Department of Medicine

University of Pittsburgh

Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine
3459 Fifth Avenue,
628 NW
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Academic Office: (412) 692-2210
Comprehensive Lung Center (Patient Care and Referral): (412) 648-6161

Fernando Holguin, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics
Assistant Director, Asthma Institute

UPMC Montefiore Hospital - NW628
3459 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Academic office: 412-864-2615
Patient appointments: 412-648-6161
Fax: 412-412-605-1999

Assistant: Emily Stilwell
Assistant Email:


Dr Holguin graduated from La Salle University School of Medicine in Mexico City and continued his subspecialty training in Internal medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care at Emory University in Atlanta Georgia. He subsequently returned to Mexico as a researcher in the National Institute of Public Health. He then rejoined the Pulmonary and critical Care Faculty at Emory in 2002 and was also recruited as an adjunct researcher at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. During his faculty tenure at Emory University, Dr Holguin Directed the Adult Asthma and Allergy Clinics at Grady Memorial Hospital. Currently, Dr Holguin works in clinical and translational asthma research with Dr Sally Wenzel and is the Assistant Director of the Asthma Institute.

Clinical Interests

Dr Holguin’s clinical interests primarily focus on treating patients with severe asthma and on understanding the association between obesity and environmental asthma triggers with asthma severity and control.

Academic and Research Interests

Dr. Holguin’s other non-environmental areas of research include asthma epidemiology and translational asthma research. Specifically, defining the obese asthma phenotype, and determining relevant pathways that may explain why in some patients with asthma, obesity may lead to more severe asthma and poor asthma control.

Association between Exhaled NO, FEV1 and FVC and road density in different buffers, in asthmatics (dark) and normal children (gray). These results suggests that higher road density and therefore traffic in close proximity, is associated with increase airway inflammation and reduced lung volumes in asthmatics.

This graph depicts the association between same-day exposure to PM2.5 and the high frequency component of heart rate variability (fine particulate matter) before and after supplementation with 2gr of either omega-3 or soy oil in elderly subjects. The results suggest that omega-3 supplementation reduces the reduction in the high frequency component of heart rate variability associated with PM2.5 exposure.

This graphic illustrates the association between exhaled nitric oxide (continuous line) and exhaled 8-isoprostanes (broken line) and BMI among adult asthmatics with moderate to severe asthma. These results suggest that as BMI increases, asthmatics exhaled less NO and more 8-isoprosanes.

Key Publications

Holguin F, Comhair SA, Hazen SL, Powers RW, Khatri SS, Bleecker ER, Busse WW, Calhoun WJ, Castro M, Fitzpatrick AM, Gaston B, Israel E, Jarjour NN,Moore WC, Peters SP, Teague WG, Chung KF, Erzurum SC, Wenzel SE. An association between L-arginine/asymmetric dimethyl arginine balance, obesity, and the age of asthma onset phenotype. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2013 Jan 15;187(2):153-9. PMID:23204252

Divay C, Stamm. J, Ramos RM, Taylor, B, Satterwhite L, Mannino DM, Sciurba, F. Holguin,F. Outcomes of Non-invasive Ventilation for Acute Exacerbations of COPD in the United States, 1998-2008. Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med. 2012; 185: 152-159 PMID: 22016446

Holguin F, Rojas M, Brown LA, Fitzpatrick AM. Airway and Plasma Leptin and Adiponectin in Lean and Obese Asthmatics and Controls. J Asthma. 2011 Feb 21. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 21332421

Holguin F, Bleecker ER, Busse WW, Calhoun WJ, Castro M, Erzurum SC,
Fitzpatrick AM, Gaston B, Israel E, Jarjour NN, Moore WC, Peters SP, Yonas
M, Teague WG, Wenzel SE. Obesity and asthma: An association modified by age of asthma onset. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2011Jun;127(6):1486
1493.e2. PMID: 21624618

Holguin F, Cribbs S, Fitzpatrick A, Ingram RH Jr, Jackson AC. A deep breath bronchocontricts obese asthmatics. J Asthma. 2010 Feb; 47(1):55-60. PMID: 20100022

Crocker D, Brown C, Moolenar R, Moorman J, Baily C, Mannino D, Holguin F. Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Asthma Medication Usage and Health Care Utilization: Data from the National Asthma Survey. Chest. 2009 Oct; 136(4):1063-71. Epub 2009 Jun 30. PMID: 19567492PubMed Link

PubMed Link


Watch an interview with Dr. Holguin on The Pittsburgh Channel.