DHHS
  • UAB Cystic Fibrosis Center for Care, Teaching, and Research (Adult)  awarded by Cystic Fibrosis Foundation ^
  • UAB Research and Development Program  awarded by Cystic Fibrosis Foundation ^
  • Education And Training

  • UAB Hospital, Internship
  • UAB Hospital, Residency
  • UAB Hospital, Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Molecular Physiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham 2007
  • Doctor of Medicine, University of Michigan System : Ann Arbor 2000
  • Full Name

  • Amit Gaggar