Lab Members











James S. Hagood, M.D.
Professor and Chief, Division of Respiratory Medicine

All things fibroblast

All things Thy-1

Basically, I am interested in how, at a molecular level, fibroblasts alter their phenotype in the context of lung alveolar development, lung healing in response to injury, and fibrosis. The goal is to harness this understanding to promote normal lung development and either arrest or reverse fibrosis.


Vanessa Craig, M.D.
Assistant Professor

Dr. Craig recently moved from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, MA where she was a pulmonary and critical care physician investigating the activity of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Specifically, she is interested in macrophage and fibroblast interactions in the setting of pulmonary fibrosis. Her investigations utilize the murine bleomycin model, cell culture, immunostaining techniques, molecular biology and immunology.



Celia Espinoza, Ph.D.
Lab Manager, Research Associate III

Dr. Espinoza received her doctoral degree at the University of Ulm, Germany; and completed her post doctoral training at The Scripps Research Institute. She has been working in the transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of mammalian gene expression for over 15 years. At UCSD, as part of Dr. Hagood' s team, she is actively participating in the study of the molecular mechanisms involved in IPF and CF, as well as in the discovery of new molecular targets for therapeutic intervention and novel biomarkers that will allow better diagnosis and management of both conditions. 

Simon Wong, M.D.
Associate Project Scientist III

Dr. Wong is investigating the role of thy-1 molecules, cell-derived extracellular vesicles, and others in pulmonary fibrosis/idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis through reversal of active lung modeling. Before his current appointment, he was an associate professor at the University of Arizona Health Science Center in Tucson. His previous research interests include the pulmonary neural pathogenesis of acute & chronic lung injury, inhalational toxicology & pharmacology, establishment of respiratory disease models, and environmental health. 



Mateja Cernelc-Kohan, M.D. 
Postdoctoral Fellow


Mateja Cernelc-Kohan's, M.D. main research interest are lung fibroblast- and mesenchymal stem cell-derived extracellular vesicles. She is working on identification and characterization of lung fibroblast-derived extracellular vesicles and their cargo: proteins and small-, non-coding ribonucleic acid. The rapidly growing field of extracellular vesicles opened a new way to study mechanisms of cell-to-cell communication. Mateja is currently studying extracellular vesicle-lung fibroblast and extracellular vesicle-mesenchymal stem cell interactions and their role in phenotype modification of lung cells and pathogenesis of lung fibrosis.


Carmen Taype de Roberts, M.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow




Dr. Carmen Taype de Roberts's main research area involves Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), Thy-1 and Extracellular Matrix (ECM). Thy-1 modulates multiple signaling pathways critical to fibrogenesis. Carmen is currently working on the effects of Thy-1 on the ECM stiffness and myofibroblast differentiation and apoptosis in IPF.



Jeeyeon Kim, B.S.
Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Graduate Student


Jeeyeon Kim is currently working towards earning her Master of Science in Biology in the Hagood Lab. She is researching the anti-myofibroblastic effects of Thy-1 which may allow for a therapeutic 'phenotype switch' in lung myofibroblasts and slow the progression of lung fibrosis resolution. Thy-1 expression affects myofibroblast phenotype broadly (i.e. expression of muscle and ECM proteins, myogenic transcription factors, and mechanotransduction of TGFβ activation) and is a fibrosis suppressor that modulates certain aspects of fibrogenic phenotype (i.e. proliferation, cytokine and growth factor expression and responsiveness, migration, myofibroblastic differentiation and cell survival). Global targeting of this phenotype may result in effective idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) therapy as it is characterized by excessive myofibroblastic differentiation and accumulation of extracellular matrix.


Tuan M. Ong

Undergraduate Student


Elizabeth M. Boyd
Executive Assistant


Former Lab Members  


Wendy Liu, M.D.
Staff Scientist

Associate Professor

Department of Respiratory Disease

No. 2 Hospital of Jilin University

Changchun, 130041 China


Kornelia Kis, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow

Pharmaceutical Scientist in Budapest, Hungary

John Bradley
Graduate Student

Postdoctoral Fellow in Birmingham, AL

Marco Checa, M.D.
Visiting Scientist, Mexico


Miguel Negreros
Visiting student



Marcella Hernandez and Joy Chan


Emma Mah



​Judy Liu






Enjoying the Food - Yummy!