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    Amy L. Ryan, PhD

    TitleAssistant Professor of Medicine
    SchoolKeck School of Medicine of USC
    DepartmentMedicine
    AddressHMR 712 2011 Zonal Avenue
    Off Campus
    Los Angeles California 90089
    Phone+1 323 442 1833
    vCardDownload vCard

      Collapse Overview 
      Collapse Overview
      Many of us take our lungs for granted yet they perform a function that is critical for life, respiration. Unfortunately millions of Americans suffer from one of a number of debilitating lung diseases making the subconscious action of breathing a very conscious and difficult activity. Studying human lung disease and, in particular, the way in which a lung disease develops in humans is exceptionally difficult in a dish. For me this was the challenge that became the focus of my postdoctoral research at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies – to create a reproducible and effective way to study human lung development and disease in a dish.

      My laboratory will focus on utilizing patient derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) and state-of-the-art gene editing technologies, such as CRISPR, to a) model and study mechanisms of lung disease development and b) investigate approaches for tissue regeneration and stem cell mediated repair of the airway epithelium.

      Firth Lab Website


      Collapse Biography 
      Collapse Awards and Honors
      House of Commons2005Finalist, Britain's Top Young Researcher in Biosciences and Medicine
      American Heart Association 2009Finalist, Cournand and Comroe Young Investigator Award
      American Physiology Society2014Caroline tum Suden/Francis A. Hellebrandt Professional Opportunity Award
      British Council2017British Councils Alumni Award for Professional Achievement in the USA Finalist
      American Thoracic Society2017ATS Assembly on Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology Carol Basbaum Award

      Collapse ORNG Applications 
      Collapse Featured Publications
      Collapse Websites

      Collapse Bibliographic 
      Collapse Publications
      Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
      List All   |   Timeline
      1. Kim HS, Li H, Kim HW, Shin SE, Jung WK, Ha KS, Han ET, Hong SH, Firth AL, Choi IW, Park WS. The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor dapoxetine inhibits voltage-dependent K+ channels in rabbit coronary arterial smooth muscle cells. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2017 Apr; 44(4):480-487. PMID: 28058743.
        View in: PubMed
      2. Kim HS, Li H, Kim HW, Shin SE, Choi IW, Firth AL, Bang H, Bae YM, Park WS. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor sertraline inhibits voltage-dependent K+ channels in rabbit coronary arterial smooth muscle cells. J Biosci. 2016 Dec; 41(4):659-666. PMID: 27966486.
        View in: PubMed
      3. Hong da H, Li H, Kim HW, Kim HS, Son YK, Yang SR, Park JR, Ha KS, Han ET, Hong SH, Firth AL, Na SH, Park WS. Alterations of voltage-dependent K(+) channels in the mesenteric artery during the early and chronic phases of diabetes. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2016 Sep; 43(9):808-17. PMID: 27218229.
        View in: PubMed
      4. Li H, Shin SE, Kim HW, Kim HS, Jung WK, Ha KS, Han ET, Hong SH, Choi IW, Bae YM, Firth AL, Bang H, Park WS. Y-27632, a Rho-Associated Protein Kinase Inhibitor, Inhibits Voltage-Dependent K+ Channels in Rabbit Coronary Arterial Smooth Muscle Cells. Pharmacology. 2016; 98(5-6):220-227. PMID: 27438463.
        View in: PubMed
      5. Kim HW, Li H, Kim HS, Shin SE, Jung WK, Ha KS, Han ET, Hong SH, Choi IW, Firth AL, Bang H, Park WS. The anti-diabetic drug repaglinide induces vasorelaxation via activation of PKA and PKG in aortic smooth muscle. Vascul Pharmacol. 2016 Sep; 84:38-46. PMID: 27435474.
        View in: PubMed
      6. Li H, Kim HS, Kim HW, Shin SE, Jung WK, Ha KS, Han ET, Hong SH, Firth AL, Bae YM, Choi IW, Park WS. The class III anti-arrhythmic agent, amiodarone, inhibits voltage-dependent K(+) channels in rabbit coronary arterial smooth muscle cells. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 2016 Jul; 389(7):713-21. PMID: 27030392.
        View in: PubMed
      7. Firth AL, Menon T, Parker GS, Qualls SJ, Lewis BM, Ke E, Dargitz CT, Wright R, Khanna A, Gage FH, Verma IM. Functional Gene Correction for Cystic Fibrosis in Lung Epithelial Cells Generated from Patient iPSCs. Cell Rep. 2015 Sep 01; 12(9):1385-90. PMID: 26299960; PMCID: PMC4559351.
      8. Menon T, Firth AL, Scripture-Adams DD, Galic Z, Qualls SJ, Gilmore WB, Ke E, Singer O, Anderson LS, Bornzin AR, Alexander IE, Zack JA, Verma IM. Lymphoid regeneration from gene-corrected SCID-X1 subject-derived iPSCs. Cell Stem Cell. 2015 Apr 02; 16(4):367-72. PMID: 25772073; PMCID: PMC4545662.
      9. Li H, Choi IW, Hong DH, Son YK, Na SH, Jung WK, Firth AL, Jung ID, Park YM, Park WS. W-7 inhibits voltage-dependent K(+) channels independent of calmodulin activity in rabbit coronary arterial smooth muscle cells. Eur J Pharmacol. 2015 Mar 05; 750:14-9. PMID: 25617796.
        View in: PubMed
      10. Hong DH, Li H, Kim HS, Kim HW, Shin SE, Jung WK, Na SH, Choi IW, Firth AL, Park WS, Kim DJ. The Effects of the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor Fluvoxamine on Voltage-Dependent K(+) Channels in Rabbit Coronary Arterial Smooth Muscle Cells. Biol Pharm Bull. 2015; 38(8):1208-13. PMID: 26235584.
        View in: PubMed
      11. Firth AL, Dargitz CT, Qualls SJ, Menon T, Wright R, Singer O, Gage FH, Khanna A, Verma IM. Generation of multiciliated cells in functional airway epithelia from human induced pluripotent stem cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Apr 29; 111(17):E1723-30. PMID: 24706852; PMCID: PMC4035971.
      12. Ogawa A, Firth AL, Ariyasu S, Yamadori I, Matsubara H, Song S, Fraidenburg DR, Yuan JX. Thrombin-mediated activation of Akt signaling contributes to pulmonary vascular remodeling in pulmonary hypertension. Physiol Rep. 2013 Dec 01; 1(7):e00190. PMID: 24744867; PMCID: PMC3970741.
      13. Son YK, Park H, Firth AL, Park WS. Side-effects of protein kinase inhibitors on ion channels. J Biosci. 2013 Dec; 38(5):937-49. PMID: 24296897.
        View in: PubMed
      14. Firth AL, Won JY, Park WS. Regulation of ca(2+) signaling in pulmonary hypertension. Korean J Physiol Pharmacol. 2013 Feb; 17(1):1-8. PMID: 23439762; PMCID: PMC3579099.
      15. Firth AL, Yuan JX. Human models for smooth muscle cell differentiation. Focus on "A novel in vitro model system for smooth muscle differentiation from human embryonic stem cell-derived mesenchymal cells". Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2013 Feb 15; 304(4):C287-8. PMID: 23325406.
        View in: PubMed
      16. Firth AL, Choi IW, Park WS. Animal models of pulmonary hypertension: Rho kinase inhibition. Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 2012 Aug; 109(3):67-75. PMID: 22713173.
        View in: PubMed
      17. Firth AL, Yuan JX. "Ether-à-go-go" proliferation of iPSC-derived mesenchymal stem cells. Focus on "Regulation of cell proliferation of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived mesenchymal stem cells via ether-à-go-go 1 (hEAG1) potassium channel". Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2012 Jul 15; 303(2):C113-4. PMID: 22572851.
        View in: PubMed
      18. Firth AL, Yuan JX. Identification of functional progenitor cells in the pulmonary vasculature. Pulm Circ. 2012 Jan-Mar; 2(1):84-100. PMID: 22558524; PMCID: PMC3342753.
      19. Ogawa A, Firth AL, Smith KA, Maliakal MV, Yuan JX. PDGF enhances store-operated Ca2+ entry by upregulating STIM1/Orai1 via activation of Akt/mTOR in human pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2012 Jan 15; 302(2):C405-11. PMID: 22031597; PMCID: PMC3328839.
      20. Son YK, Hong DH, Kim DJ, Firth AL, Park WS. Direct effect of protein kinase C inhibitors on cardiovascular ion channels. BMB Rep. 2011 Sep; 44(9):559-65. PMID: 21944247.
        View in: PubMed
      21. Makino A, Firth AL, Yuan JX. Endothelial and smooth muscle cell ion channels in pulmonary vasoconstriction and vascular remodeling. Compr Physiol. 2011 Jul; 1(3):1555-602. PMID: 23733654.
        View in: PubMed
      22. Woods NB, Parker AS, Moraghebi R, Lutz MK, Firth AL, Brennand KJ, Berggren WT, Raya A, Izpisúa Belmonte JC, Gage FH, Verma IM. Brief report: efficient generation of hematopoietic precursors and progenitors from human pluripotent stem cell lines. Stem Cells. 2011 Jul; 29(7):1158-64. PMID: 21544903; PMCID: PMC3254148.
      23. Firth AL, Remillard CV, Platoshyn O, Fantozzi I, Ko EA, Yuan JX. Functional ion channels in human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells: Voltage-dependent cation channels. Pulm Circ. 2011 Jan 01; 1(1):48-71. PMID: 21927714.
        View in: PubMed
      24. Gao MH, Tang T, Lai NC, Miyanohara A, Guo T, Tang R, Firth AL, Yuan JX, Hammond HK. Beneficial effects of adenylyl cyclase type 6 (AC6) expression persist using a catalytically inactive AC6 mutant. Mol Pharmacol. 2011 Mar; 79(3):381-8. PMID: 21127130; PMCID: PMC3061356.
      25. Firth AL, Mandel J, Yuan JX. Idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension. Dis Model Mech. 2010 May-Jun; 3(5-6):268-73. PMID: 20427556; PMCID: PMC2860847.
      26. Ko EA, Park WS, Firth AL, Hong DH, Choi SW, Heo HJ, Kim MH, Noh JH, Ko JH, Kim N, Earm YE, Song DK, Han J. Increased sensitivity of serotonin on the voltage-dependent K+ channels in mesenteric arterial smooth muscle cells of OLETF rats. Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 2010 Sep; 103(1):88-94. PMID: 20219524.
        View in: PubMed
      27. Firth AL, Yao W, Ogawa A, Madani MM, Lin GY, Yuan JX. Multipotent mesenchymal progenitor cells are present in endarterectomized tissues from patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2010 May; 298(5):C1217-25. PMID: 20181931; PMCID: PMC2867379.
      28. Firth AL, Yao W, Remillard CV, Ogawa A, Yuan JX. Upregulation of Oct-4 isoforms in pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells from patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2010 Apr; 298(4):L548-57. PMID: 20139178; PMCID: PMC2853339.
      29. Park WS, Firth AL, Han J, Ko EA. Patho-, physiological roles of voltage-dependent K+ channels in pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells. J Smooth Muscle Res. 2010; 46(2):89-105. PMID: 20551590.
        View in: PubMed
      30. Ko EA, Park WS, Firth AL, Kim N, Yuan JX, Han J. Pathophysiology of voltage-gated K+ channels in vascular smooth muscle cells: modulation by protein kinases. Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 2010 Sep; 103(1):95-101. PMID: 19835907.
        View in: PubMed
      31. Firth AL, Platoshyn O, Brevnova EE, Burg ED, Powell F, Haddad GH, Yuan JX. Hypoxia selectively inhibits KCNA5 channels in pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 Oct; 1177:101-11. PMID: 19845612.
        View in: PubMed
      32. Ogawa A, Firth AL, Yao W, Madani MM, Kerr KM, Auger WR, Jamieson SW, Thistlethwaite PA, Yuan JX. Inhibition of mTOR attenuates store-operated Ca2+ entry in cells from endarterectomized tissues of patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2009 Oct; 297(4):L666-76. PMID: 19633069; PMCID: PMC2770792.
      33. Firth AL, Yau J, White A, Chiles PG, Marsh JJ, Morris TA, Yuan JX. Chronic exposure to fibrin and fibrinogen differentially regulates intracellular Ca2+ in human pulmonary arterial smooth muscle and endothelial cells. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2009 Jun; 296(6):L979-86. PMID: 19363122; PMCID: PMC2692802.
      34. Yao W, Firth AL, Sacks RS, Ogawa A, Auger WR, Fedullo PF, Madani MM, Lin GY, Sakakibara N, Thistlethwaite PA, Jamieson SW, Rubin LJ, Yuan JX. Identification of putative endothelial progenitor cells (CD34+CD133+Flk-1+) in endarterectomized tissue of patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2009 Jun; 296(6):L870-8. PMID: 19286928; PMCID: PMC2692803.
      35. Firth AL, Gordienko DV, Yuill KH, Smirnov SV. Cellular localization of mitochondria contributes to Kv channel-mediated regulation of cellular excitability in pulmonary but not mesenteric circulation. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2009 Mar; 296(3):L347-60. PMID: 19098127; PMCID: PMC2660209.
      36. Firth AL. Fine tuning I(CRAC): the interactions of STIM-1 and Orai. J Physiol. 2009 Jan 15; 587(1):15-6. PMID: 19015187; PMCID: PMC2670016.
      37. Firth AL, Yuan JX. Bringing down the ROS: a new therapeutic approach for PPHN. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2008 Dec; 295(6):L976-8. PMID: 18931050; PMCID: PMC2654816.
      38. Sacks RS, Firth AL, Remillard CV, Agange N, Yau J, Ko EA, Yuan JX. Thrombin-mediated increases in cytosolic [Ca2+] involve different mechanisms in human pulmonary artery smooth muscle and endothelial cells. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2008 Dec; 295(6):L1048-55. PMID: 18836030; PMCID: PMC2604792.
      39. Ogawa A, Firth AL, Yao W, Rubin LJ, Yuan JX. Prednisolone inhibits PDGF-induced nuclear translocation of NF-kappaB in human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2008 Oct; 295(4):L648-57. PMID: 18708631; PMCID: PMC2575943.
      40. Firth AL, Yuill KH, Smirnov SV. Mitochondria-dependent regulation of Kv currents in rat pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2008 Jul; 295(1):L61-70. PMID: 18469114; PMCID: PMC2494784.
      41. Schach C, Firth AL, Xu M, Remillard CV, Patel HH, Insel PA, Yuan JX. Regulation of pulmonary vasoconstriction by agonists and caveolae. Exp Lung Res. 2008 May; 34(4):195-208. PMID: 18432456.
        View in: PubMed
      42. Tang T, Gao MH, Lai NC, Firth AL, Takahashi T, Guo T, Yuan JX, Roth DM, Hammond HK. Adenylyl cyclase type 6 deletion decreases left ventricular function via impaired calcium handling. Circulation. 2008 Jan 01; 117(1):61-9. PMID: 18071070.
        View in: PubMed
      43. Wu W, Platoshyn O, Firth AL, Yuan JX. Hypoxia divergently regulates production of reactive oxygen species in human pulmonary and coronary artery smooth muscle cells. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2007 Oct; 293(4):L952-9. PMID: 17693484.
        View in: PubMed
      44. Ko EA, Burg ED, Platoshyn O, Msefya J, Firth AL, Yuan JX. Functional characterization of voltage-gated K+ channels in mouse pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2007 Sep; 293(3):C928-37. PMID: 17581857.
        View in: PubMed