Cyprianna Swiderski, DVM, PhD, DACVIM
Associate Professor, Equine Medicine
Department of Clinical Sciences
College of Veterinary Medicine
P.O. Box 6100
Mississippi State, MS 39762-6100
- Ph.D. - Louisiana State University
- D.V.M. - Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine
- Internship - North Carolina State University
- Residency - Louisiana State University
- Diplomate American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
- Analysis of -omics Biology to Identify Molecular Mechanisms of Disease
- Functional annotation of the equine genome sequences
- Animal models of human disease/translational medicine
Diverse aspects of equine internal medicine including respiratory disease, quantification of pulmonary function, liver disease, ultrasonographic imaging, neonatology, lameness in the western performance horse, and immunology (particularly hypersensitivity disorders).
My interest is in identifying gene products that are the gatekeepers for pathways that drive disease phenotypes. These targets, and their downstream effectors, represent promising therapeutic targets. I employ functional genomics tools such as proteomics and RNA-sequencing to study genome responses in a spontaneous and severe asthma-like disease affecting horses in the southern US- Equine Pasture Asthma (previously Summer Pasture Associated Recurrent Airway Obstruction). My ongoing USDA-AFRI funded research exploits the seasonal exacerbation and remission cycle of Equine Pasture Asthma to identify gene by environment interactions in lung that correlate to measures of disease severity and result in bronchoconstriction. Central to -omics analysis in my laboratory is the understanding that disease is not a dichotomous yes/no event. Rather, disease reflects a continuum of which expression levels for sets of gene products can change dynamically in association with disease severity.
Asthma affects 8-9% of the US population. Asthma related costs are estimated to exceed $56 billion annually with half of this due to a small subpopulation (<10%) of asthmatics whose disease is inadequately controlled by current therapy. This, together with evidence that long acting bronchodilator use can increase asthma severity has precipitated a critical need for novel asthma therapeutics. My laboratory identified key phenotypic elements of moderate to severe human asthma in horses with pasture asthma, including airway hyper-responsiveness to methacholine challenge at doses </=1 mg/ml, chronic neutrophilic airway inflammation, and comprehensive airway structural changes collectively termed airway remodeling. Airway hyper-responsiveness persists for life. The condition is chronic and progressive and corticosteroids have diminishing efficacy unless horses are removed from the offending environment. These collective attributes address complexities of severe human asthma that are not otherwise well modeled. The overarching goal of my work in this model is to identify gene pathways and networks that mediate airway hyper-responsiveness and remodeling in order to identify key regulators with therapeutic potential.
Our approach includes validation of expression at the protein level, and determination of physiologic effects on airway caliber in tissue baths. With funding from the Morris Animal Foundation, we are investigating the feasibility of cryopreserving precision cut lung slices (PCLS). Building on this ex vivo data, my lab also possess the tools to examine the in vivo relevance of our findings on measures of pulmonary function in horses with pasture asthma.
As a clinician scientist with more than 20 years of clinical practice at the tertiary care level, I have a deep appreciation of the value in training students in research methods that cultivate critical thinking and embrace the complex biology of disease. I assumed a significant research appointment in 2009. The first combined DVM/PhD degree and the first combined residency/PhD awarded at MSU were completed in my laboratory.