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Department of Medicine

Department of Medicine

  Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine



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photo Ana L. Mora, MD

Visiting Associate Professor of Medicine

Email: anamora@pitt.edu

Phone: 412-624-2291

Contact
Office: Starzl Biomedical Science Tower, E1246
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
 
Phone: 412-624-2291
Fax: 412-648-5980
E-mail: anamora@pitt.edu
Administrative Assistant:
Carla Monzo
Email: monzocm@upmc.edu
Phone: 412-383-5853
Fax: 412-648-5980
Education and Training
Education
MD, Universidad Nacional de Columbia Medical School, 1987
Training
Post doctoral Fellow, Molecular Immunology, Institute of Immunology, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, 1994
Post-doctoral Fellow, Microbiology and Immunology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 1999
Research Interest
Dr. Mora’s research is focused in the understanding of the pathogenesis of idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), a fatal and progressive lung disease, characterized by progressive scarring of the lung. IPF prevalence dramatically increases with age, and aging is a known risk factor for IPF. However, there is limited understanding in the mechanisms involved in the increased vulnerability of the aging lung to develop lung fibrosis. Mitochondrial dysfunction is a hallmark of aging, but the role of mitochondria in IPF pathobiology is unknown. We recently discovered that AECII from human IPF lung have accumulation of dysmorphic and dysfunctional mitochondria associated with very low expression of the crucial protective protein involved in mitochondrial homeostasis, PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1). Low expression of PINK1 leads to increased susceptibility to cell apoptosis and fibrosis. However, no information is available how PINK1 expression is regulated and how loss of PINK1 activates pro-fibrotic responses. Our studies bring forth a unique molecular model linking mitochondrial dysfunction and fibrosis that sets the stage for identifying novel links of aging and fibrosis and therapeutic targets for IPF. Our research utilizes a combination of novel animal models with genetically altered mice and human subjects. Our published findings were pioneer to identify alterations in mitochondrial homeostasis in the aging type alveolar epithelial cell (AECII) as critical component of the pathogenesis of IPF. Currently, our studies are extending to other diseases characterized by abnormal tissue repair and exaggerated remodeling including pulmonary hypertension (PH).
Publications
For my complete bibliography, Click Here.
Selected Publications:
Lai, Y.C., Tabima, D.M., Dube, J.J., Hughan, K.S., Vanderpool, R.R., Goncharov, D., StCroix, C., Garcia-Ocaña, A., Goncharova, E.A., Tofovic, S.P., Mora, A.L., Gladwin, M.T. AMPK activation by nitrite and metformin improves hyperglycemia and normalizes pulmonary hypertension in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (PH-HFpEF). Circulation. 2016; 133(8): 717.
Kudryashova, T.V., Goncharov, D.A., Pena, A., Kelly, N., Vanderpool, R., Baust, J., Kobir, A., Shufesky,W., Mora, A.L., Morelli,A.E., Zhao, J., Ihida-Stansbury, K., DeLisse, H., Tuder, R.M., Kawut, S.M., Sillie,H.H.W., Shapiro,S., Zhao, W., Goncharova, E. HIPPO-integrin linked kinase crosstalk controls self-sustained proliferation and survival in pulmonary hypertension. American Journal Respiratory Critical Care. 2016.
Bueno, M., Lai, Y.-C., Romero, Y., Brands, J., StCroix, C., Kamga, C, Corey, C., Herazo-Maya, J., Sembrant, J., Lee, J., Duncan S.R., Rojas, M., Shiva, S, Chu, C.T., Mora, A.L. PINK1 deficiency impairs mitochondrial homeostasis and promotes lung fibrosis. Journal Clinical Investigation. 2015; 125(2): 521.
Rojas, M., Mora, A.L., Kapetanaki, M., Weathington, N., Gladwin, M., Eickelberg, O. Aging and Lung Disease: Clinical Impact and Cellular and Molecular Pathways. Annals of the American Thoracic Society. 2015; 12(2): S222.
Lai, Y.-C., Potoka, K., Mora, A.L., Gladwin, M. PAH Compendium: PAH: The Clinical Syndrome. Circulation Research. 2014; 115: 115.
Bustos, M., Huleihel, L., Kapetanaki, M., Lino-Cardenas, C.L., Morz, L., Ellis, B.M., McVerry, B.J., Richards, T.J., Kaminski, N., Mora, A.L., Rojas, M. Aging mesenchymal stem cells fail to protect by impaired migration and anti-inflammatory response. American Journal Critical Care Medicine. 2014; 189(7): 787.
Rojas, M., Parker, R.E., Thorn, N., Corredor, C., Iyer, S.S., Bueno, M., Mroz, L., Cardenes, N, Mora, A.L., Stecenko, A., Brigham, K. Infusion of Fresh Autologous Bone Marrow Derived Cells Prevents Endotoxin-Induced Acute Lung Injury in an Ex-vivo Perfused Swine Model. Stem Cell Research & Therapy. Stem Cell Research Therapy. 2013; 4(2): 26.
Torres-Gonzalez, E., Bueno, M., Tanaka, A., Krug, L., Cheng, D.-S., Sorescu, D., Blackwell, T., Rojas, M., Mora, A.L. Endoplasmic reticulum stress in age-related susceptibility to lung fibrosis. American Journal Respiratory Cell Molecular Biology. 2012; 46(6): 748.
Sponsored Research/Activities
Title: Signaling Mechanisms by Which Mitochondria Regulates Fibrosis in the Lung
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute
Grant Number: R01 HL131789
Start Year: 2016
End Year: 2020
Title: HIPPO Signaling in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute
Grant Number: R01 HL130261
Start Year: 2016
End Year: 2020
Title: F box-Induced Acute Lung Injury and Parkin
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute
Grant Number: R01 HL096376
Start Year: 2016
End Year: 2020
Title: The Role of PINK1 in mtDNA Integrity and Tumorigenesis
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Start Year: 2016
End Year: 2017
Title: Aging of Mesenchymal Stem Cells Missing Link in IPF
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute
Grant Number: R01 HL123766
Start Year: 2015
End Year: 2019
Title: Use of SGC Activators to Bypass NO Scavenging in SCD
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: Bayer Corporation
Start Year: 2014
End Year: 2016
Title: The Use of sGC Activators to Bypass Nitric Oxide Scavenging by Hemolysis in Sickle Cell Disease
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: Bayer Corporation
Grant Number: DRUG
Start Year: 2013
End Year: 2015
Title: Epithelial-Fibroblast Interactions in Lung Fibrosis
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: Vanderbilt University/National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute
Grant Number: R01 HL085317
Start Year: 2012
End Year: 2016
Notable Achievements
Scholar, McKelvey Center Emory University, 2002
Research Award, Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, 2013
Academic Editor, PLoS One, 2012 -
Member Editorial Board, AJRCMB, 2013 -
Member Editorial Board, AJP Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, 2015 -
Ad hoc Reviewer, NIH Study Section LIRR, 2012 -
Reviewer NIH NHLBI RFA Aging, 2015
Director, Small Animal Hemodynamic Phenotyping Core, Vascular Medicine Institute, University of Pittsburgh, 2014 -