Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Faculty Profiles
Olga  Vagin, PhD

Olga Vagin, PhD

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine (Pulmonary and Critical Care)

Focus of Work

Bio

The main focus of my research is understanding the roles of the Na,K-ATPase in epithelial integrity in health and disease. The active ion transport catalyzed by the alveolar Na,K-ATPase is crucial for resolution of lung edema. Our recent data have demonstrated that, in addition to transporting ions, the Na,K-ATPase also acts as a cell adhesion molecule in epithelia by forming intercellular bridges with the Na,K-ATPase located in neighboring cells. Therefore, the Na,K-ATPase presumably contribut...[Read full text]The main focus of my research is understanding the roles of the Na,K-ATPase in epithelial integrity in health and disease. The active ion transport catalyzed by the alveolar Na,K-ATPase is crucial for resolution of lung edema. Our recent data have demonstrated that, in addition to transporting ions, the Na,K-ATPase also acts as a cell adhesion molecule in epithelia by forming intercellular bridges with the Na,K-ATPase located in neighboring cells. Therefore, the Na,K-ATPase presumably contributes to the resolution of lung edema not only by driving the transepithelial vectorial transport of sodium ions and water from alveolar spaces, but also by maintaining the intercellular epithelial junctions, thus preventing the paracellular diffusion of both ions and water back to the alveolar spaces. Hypoxia is known to worsen clinical outcomes of acute lung injury by impairing intercellular adhesion and by inducing the Na,K-ATPase internalization. We will study the effect of hypoxia on the interaction between the Na,K-ATPases located in neighboring cells and also on the chaperone-assisted maturation and trafficking of the Na,K-ATPase subunits to the plasma membrane. Understanding the mechanisms by which hypoxia regulates these processes may lead to more effective prevention or treatment of pulmonary edema and acute lung injury.[Shorten text]

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Education and Certification

  • PhD: Institute of Biophysics, Biophysics (1988)

Contact

312/908-8163

McGaw Pavilion Suite M-300
240 E Huron
Chicago IL 60611