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Dr. Zea Borok, Chair of Medicine Accepts the 2023 ATS J. Burns Amberson Award

Dr. Zea Borok (Left) and Dr. Greg Downey (Right). Credit by American Thoracic Society

On May 21, 2023, Dr. Zea Borok received the American Thoracic Society J. Burns Amberson lecture award. The J. Burns Amberson Lecture recognizes major contributions to clinical or basic research that have advanced our fundamental understanding of the basic, translational, or clinical approaches to respiratory disease, critical illness, or sleep disorders. This award also recognizes exemplary professionalism, collegiality and citizenship through mentorship and leadership in the ATS community. The Lecture is given in honor of James Burns Amberson, an international authority on chest disease and tuberculosis.

Dr. Borok is a physician-scientist and a graduate of the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She completed internship and residency at the University of Pittsburgh. She completed postdoctoral training in critical care medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and in pulmonary medicine at the Pulmonary Branch at the National Institutes of Health. Prior to joining UC San Diego School of Medicine, she was Chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine and inaugural Director of the Hastings Center for Pulmonary Research at the University of Southern California. She also served as Director of the Fellowship Training Program in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine (2000-2013) at USC and established a Center for Gender Equity in Medicine and Science (GEMS), of which she was the inaugural director.

The focus of Dr. Borok’s laboratory is on alveolar epithelial cell biology and plasticity in the context of lung injury repair and fibrosis. Her work has contributed to paradigm shifts in the field based on early demonstrations of plasticity of alveolar epithelial type II and type I cell phenotypic transitions and epithelial-mesenchymal plasticity, which served as the basis for the now accepted, but initially controversial, notion of a central role of the alveolar epithelium in pulmonary fibrosis.

For more information, you can visit ATSConferenceNews.

Ian Quiza