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Alessandro Venosa

Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology

Cell Biology, Lung Inflammation, Lung Fibrosis, Environmental Toxicology

Venosa Photo


Molecular Biology Program

Biological Chemistry Program


Pharm.D. Università degli Studi di Urbino, Italy

Ph.D. Rutgers University



My laboratory studies gene-environment interactions in the pathogenesis of lung disease. We are currently investigating 1) the role of epithelial dysfunction on pulmonary fibrosis; 2) the changes in epithelial-immune cell crosstalk in all phases of the inflammatory response; 3) the impact of acute and chronic environmental exposure on disease incidence in susceptible populations.

I recently developed and characterized a clinically relevant model of inflammatory exacerbations of pulmonary fibrosis, driven by a clinically relevant mutation in the surfactant protein-C gene (SP-CI73T). These model represents a platform to examine how a stressed/functionally impaired lung epithelium coordinates resident immune cell function, and the synchronized recruitment of peripheral effector populations, both myeloid and lymphoid.

At the University of Utah, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology I therefore embarked on a path to define the effects of a wide range of air pollutants (ozone, cigarette/wildfire smoke and particulate) in healthy and susceptible cohorts (genetic predisposition, age, preexisting conditions). As we progress in our research we aim to establish a multidisciplinary program examining all aspects of chronic lung diseases including asthma, COPD, and fibrosis.


  1. Golden T, Murray A, Venosa A, Gow AJ. Comprehensive dataset to assess morphological changes subsequent to bleomycin exposure. Data Brief. 2021 Aug 5;37:107270. doi: 10.1016/j.dib.2021.107270. PMID: 34430679; PMCID: PMC8365314.
  2. Venosa A, Cowman S, Katzen J, Tomer Y, Armstrong BS, Mulugeta S, Beers MF. Role of CCR2+ Myeloid Cells in Inflammation Responses Driven by Expression of a Surfactant Protein-C Mutant in the Alveolar Epithelium. Front Immunol. 2021 Apr 22;12:665818. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.665818. PMID: 33968067; PMCID: PMC8101410.
  3. Tomer Y, Wambach J, Knudsen L, Zhao M, Rodriguez LR, Murthy A, White FV, Venosa A, Katzen J, Ochs M, Hamvas A, Beers MF, Mulugeta S. The common ABCA3E292V variant disrupts AT2 cell quality control and increases susceptibility to lung injury and aberrant remodeling. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2021 Aug 1;321(2):L291-L307. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00400.2020. Epub 2021 Jun 16. PMID: 34132118.
  4. Venosa A, Gow JG, Taylor S, Golden TN, Murray A, Abramova E, Malaviya R, Laskin DL, Gow AJ. Myeloid cell dynamics in bleomycin-induced pulmonary injury in mice; effects of anti-TNFα antibody. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2021 Apr 15;417:115470. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2021.115470. Epub 2021 Feb 27. PMID: 33647319.
  5. Venosa A, Smith LC, Gow AJ, Zarbl H, Laskin JD, Laskin DL. Macrophage activation in the lung during the progression of nitrogen mustard induced injury is associated with histone modifications and altered miRNA expression. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2021 Jul 15;423:115569. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2021.115569. Epub 2021 May 7. PMID: 33971176.
  6. Venosa A. Senescence in Pulmonary Fibrosis: Between Aging and Exposure. Front Med (Lausanne). 2020;7:606462. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2020.606462. eCollection 2020. Review. PubMed PMID: 33282895; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7689159.
  7. Murray A, Gow AJ, Venosa A, Andres J, Malaviya R, Adler D, Yurkow E, Laskin JD, Laskin DL. Assessment of mustard vesicant lung injury and anti-TNF-α efficacy in rodents using live-animal imaging. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2020 Nov;1480(1):246-256. doi: 10.1111/nyas.14525. Epub 2020 Nov 9. PubMed PMID: 33165947.
  8. Smith LC, Venosa A, Gow AJ, Laskin JD, Laskin DL. Transcriptional profiling of lung macrophages during pulmonary injury induced by nitrogen mustard. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2020 Nov;1480(1):146-154. doi: 10.1111/nyas.14444. Epub 2020 Aug 6. PubMed PMID: 32767459.
  9. Chen P, Zhang X, Venosa A, Lee IH, Myers D, Holloway JA, Prud'homme RK, Gao D, Szekely Z, Laskin JD, Laskin DL, Sinko PJ. A Novel Bivalent Mannosylated Targeting Ligand Displayed on Nanoparticles Selectively Targets Anti-Inflammatory M2 Macrophages. 2020 Mar 8;12(3). doi: 10.3390/pharmaceutics12030243. PubMed PMID: 32182675; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7150811.
  10. Sunil VR, Vayas KN, Abramova EV, Rancourt R, Cervelli JA, Malaviya R, Goedken M, Venosa A, Gow AJ, Laskin JD, Laskin DL. Lung injury, oxidative stress and fibrosis in mice following exposure to nitrogen mustard. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2020 Jan 15;387:114798. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2019.114798. Epub 2019 Oct 31. PubMed PMID: 31678244; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7066865.
  11. Venosa A, Smith LC, Murray A, Banota T, Gow AJ, Laskin JD, Laskin DL. Regulation of Macrophage Foam Cell Formation During Nitrogen Mustard (NM)-Induced Pulmonary Fibrosis by Lung Lipids. Toxicol Sci. 2019 Dec 1;172(2):344-358. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfz187. PubMed PMID: 31428777; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6876262.
  12. Venosa A, Katzen J, Tomer Y, Kopp M, Jamil S, Russo SJ, Mulugeta S, Beers MF. Epithelial Expression of an Interstitial Lung Disease-Associated Mutation in Surfactant Protein-C Modulates Recruitment and Activation of Key Myeloid Cell Populations in Mice. J Immunol. 2019 May 1;202(9):2760-2771. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1900039. Epub 2019 Mar 25. PubMed PMID: 30910861; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6478557.
  13. Katzen J, Wagner BD, Venosa A, Kopp M, Tomer Y, Russo SJ, Headen AC, Basil MC, Stark JM, Mulugeta S, Deterding RR, Beers MF. An SFTPC BRICHOS mutant links epithelial ER stress and spontaneous lung fibrosis. JCI Insight. 2019 Mar 21;4(6). doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.126125. eCollection 2019 Mar 21. PubMed PMID: 30721158; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6483196.
  14. Nureki SI, Tomer Y, Venosa A, Katzen J, Russo SJ, Jamil S, Barrett M, Nguyen V, Kopp M, Mulugeta S, Beers MF. Expression of mutant Sftpc in murine alveolar epithelia drives spontaneous lung fibrosis. J Clin Invest. 2018 Aug 31;128(9):4008-4024. doi: 10.1172/JCI99287. Epub 2018 Aug 13. PubMed PMID: 29920187; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6118576.
  15. Venosa A, Gow JG, Hall L, Malaviya R, Gow AJ, Laskin JD, Laskin DL. Regulation of Nitrogen Mustard-Induced Lung Macrophage Activation by Valproic Acid, a Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor. Toxicol Sci. 2017 May 1;157(1):222-234. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfx032. PubMed PMID: 28184907; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6075217.
  16. Weinberger B, Malaviya R, Sunil VR, Venosa A, Heck DE, Laskin JD, Laskin DL. Mustard vesicant-induced lung injury: Advances in therapy. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2016 Aug 15;305:1-11. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2016.05.014. Epub 2016 May 19. Review. PubMed PMID: 27212445; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5119915.
  17. Malaviya R, Sunil VR, Venosa A, Vayas KN, Businaro R, Heck DE, Laskin JD, Laskin DL. Macrophages and inflammatory mediators in pulmonary injury induced by mustard vesicants. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2016 Jun;1374(1):168-75. doi: 10.1111/nyas.13123. Epub 2016 Jun 28. Review. PubMed PMID: 27351588; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5119480.
  18. Venosa A, Malaviya R, Choi H, Gow AJ, Laskin JD, Laskin DL. Characterization of Distinct Macrophage Subpopulations during Nitrogen Mustard-Induced Lung Injury and Fibrosis. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2016 Mar;54(3):436-46. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2015-0120OC. PubMed PMID: 26273949; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4821033.
  19. Malaviya R, Sunil VR, Venosa A, Vayas KN, Heck DE, Laskin JD, Laskin DL. Inflammatory mechanisms of pulmonary injury induced by mustards. Toxicol Lett. 2016 Feb 26;244:2-7. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2015.10.011. Epub 2015 Oct 23. Review. PubMed PMID: 26478570; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4753082.
  20. Venosa A, Malaviya R, Gow AJ, Hall L, Laskin JD, Laskin DL. Protective role of spleen-derived macrophages in lung inflammation, injury, and fibrosis induced by nitrogen mustard. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2015 Dec 15;309(12):L1487-98. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00276.2015. Epub 2015 Oct 16. PubMed PMID: 26475734; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4683320.
  21. Malaviya R, Sunil VR, Venosa A, Verissimo VL, Cervelli JA, Vayas KN, Hall L, Laskin JD, Laskin DL. Attenuation of Nitrogen Mustard-Induced Pulmonary Injury and Fibrosis by Anti-Tumor Necrosis Factor-α Antibody. Toxicol Sci. 2015 Nov;148(1):71-88. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfv161. Epub 2015 Aug 4. PubMed PMID: 26243812; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4659692.
  22. Malaviya R, Venosa A, Hall L, Gow AJ, Sinko PJ, Laskin JD, Laskin DL. Attenuation of acute nitrogen mustard-induced lung injury, inflammation and fibrogenesis by a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2012 Dec 15;265(3):279-91. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2012.08.027. Epub 2012 Sep 6. PubMed PMID: 22981630; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3516137.
Last Updated: 9/7/21