Francesca Polverino, M.D., Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at The University of Arizona (UA) College of Medicine – Tucson, and head of a COPD laboratory within the Asthma & Airway Disease Research Center (A2DRC). Her clinical and laboratory research interests are in COPD. In 2010, after completing her medical degree and doctorate summa cum laude, she moved to Harvard University where she studied the pathobiology and the systemic manifestations of COPD. Dr. Polverino published seminal papers focused on the mechanisms leading to the onset and progression of COPD. She discovered that the B cell Activating Factor, a key molecule involved in autoimmunity, is overexpressed in COPD patients' lungs and contributes to the formation of lymphoid follicles (AJRCCM 2010 and 2015). She has also identified two molecules which are expressed in the lung and are protective against cigarette smoke-induced lung damage and COPD: Club Cell Protein 16 (CC16, European Respiratory Journal 2015), and A-Disintegrin and A Metalloproteinase Domain 8 (AJRCCM 2018), and has described the first non-human primate model of COPD (American Journal of Pathology 2015). From a clinical standpoint, Dr. Polverino reported for the first time that patients with COPD also suffer extensive kidney damage (AJRCCM 2017). In July 2017, Dr. Polverino became an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. In August 2018, Dr. Polverino was recruited at The University of Arizona to establish a COPD translational research program within the Asthma & Airway Disease Research Center (A2DRC). Dr. Polverino has been awarded several prestigious international recognitions, including the Parker B. Francis Fellowship (2016) and the Rising Star of Research Award from the American Thoracic Society (2018).



Identifying the key molecular and cellular culprits in the pathogenesis of COPD

Ph.D. (Pulmonary)

University of Parma

Parma, Italy, 2017

Characterizing the immune mechanisms underlying COPD


Seconda Universita di Napoli

Napels, Italy, 2006

Identifying the genetic and genomic factors which determine the individual susceptibility to develop COPD

Correlating cellular and molecular readouts with COPD clinical phenotypes


Medal from the Presidency of Italian Republic for scientific accomplishment, 2019

Parker B. Francis Fellowship, Francis Family Foundation, 2016

Outstanding Italian Investigator Award, AIMAR (Associazione Italiana Malattie Respiratorie/ Interdisciplinary Association for Research in Lung Disease) – Lung Conference on Respiratory Diseases, 2014

Lung Science – Travel Grant, European Respiratory Society, 2011

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Award, American College of Chest Physicians, 2010

Research Travel Award – Best Abstract, National Emphysema Foundation, American Thoracic Society, 2009 


The Polverino Laboratory

© 2019 by The Polverino Transitional Research Laboratory. 

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