Dr. Michael Wechsler’s Research into Churg Strauss Syndrome

Dr. Michael Wechsler’s Research into Churg Strauss Syndrome

Dr. Michael Wechsler is a clinician and clinical investigator at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. In addition to having examined and treated dozens of Churg-Strauss syndrome patients, he is one of the few researchers worldwide investigating Churg- Strauss syndrome.

Dr. Wechsler’s specific area of research is in the realm of genetics of CSS. He has been actively collecting blood samples from CSS patients and their families and is hoping to find a gene that confers susceptibility to this disorder. Based on preliminary data that has been funded by the American Lung Association and by Merck, Dr. Wechsler postulates that a combination of both genetics and environment interact to play a role in causing CSS. The big question remains, “Which genes are playing a role in causing this syndrome?” Because CSS is characterized by high levels of eosinophils, Dr. Wechsler is starting out by looking for mutations in genes of eosinophil production and regulation. While this disease is rare and only occurs in 4-6 million patients/year, to date, Dr. Wechsler has collected blood from over 50 CSS patients. However, he needs many more subjects in order to accurately identify specific genes and mutations within that may be involved in causing CSS. He is also beginning to study family members of CSS patients to see if there are any subtle differences between patients with CSS and their family members.

If interested in participating in CSS studies, Dr. Wechsler can be reached at 6177328202 or by email: mwechsler@partners.org

Tax deductible contributions to Dr. Wechsler’s research may also be made to the M Wechsler BWH Churg Strauss Syndrome Research Fund, Pulmonary Division, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, 15 Francis ST, Boston, MA 02115

 

Profile of Dr. Wechsler

Dr. Michael Wechsler is specialist in Pulmonary & Critical Care at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston and is on Faculty at Harvard Medical School. He has a clinical practice in the Partners Asthma Center at the BWH Center for Chest Diseases and also practices critical care medicine in the Brigham and Women's Hospital Medical Intensive Care Unit. His clinical interests include asthma and Churg-Strauss Syndrome.

In addition to his clinical duties, Dr. Wechsler is an active clinical research investigator and is also involved in medical resident and medical student education. He is the Assistant Director of the Brigham and Women's Hospital Asthma Research Center and is on the Steering Committee of the NIH's Asthma Clinical Research Network. He is an investigator or coinvestigator in a number of asthma related clinical research and basic science research trials.

Dr. Wechsler is very active in the study of Churg-Strauss syndrome, a rare form of asthma that is associated with eosinophilic vasculitis. In addition to treating dozens of CSS patients, Dr. Wechsler is studying the genetics of this disorder and is searching for a cure for this often debilitating disease.

Dr. Wechsler's other research interests revolve around gaining an understanding of the underlying pathogenesis of asthma, with particular emphasis on the genetic and pharmacogenetic associations of the asthma phenotype. In addition to participating in clinical asthma trials, specific areas of asthma expertise include the genetics of nitric oxide and the pharmacogenetics of the beta-adrenergic receptor.

He received an A.B. in Biochemical Sciences magna cum laude from Harvard College, a medical degree from McGill University in Montreal, and a Masters in Medical Science from Harvard Medial School in Boston. After completing a residency in Internal Medicine at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, he completed the Harvard Combined Fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. He has received an American Lung Association Clinical Research Award, a Merck Respiratory Young Investigator Special Project Award, an American College of Chest Physicians Chest Foundation Clinical Research Investigator Award, and a National Institutes of Health Mentored Career Investigator Award. He has authored numerous original research papers and reviews on the subjects of asthma, genetics, and Churg-Strauss syndrome in JAMA, AJRCCM, Chest, JACI and other journals. He has also served as a reviewer for a number of peer-reviewed journals including NEJM, Chest, and AJRCCM.

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