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

Frank C. Sciurba, MD, FCCP

Associate Professor of Medicine
Director, Emphysema Research Center
Director, Pulmonary Function Exercise Physiology Laboratory
UPMC Montefiore Hospital - NW628
3459 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Phone: 412-648-6494
Fax: 412-692-692-4842
Assistant: JoAnne Phillips-Kronz
Assistant Email:


Dr. Sciurba received his medical degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and completed his internship and residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in pulmonary/critical care medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Sciurba is a fellow and active member of the American College of Chest Physicians, and serves on the Pulmonary Physiology, Function & Rehabilitation Network Steering Committee.  He is a member of the American Thoracic Society and has served on the Ad Hoc Committee on Standards for Clinical Exercise Testing and currently serves on the Corporate Relations Committee and Clinical Problems Program committee and has chaired the ATS International Conference post graduate course in COPD for four consecutive years. 

Clinical Interests

Dr. Sciurba's clinical focus is on advanced or difficult to manage patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) including emphysema.  Dr. Sciurba, with colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh, have extensive experience in evaluating patients for lung volume reduction surgery.  In addition, consideration for enrollment in bronchoscopic volume reduction or other novel, pharmacologic, or biologic clinical trials considered for patients whose options are limited.  Dr. Sciurba's clinical and research philosophy revolves around the fact that all patients have a unique manifestation of the disease commonly known as COPD and thus may require a unique therapeutic regimen,  specific to their own situation.

Relation between Lung Volume as a Percentage of Total Lung Capacity and Static Transpulmonary Pressure in Two Patients with Diffuse Emphysema.

The graphs show a shift to the right in transpulmonary pressure at a given lung volume after lung-reduction surgery (solid squares), as compared with preoperative values (open squares). The curves represent the response in normal subjects.

Panel A shows the results in a 64-year-old woman with severe emphysema who had a forced expiratory volume in one second of 41 percent of the predicted value and in whom measurements could be made throughout expirations (shown are composite data points from three separate expirations).

Panel B shows the results in a 41-year-old woman with more advanced disease (forced expiratory volume in one second, 12 percent of the predicted value), who could tolerate only one to two occlusions at the higher lung volumes (shown are data from two separate expirations) so that results could not be obtained at a lower lung volume.

Academic and Research Interests

Dr. Sciurba is currently the principal investigator of 5 NIH sponsored contracts/grants related to COPD or phenotypic characterization of lung disease including the NIH Specialized Center in Clinically Oriented Research in COPD award.  He has recently presented at 4 NHLBI sponsored workshops related to clinical and research strategies in COPD.

His long term research interest includes volume reduction strategies in patients with advanced emphysema and the use of exercise testing as a diagnostic and outcome tool in lung disease.

Among his research interests and recently published work includes assessment of new concepts related to patterns of pulmonary and systemic inflammation associated with COPD, the impact of therapy on dynamic hyperinflation, the role of quantitative imaging in the assessment and reclassification of COPD, the design of the VENT endobronchial valve trial and role of valves in relieving native lung hyperinflation following lung transplantation, the retinoic acid FORTE trial, gender differences in COPD, assessment of methodology of pulmonary exercise testing and activity monitoring in COPD,  and the important role of autoimmunity in the progression of COPD.



Hyperinflation in Emphysema

The Inactivity- Dyspena Spiral in COPD

The Reality: Sub-Phenotypes of COPD

Key Publications

Wilson DO, Weissfeld JL, Balkan A, Schragin JG, Fuhrman CR, Fisher SN, Wilson J, Leader JK, Siegfried JM, Shapiro SD, Sciurba FC. Association of radiographic emphysema and airflow obstruction with lung cancer. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2008 Oct 1;178(7):738-44. Epub 2008 Jun 19.

Lee JS, Rosengart MR, Kondragunta V, Zhang Y, McMurray J, Branch RA, Choi AM, Sciurba FC. Inverse association of plasma IL-13 and inflammatory chemokines with lung function impairment in stable COPD: a cross-sectional cohort study. Respir Res. 2007 Sep 14;8:64.

Zheng B, Leader JK, McMurray JM, Park SC, Fuhrman CR, Gur D, Sciurba FC. Automated detection and quantitative assessment of pulmonary airways depicted on CT images. Med Phys. 2007 Jul;34(7):2844-52.

Patel SA, Benzo RP, Slivka WA, Sciurba FC. Activity monitoring and energy expenditure in COPD patients: a validation study. COPD. 2007 Jun;4(2):107-12.

Sciurba FC, Rogers RM, Keenan RJ, Slivka WA, Gorcsan J 3rd, Ferson PF, Holbert JM, Brown ML, Landreneau RJ. Improvement in pulmonary function and elastic recoil after lung-reduction surgery for diffuse emphysema.  N Engl J Med. 1996 Apr 25;334(17):1095-9

PubMed Link


Dr. Sciurba's article in New England Journal of Medicine regarding lung valve implants, is noted in other news.

Dr. Sciurba has been quoted in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and has also been interviewed during a Channel 4 Healthcast Report.

Watch the interview, COPD -- A Multidimensional Disease: An Expert Interview With Frank C. Sciurba, MD, FCCP