Department of Medicine

Department of Medicine

  Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine

[Return To Index page]
photo Merritt L. Fajt, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine


Phone: 412-864-2615

Office: UPMC Montefiore Hospital, NW628
3459 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone: 412-864-2615
Fax: 412-605-1999
Administrative Assistant:
Kelly Tatone
Phone: 412-864-2615
Fax: 412-605-1999
Education and Training
BS, Biology, Duke University, 2000
MD, Temple University, 2004
Residency, Internal Medicine, Penn State University-Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, 2007
Fellow, Allergy-Immunology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center-Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, 2010
Post-doctoral Scholar, PACCM, 2012
Research Interest
Dr. Fajt’s research over the last several years has focused on the pathobiologic mechanisms of severe asthma and the role of mast cells. While mast cells have been reported in the epithelium, both in the GI tract and in the airway, very little is known regarding the epithelial (and even luminal) mast cells, their phenotype and function in asthma and severe asthma. Dr. Fajt’s research interest involves determining the location, phenotype and function of airway mast cells in severe asthma, as compared to milder asthma and normal control subjects. She conducts studies from a range of sources including endobronchial biopsy, epithelial cells, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, sputum, and blood samples. Preliminary data strongly suggest that mast cells in severe asthma, rather than being absent, are actually of an altered functional phenotype and directed towards a luminal location. Her studies will continue to focus on the differences in mast cell phenotypes and their modification by epithelial or luminal factors as it relates to the inflammatory and repair processes of asthma. An understanding of the pathobiology of mast cells in severe asthma could lead to new clinical biomarkers and therapeutic targets. Dr. Fajt has presented her data at several national conferences. She was a second author on a paper recently accepted to the American Journal of Critical Care Medicine regarding the role of mast cells in severe asthma.
Clinical Interest
Dr. Fajt’s clinical interests include caring for patients with asthma, environmental, food or drug allergies and immunologic disorders. She sees patients during outpatient allergy-immunology clinic at the Comprehensive Lung Center and inpatient consults.
For my complete bibliography, Click Here.
Selected Publications:
Fajt, ML. Blood eosinophils: the Holy Grail for asthma phenotyping?. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2016; Feb;116(2): 90-1.
Montandon, SV, Fajt, ML, Petrov, AA. A Safe and Novel Desensitization Protocol with Ferric Carboxymaltose to Treat Iron Deficiency Anemia. Curr Drug Saf. 2016; 11(2): 145-8.
Watanabe, T, Fajt, ML, Trudeau, JB, Voraphani, N, Hu, H, Zhou, X, Holguin, F, Wenzel, SE. Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Expression in Asthma. Association with Severity and Type 2 Inflammatory Processes. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2015; Dec;53(6): 844-52.
Fajt, ML, Wenzel, SE. Asthma phenotypes and the use of biologic medications in asthma and allergic disease: the next steps toward personalized care. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2015; Feb;135(2): 299-310.
Fajt, ML, Petrov, AA. Desensitization protocol for rituximab-induced serum sickness. Curr Drug Saf. 2014; 9(3): 240-2.
Traister, RS, Fajt, ML, Landsittel, D, Petrov, AA. A novel scoring system to distinguish vocal cord dysfunction from asthma. Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2014; Jan-Feb;2(1): 65-9.
Fajt, ML, Wenzel, SE. Mast cells, their subtypes, and relation to asthma phenotypes. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2013; Dec;10 Suppl: S158-64.
Fajt, ML, Gelhaus, SL, Freeman, B, Uvalle, CE, Trudeau, JB, Holguin, F, Wenzel, SE. Prostaglandin D2 pathway upregulation: relation to asthma severity, control, and TH2 inflammation. The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology. 2013; 131(6): 1504-12.
Fajt, ML, Petrov, AA. Outpatient aspirin desensitization for patients with aspirin hypersensitivity and cardiac disease. Crit Pathw Cardiol. 2011; Mar;10(1): 17-21.
Balzar, S, Fajt, ML, Comhair, SA, Erzurum, SC, Bleecker, E, Busse, WW, Castro, M, Gaston, B, Israel, E, Schwarts, LB, Curran-Everett, D, Moore, CG, Wenzel, SE. Mast cell phenotype, location, and activation in severe asthma. Data from the Severe Asthma Research Program. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2011; Feb 1;183(3): 299-309.