Internal Medicine

John F. Engelhardt, PhD


Roy J. Carver Chair in Molecular Medicine
Research Associate in Internal Medicine
Research Associate
DEO and Chair, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
Director, Center for Cystic Fibrosis and Other Genetic Diseases
Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology
Professor of Internal Medicine

Contact Information

Primary Office: 1-100 BSB
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-7744

Lab:  BSB
51 Newton Road
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-9613

Web: Departmental Profile
Web: Center for Gene Therapy
Web: John F. Engelhardt Laboratory
Web: Publications via PubMed


BS, Biochemistry, Iowa State University
PhD, Human Genetics, Johns Hopkins University

Education/Training Program Affiliations

Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology Graduate Program
Free Radical and Radiation Biology Graduate Program
Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Informatics
Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology
Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Translational Biomedicine
Medical Scientist Training Program

Research Summary

Research in the Engelhardt laboratory focuses on the molecular basis of inherited and environmentally induced diseases, and using gene therapy to treat these disorders. Included are two major research areas: 1) the study of lung molecular and cellular biology as it relates to the pathogenesis and treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease and associated diabetes, and 2) the molecular mechanism underlying redox-mediated injury and the development of molecular therapies for ischemia/reperfusion injury, sepsis, and the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Research on lung biology includes the study of adult epithelial stem cells and their niches in the airway, and dissecting the pathogenesis of lung disease in animal models of cystic fibrosis. The laboratory is currently elucidating transcriptional signals important for early establishment of the airway glandular stem cell niche, and for mobilization of stem cells from this niche following airway injury. The newly generated ferret and pig models of cystic fibrosis are being used to understand how stem cells in the adult airway respond to injury resulting from dysfunction of CFTR (the chloride channel that is defective in cystic fibrosis). These new genetic models of CF are also being used to dissect pathophysiologic mechanisms of disease and to develop gene therapies that target the lung with recombinant adeno-associated virus. A second area of interest is the dissection of pro-inflammatory, redox-dependent, signaling pathways in the liver and central nervous system. Such studies are aimed at the treatment of environmentally induced liver injuries—those resulting from sepsis, ischemia/reperfusion, and (in the case of ALS) motor neuron injury. We are using rodent transgenic and knockout models to better understand the mechanisms that are involved in inflammation and injury and are controlled by reactive oxygen species. Of particular interest in this area are mechanisms of redox-regulated NFκB activation via several NADPH oxidase complexes (Nox1, Nox2 and Nox4), whose roles include generating intracellular superoxides in response to extracellular pro-inflammatory cytokine signals (IL-1beta and TNFalpha pathways are a major focus). This redox-signaling program heavily utilizes recombinant viral vectors, transgenic/knockout mice, and proteomic approaches to address basic aspects of pathophysiology, and also to generate new therapies capable of promoting organ regeneration and repair while also minimizing the deleterious inflammatory responses to injury. Current NIH Funded Projects Mechanisms of AAV Transduction in the Airway (R01 Funded) Biology of Submucosal Gland Stem Cells in the Airway (MERIT AWARD R01 Funded) Redox Mechanisms of Ischemia Reperfusion Injury in the Liver (R01 Funded) Pathological Evaluation of a Cystic Fibrosis Ferret Model (ARRA – Funded) Airway Physiology and Pathophysiology in a Porcine CF Model (PPG Funded) Complete publication list:

Center, Program and Institute Affiliations

Center for Gene Therapy of Cystic Fibrosis and other Genetic Diseases
Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center
George M. O’Brien Kidney Research Center
Helen C. Levitt Center for Viral Pathogenesis
Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center
Institute for Clinical and Translational Science

Date Last Modified: 06/06/2016 - 13:17:48