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Meet Darrell Kotton


Setting Off a Chain Reaction

Darrell Kotton, MD, fears that the physician-scientist is an endangered species and believes that the ATS Foundation Research Program represents an effective way of helping stage a comeback.

“The physician-scientist is a position description society cannot do without,” says Dr. Kotton, who co-founded the Boston University Center for Regenerative Medicine, where he studies novel approaches to repairing damaged lungs.

In 2006, Dr. Kotton received an ATS Foundation/Alpha-1 Partnership grant to study stem-cell based therapy for alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, an inherited disorder that can lead to devastating lung disease.

Today, he directs a Center with 34 scientists investigating areas that include projects directly related to his ATS research. “The grant set off a chain reaction. From that research, I gathered data for two manuscripts, a NIH R01 grant, and another Alpha-1 Foundation grant.”

With established researchers also scrambling for funds, does the Foundation’s focus on a new generation make sense? “It is very hard for younger scientists to compete against senior ones,” says Dr. Kotton. “And by investing early in a person’s career, you get the longest—and biggest—return on your investment.”

More on Darrell Kotton, MD, and his work on pluripotent stem cells

Building a future where patients breathe better

The ATS supports the ATS Foundation’s administrative expenses, assuring that every dollar contributed goes directly to support programs.