Bruce R Pitt

  • Professor Emeritus
  • Faculty in Environmental and Occupational Health, Pharmacology, Chemical Biology and Bioengineering

Dr. Pitt’s laboratory performs fundamental research on molecular and cellular biology of the lung.
Efforts are focused around the role of pulmonary endothelium, partially reduced oxygen and nitrogen species and metal homeostasis in acute lung injury and pulmonary hypertension. In particular, current studies include role of : a) matrikines, toll receptors and damage associated molecular patterns molecules and ventilator induced lung injury; and b) zinc dyshomoestasis in viral (H1N1 influenza) and bacterial (s. aureus) pneumonia. In collaboration with other investigators, enabling technologies to pursue these efforts include live cell fluorescence based imaging, mass spectrometry, genetically modified mice and somatic gene transfer.


1970 Brown University, Providence, RI BA
1972 The Johns Hopkins University School Hygiene and Public Health, Baltimore, MD MS
1977 The Johns Hopkins University School Hygiene and Public Health, Baltimore, MD PhD


1982 - 1985 New Investigators Research Award, National Institute of Health (NIH)
1982 - 1985 Parker B. Francis Fellow in Pulmonary Research
1986 - 1991 Established Investigator, American Heart Association
1989 - 1992 Glaxo Cardiovascular Discovery Program
1999- 2011 Associate Editor, American Journal Physiology: Lung Cell Mol Physiol
2000- 2004 Chairman, Respiration Section, American Physiological Society
2000- 2002 Chairman, NIH Lung Biology Pathology Study Section
2000- 2008 California Tobacco Related Disease Program Pulmonary Section, Chairman (2008)
2005 - 2009 Member, NIH Heart Lung Blood Institute Program Project Parent Committee
2001- 2011 MERIT Award, NIH Heart Lung Blood Institute (HLBI)
2011- 2014 NIH HLBI KO8 Mentored Clinician Scientist Study Section
2012- 2014 Gilead Pharmaceuticals Scientific Advisor Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension




EOH 3210 Pathophysiology of Environmental Disease

EOH Molecular Fundamentals


Medical Pharmacology
Introduction to Being Physician
Principles Molecular Pharmacology
Principles of Molecular Biology
Fundamentals Grant Writing

Selected Publications

Kleinschmidt, AM, Nassiri, M, Stitt, MS, Wasserloos, K, Watkins, SC, Pitt, BR, and Jahroudi, N. Sequences in intron 51 of the VWF gene target promoter activation to a subset of lung endothelial cells in transgenic mice. J. Biol. Chem. 283: 2741-2750, 2008.

Kaynar, A.M., Houghton AM, Lum EH, Pitt BR and Shapiro SD. Neutrophil Elastase Is Needed For Neutrophil Emigration Into Lungs in Ventilator-Induced Lung Injury. Am. J. Resp Cell Mol Biol. 39: 53-60, 2008.

BernalPJ, Leelavanichkul K, Bauer E, Cao R, Wilson A, Wasserloos KJ, Watkins SC, Pitt BR and St. Croix CM. Nitric oxide mediated zinc release contributes to hypoxic regulation of
pulmonary vascular tone. Circ Res. 102: 1573-1582, 2008.

Nemec AA, Leikauf G, Pitt BR, Wasserloos KJ and Barchowsky A. Nickel mobilizes intracellular zinc to induce metallothionein in human Airway epithelial cells. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 2009 41: 69-75, 2009

Garner AL, St. Croix CM, Pitt, BR, Leikauf GD, Ando S and Koide K. Specific Fluorogenic Probes for Ozone in Biological and Atmospheric Samples. Nature Chem Biol 1: 316-321, 2009.

Tyurina YY, Tyurin VA, Kaynar AM, Kapralova VI, Wasserloos KJ, Li J, Mosher M, Wright L, Wipf P,
Watkins SK, Pitt BR, Kagan VE. Oxidative lipidomics of hyperoxic acute lung injury: Mass spectrometric characterization of cardiolipin and phosphatidylserine peroxidation. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 299: L73-L75, 2010 PMID 20418384

Li H, Su X, Yan X, Wasserloos K, Chao W, Kaynar AM, Liu Z, Leikauf G, Pitt BR and Zhang L-M. Toll-Like Receptor 4-Myeloid Differentiation Factor 88 Signaling Contributes to
Ventilator-induced Lung Injury in Mice. Anesthesiology 113: 619-629, 2010 PMID 20683250

Thambiayya K, Wasserloos KJ, St. Croix CM and Pitt BR. LPS-induced decrease in intracellular labile zinc contributes to apoptosis in cultured sheep pulmonary endothelial cells. Am J Physiol: Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 300: L624-L632, 2011 PMID: 21239534

Tyurina YY, Tyurin VA, Kapralova VI, Wasserloos K, Mosher M, Epperly M, Greenberger J, Pitt BR and Kagan VE. Oxidative lipidomics of gamma irradiation induced lung injury: mass spectrometric characterization of cardiolipin and phosphatidylcholine peroxidation. Rad Res 175: 610-621, 2011 PMID: 21338246

Li H, Xu J, Wasserloos KJ, Li J, Tyurina YY, Kagan VE, Wang X, Chen AF, Liu Z-Q, Pitt BR and Zhang L-M. Cytoprotective effects of albumin, nitrosated or reduced, in cultured rat pulmonary vascular cells. Am J Physiol: Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 300: L526-L533, 2011 PMID: 21239532

Bernal P, Bauer E, Cao R, Maniar S, Mosher M, Chen J, Wang Q, Glorioso J, Pitt B, Watkins
S, and St. Croix C. A role for zinc in regulating hypoxia-induced contractile events in pulmonary endothelium. Am J Physiol: Lung Cell Mol Physiol 300: L874-L886, 2011 PMID: 21378023

Atkinson J, Kapralov AA, Yanamala N, Tyurina YY, Amoscato AA, Pearce L, Peterson J, Huang Z, Jiang J, Samhan-Arias AK, Maeda A, Feng W, Wasserloos K, Belikova NA, Tyurin NA, Tyurin VA, Wang H, Fletcher J, Wang Y, Vlasova II, Klein-SSeetharaman J, Stoyanovsky DA, Bayir H, Pitt BR, Epperly MW, Greenberger JS and Kagan VE. A mitochondria-targeted inhibitor of cytochrome c peroxidase mitigates radiation induced death. Nat Commun 2: 497, 2011. PMID 21988913

Gorbunov NV, Atkins JL, Gurusamy N and Pitt BR. Iron-induced remodeling in cultured rat pulmonary artery endothelial cells. Biometals 25: 203-217, 2012. PMID: 22089858

Thambiayya K, Wasserloos KJ, Kagan VE, Stoyanovsky D, and Pitt BR. A critical role for increased labile zinc in reducing sensitivity of cultured sheep pulmonary artery endothelial cells to LPS induced apoptosis. Am J Physiol: Lung Cell Mol Physiol 302: L1287-95, 2012. PMID 22523284

Cioffi DL, Wu S, Chen H, Alexeyev M, St. Croix CM, Pitt BR, Uhlig S and Stevens T. Orai1 determines calcium sensitivity of an endogenous TRPC heterotetramer channel. Circ Res 110: 1435-1444, 2012. PMID 22534489

Sparavero LJ, Amoscato AA, Dixon CE, Long JB, Kochanek PM, Pitt BR, Bayir H and Kagan VE. Mapping of phospholipids by MALDI imaging (MALDI-MS): realities and expectations. Chem Phys Lipids 165: 545-562, 2012 PMID 22692104

Li HH, Li Q, Liu P, Liu YY, Li J, Wasserloos K, Chao W, You M, Oury TD, Chkinder S, Hackham DJ, Billiar TR, Leikauf GD, Pitt BR and Zhang LM. WNT1 inducible signaling pathway protein 1 (WISP1) contributes to ventilator induced lung injury. Am J Resp Cell Mol Biol 47: 528-535, 2012 PMID: 22700866

Chen, J, Winarski, KL, Myerburg, MM, Pitt, BR and Sheng S. Probing the Structural Basis of Zn2+ Regulation of the Epithelial Na+ Channel J. Biol. Chem. 287: 35589-98, 2012. PMID 22930753

Lee SM, McLaughlin JN, Frederick DR, Zhu L, Thambiayya K, Wasserloos KJ, Kaminski I, Pearce L, Peterson J, Li J, Latoche JD, Peck-Palmer O, Beer-Stolz D, Fattman CL, Alcorn JF, Oury TD, Angus DC, Pitt BR, Kaynar AM. Metallothionein-induced zinc partitioning exacerbates hyperoxic acute lung injury. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 304: L350-L360, 2013. PMID23275622

Stoyanovsky DA, Sparvero LJ, Amoscato A, He RR, Watkins S, Pitt BR, Bayir H, and Kagan VE. Improved spatial resolution of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization imaging of lipids in the brain by alklylated derivatives of 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid. Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom 28: 403-412, 2014. PMID24497278

Li, H-H, Li J, Wasserloos KJ, Sullivan MG, Bauer PM, Stolz DB, Lee JS, Watkins SC, Pitt BR and Zhang LM. Caveolae-dependent and –independent uptake of albumin in cultured rodent
pulmonary endothelial cells. PLoS ONE 8(11): e81903, 2013&nbsp PMID: 24312378

Zimmerman MW, Isenberg JS, Pitt BR, Wasserloos KA, Homanics GE and Lazo JS. Proangiogenic phosphatase Ptp4a3 promotes VEGF signaling to stimulate Src activation and migration of mouse and human endothelial cells. J Biol Chem 289: 5904-13, 2014. PMID: 24403062

Tyurina YY, Poloyac SM, Tyurin VA, Kapralov AA, Jiang J, Anthonymuthu TS, Kapralova VI, Vikulina AS, Jung MY, Epperly MW, Mohammadyan D, Klein-Seetharaman J, Jackson TC, Kochanek PM, Pitt BR, Greenberger JS, Vladimirov YA, Bayir H and Kagan VE. A novel mitochondrial pathway for biosynthesis of lipid mediators via cardiolipin peroxidation by cytochrome c. Nature Chemistry 6: 542-552, 2014. PMID24848241

Stacy SL, Brink LL, Larkin JC, Sadovsky Y, Goldstein BD, Pitt BR, and Talbott EO. Perinatal outcomes and unconventional natural gas operations in southwest Pennsylvania. PLOS ONE | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0126425 PMID: 26039051

Chen Z, Ding X, Jin S, Fang, X, Pitt
B,Zhang LM, Billiar TR and Li Q. WISP1-av�3 integrin signaling positively
regulates TLR-triggered inflammation response via ERK dependent pathway in
murine sepsis induced lung injury. In Press Scientific Reports doi 10.1038/srep28841. 2016

Buland J, Wasserloos K, Tyurin V, Tyurina Y, Amoscato AA, Mallampalli RK, Chen BB, Zhao J, Zhao Y, Ofori-Aquah, Kagan VE and Pitt BR. Biosynthesis of oxidized lipid mediators via lipoprotein associated phospholipase A2 hydrolysis of extracellular cardiolipin induces endothelial cell toxicity. Am J Physiol: Lung Cell Mol Physiol 2016 311: L303-L316. PMID: 27233995

Kaynar AM,Nowalk MP, Lin CJ, Moehling KK, Susick M, Bakalov B, Pitt B, Bain D, AlefantisT, Ross TM, Saul SG, Raymund M, Zimmerman RK. Are plasma mineral levels related to antibody response to influenza vaccination in older adults? Hum Vaccin Immunother 12: 1003-1008, 2016. PMID 26751915

Tyurina YY, Shrivastava I, Tyurin VA, Mao
G, Dar H, Watkins S, Epperly M, Bahar I, Shvedova AA, Pitt BR, Mallampalli R,
Sadovsky Y, Gabrilovich D, Greenberger JS, Bair H and Kagan VE. Only a life lived for others is worth living:
redox signaling by oxygenated phospholipids in cell fate decisions. Antioxid Redox Signal. Oct 2017 doi 10.1089

Chang J, Xia Y, Wasserloos K, Deng M, Blose K, Vorp D, Billiar TR, Pitt BR, Zhang M, and Zhang LM. Cyclic stretch induced IL-33 production through HMGB1/TLR-4 signaling pathway in mouse lung respiratory epithelial cells. PLoS One 2017: 12(9): e0184770 PMID: 28898270

Ladror D, Grigoryan H, Rappaport S, Pitt
B, and Funk W. Quantification of cotinine in dried blood spots as a biomarker of
exposure to tobacco smoke. Biomarkers
23: 44-50, 2018

Ding X, Jin S, Shao Z, Xu L, Yu Z, Tong Y, Chen Z, Turnquist H,Pitt BR, Billiar TR, Zhang LM and Li Q. The IL-33-ST2 pathway contributes to ventilator induced lung injury in septic mice in a tidal volume dependent manner.Shock doi: 10.1097/SHK 2018

Ding X, Tong Y, Jin S, Chen Z, Li T, Billiar TR,Pitt BR, Li Q and Zhang LM. Mechanical ventilation aggravates sepsis induced lung injury: role of TLR4 signaling mediated integrin �5 upregulation. Critical Care doi 10.1186/s13054-018-2237-0. 2018

Xia YF, Chang J, Yang JF, Ouyang W, Pitt BR, Billiar TR and Zhang LM. Non-canonical Wnt signaling contributes to ventilator induced lung injury through upregulation of WISP1 expression. Int J Mol Med. 43: 1217-1228, 2019.

Liu Q, Dwyer GK, Zhao Y, Li H, Matthews LR, Chakka AB, Chandran UR, Demetris JA, Alcorn JF, Robinson KM, Ortiz LA, Pitt BR, Thomson AVV, Fan MH, Billiar TR, and Turnquist HR. IL-33-mediated IL-13 secretion by ST2+ Tregs controls inflammation after lung injury. JCI Insight doi 10.1172/jci.insight 123919. 2019