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Smoking and Lung Cancer

Tzippora Goldkorn, Ph.D.Cigarette smoking is associated with many respiratory diseases characterized by lung injury. Tzippora Goldkorn at UC Davis hypothesized that a common cause for pulmonary diseases is enhanced cell death causing the overall tissue damage characteristic of COPD.

Dr. Goldkorn’s group initiated studies to address whether airway epithelial cells, which are the lung’s first line of defense, are experiencing enhanced cell death when exposed to reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated by cigarette smoke, and whether the process is mediated by a specific cellular messenger called ceramide.  These studies demonstrated  that reactive oxidants cause increased ceramide production and cause pathological cell death in human airway epithelial cells.


Tzippora Goldkorn, Ph.D.
Professor, Dpeartment of
Internal Medicine
UC Davis