Professor of Medicine (Division of Clinical Immunology)
Johns Hopkins University Asthma and Allergy Center (3A44)
5501 Hopkins Bayview Circle
Baltimore, MD 21224
The Undem laboratory investigates how visceral tissues communicate with the central nervous system via the sensory nervous system, and how this process becomes corrupted in inflammatory visceral diseases (focusing mainly on asthma, chronic cough, COPD, and esophagitis). Using electrophysiological and genetic approaches we are investigating the mechanisms by which the activity and phenotype of sensory nerves are modulated in the face of inflammation. One present topic is involves the question of how respiratory virus infection and allergic inflammation alters the nervous system in a manner that leads to coughing and exacerbation of asthma. Another more basic area of interest is in the unraveling of how sensory stimuli (mechanical, inflammatory mediators) lead to membrane depolarization in vagal sensory pain type nerve terminals and the nature of the voltage gated sodium channels that support action potential initiation and conduction in these nerves.