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Profile

Kenneth Adler, PhD

Professor, Cell Biology

Contact:

kbadler@ncsu.edu
Office: 919.513.1348

Kenneth Adler has spent more than three decades investigating respiratory airways and the problem of excess mucus production—a condition that ranges from annoying in a cold to deadly in cystic fibrosis.

In the process, Dr. Adler has become one of the world’s foremost researchers in the field of airway disease and a top-ranked biomedical scientist whose achievements have the potential to significantly improve the lives of people with severe respiratory diseases such as chronic bronchitis, asthma, and cystic fibrosis.

Dr. Adler is a recipient of a prestigious MERIT Award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The MERIT (Method to Extend Research in Time) Award supports researchers “who have demonstrated superior competence and outstanding productivity in research endeavors” by providing 10 years of grant support worth approximately $400,000 a year. Less than one percent of NIH-funded investigators are selected to receive MERIT awards.
Among numerous other honors, Dr. Adler is the 2004 recipient of the O. Max Gardner Award, the highest faculty award presented by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors. The annual award is presented to a faculty member recognized as having “made the greatest contribution to the welfare of the human race.”

He has published more than 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals and is sought internationally as a speaker, and his focus on training both Ph.D. students and post-doctoral fellows has added dozens of well-trained scientists to the field.
Biological Barriers
Research in this laboratory is directed toward elucidating pathogenic mechanisms associated with inflammation in the respiratory airways as seen in asthma, cystic fibrosis and chronic bronchitis. Specific areas of airway pathophysiology include signal transduction pathways that regulate production and secretion of respiratory mucus at the gene and protein levels. The work is done utilizing primary cultures of differentiated human tracheobronchial cells maintained in a unique air-liquid interface, a procedure developed in this laboratory that maintains these cells so they are essentially identical in structure and function to these cells in the body. This research is funded by NIH and several pharmaceutical firms.

  • (2014) MARCKS-dependent mucin clearance and lipid metabolism in ependymal cells is required for maintenance of forebrain homeostasis during agingMuthusamy, N., L. Sommerville, A. Moeser, D. Stumpo, P. Sannes, K. Adler, P. Blackshear, J. Weimer, H.T. Ghashghaei | Aging Cell Oct; 14(5):764-73.
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells Require MARCKS Protein for Directed Chemotaxis in vitroJeffrey D. Miller, Susan M. Lankford, Kenneth B. Adler, and Arnold R. Brody | Am. J. Respir. Cell Mol. Biol. 2010; published ahead of print on March 11, 2010 as doi:10.1165/rcmb.2010-0015RC.
  • Inhibition of mucin secretion with MARCKS-related peptide improves airway obstruction in a mouse model of asthmaAgrawal A, Rengarajan S, Adler KB, Ram A, Ghosh B, Fahim M, Dickey BF | J Appl Physiol. 2007 Jan;102(1):399-405. Epub 2006 Aug 31.
  • Airway epithelium and mucus: Intracellular signaling pathways for gene expression and secretionAdler KB, Li Y | Am J Resp Cell Molec Biol 25:397-400, 2001
  • MARCKS protein is a key molecule regulating mucin secretion by human airway epithelial cells in vitroLi Y, Martin LD, Spizz G, Adler KB | J Biol Chem 276:40982-40990, 2001
  • Secretion-competent mouse tracheal epithelial cell culture from the genetically altered mouse: pathway analysis vis gene arrayMartin LD, Adler KB, Akley NJ, Crews A, Sharova L | Chest 2002 Mar;121(3 Suppl):79S
  • Effects of TNFa on expression of ICAM-1 in human airway epithelial cells in vitro. Oxidant mediated pathways of transcription factor activation.Krunkosky TM, Martin LD, Fischer BM, Voynow JA, Adler KB | Free Radical Biology and Medicine 35: 1158-1167, 2003
  • Proliferation of the airway epithelium in asthma: are inflammatory cells required?Booth Bw, Newcomb DC, McKane SA, Crews AL, Adler KB, Bonner JC, Martin LD | Chest 2003 Mar;123(3 Suppl):384S-5S. Review
  • A MARCKS-related peptide blocks mucus hypersecretion in a murine model of asthmaSinger M, Vargaftig BB,Martin LD, Park JJ, Gruber AD, Li Y, Adler KB | Nature Medicine 10:193-196; 2004
  • Human neutrophil elastase induces hypersecretion of mucin from well-differentiated human bronchial epithelial cells in vitro via a protein kinase C {delta} - mediated mechanismPark JA, He F, Martin LD, Li Y, Chorley BN, Adler KB | Am J Pathol. 2005 Sep;167(3):651-61
  • (R)-albuterol elicits antiinflammatory effects in human airway epithelial cells via iNOSChorley BN, Li Y, Fang S, Park JA, Adler KB | Am J respir Cell Mol Biol. 2006 Jan;34(1):119-27
  • Differential Muc2 and Muc5ac secretion by stimulated guinea pig tracheal epithelial cells in vitroBrian N Chorley, Anne L Crews, Yuehua Li, Kenneth B Adler, Michael Minnicozzi, and Linda D Martin | Respiratory Research 7:35; 2006
  • Better understanding of organ dysfunction requires proteomic involvementAdler KB, Chaudry IH, Ward PA | J Proteome Res 2006 May; 5(5):1060-2. Review
  • Epithelial proteomics in multiple organs and tissues: similarities and variations between cells, organs, and diseasesAdler KB, Bai C, Tang F, Wang X | J Proteome Res 2006 Apr;5(4):743-55. Review
  • A peptide against the N-terminus of myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate inhibits degranulation of human leukocytes in vitroParkJ, Fang S, Koyama S, Parikh I, Adler KB | Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2006 Jun; 24(6):647-52. Epub 2006 Mar 16
  • Regulation of airway mucin secretion by MARCKS protein involves the chaperones heat shock protein 70 and cysteine string protein.Van Eimeren A, Gruen M,ÿ Benito J, Thomson A, Lascelles BDX | Proc. Am Thorac Soc. 2006 Aug;3(6):493
  • MARCKS and Related Chaperones Bind to Unconventional Myosin V Isoforms in Airway Epithelial Cells.Lin KW, Fang S, Park J, Crews AL, Adler KB | Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2010 Mar 4. [Epub ahead of print]PMID: 20203291
  • MARCKS protein is a key molecule regulating mucin secretion by human airway epithelial cells in vitroLi Y, Martin LD, Spizz G, Adler KB | J Biol Chem 276:40982-40990, 2001
  • Secretion-competent mouse tracheal epithelial cell culture from the genetically altered mouse: pathway analysis vis gene arrayMartin LD, Adler KB, Akley NJ, Crews A, Sharova L | Chest 2002 Mar;121(3 Suppl):79S
  • Effects of TNFa on expression of ICAM-1 in human airway epithelial cells in vitro. Oxidant mediated pathways of transcription factor activation.Krunkosky TM, Martin LD, Fischer BM, Voynow JA, Adler KB | Free Radical Biology and Medicine 35: 1158-1167, 2003
  • Proliferation of the airway epithelium in asthma: are inflammatory cells required?Booth Bw, Newcomb DC, McKane SA, Crews AL, Adler KB, Bonner JC, Martin LD | Chest 2003 Mar;123(3 Suppl):384S-5S. Review
  • Human neutrophil elastase induces hypersecretion of mucin from well-differentiated human bronchial epithelial cells in vitro via a protein kinase C {delta} - mediated mechanismPark JA, He F, Martin LD, Li Y, Chorley BN, Adler KB | Am J Pathol. 2005 Sep;167(3):651-61
  • (R)-albuterol elicits antiinflammatory effects in human airway epithelial cells via iNOSChorley BN, Li Y, Fang S, Park JA, Adler KB | Am J respir Cell Mol Biol. 2006 Jan;34(1):119-27
  • Better understanding of organ dysfunction requires proteomic involvementAdler KB, Chaudry IH, Ward PA | J Proteome Res 2006 May; 5(5):1060-2. Review
  • Epithelial proteomics in multiple organs and tissues: similarities and variations between cells, organs, and diseasesAdler KB, Bai C, Tang F, Wang X | J Proteome Res 2006 Apr;5(4):743-55. Review
  • A peptide against the N-terminus of myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate inhibits degranulation of human leukocytes in vitroParkJ, Fang S, Koyama S, Parikh I, Adler KB | Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2006 Jun; 24(6):647-52. Epub 2006 Mar 16
  • Regulation of airway mucin secretion by MARCKS protein involves the chaperones heat shock protein 70 and cysteine string protein. | Proc. Am Thorac Soc. 2006 Aug;3(6):493
  • MARCKS and Related Chaperones Bind to Unconventional Myosin V Isoforms in Airway Epithelial Cells.Lin KW, Fang S, Park J, Crews AL, Adler KB | Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2010 Mar 4. [Epub ahead of print]PMID: 20203291
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells Require MARCKS Protein for Directed Chemotaxis in vitroJeffrey D. Miller, Susan M. Lankford, Kenneth B. Adler, and Arnold R. Brody | Am. J. Respir. Cell Mol. Biol. 2010; published ahead of print on March 11, 2010 as doi:10.1165/rcmb.2010-0015RC.
  • Inhibition of mucin secretion with MARCKS-related peptide improves airway obstruction in a mouse model of asthmaAgrawal A, Rengarajan S, Adler KB, Ram A, Ghosh B, Fahim M, Dickey BF | J Appl Physiol. 2007 Jan;102(1):399-405. Epub 2006 Aug 31.
  • Airway epithelium and mucus: Intracellular signaling pathways for gene expression and secretionAdler KB, Li Y | Am J Resp Cell Molec Biol 25:397-400, 2001
  • A MARCKS-related peptide blocks mucus hypersecretion in a murine model of asthmaSinger M, Vargaftig BB,Martin LD, Park JJ, Gruber AD, Li Y, Adler KB | Nature Medicine 10:193-196; 2004
  • Differential Muc2 and Muc5ac secretion by stimulated guinea pig tracheal epithelial cells in vitroBrian N Chorley, Anne L Crews, Yuehua Li, Kenneth B Adler, Michael Minnicozzi, and Linda D Martin | Respiratory Research 7:35; 2006