Thomas Jefferson UniversityJefferson School of Pharmacy

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Research: Dr. Omar Tliba

Identifying a new treatment target for asthma and chronic inflammatory diseases

"I want to define the mechanisms involved in steroid insensitivity, understand the biological role of steroid-target genes in airway cells and develop therapies aimed at restoring steroid responsiveness in patients with severe asthma."

Dr. Omar TlibaDr. Omar Tliba
Associate Professor in
the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Research focus: Molecular mechanisms that mediate glucocorticoid resistance in chronic inflammatory diseases. 

  • Airway smooth muscle biology (ASM)
  • Glucocorticoid signaling
  • Glucocorticoid resistance

Application: His research findings inform the design of new therapeutic agents or alternatives to treat steroid resistance.

Premise: Asthma affects 25 million people in the United States and the cornerstone of treatment for the disease is corticosteroids which have potent anti-inflammatory effects. But for a subpopulation of asthma sufferers, corticosteroids fail to do the job.

These patients who are resistant to the most effective class of medications to treat this respiratory disorder are an important field of research. They provide an opportunity to identify a new treatment target for asthma as well as for glucocorticoid resistance in chronic inflammatory diseases like Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

Funding: Dr. Tliba received an R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health for his research in February 2012. He has also been awarded biomedical research grants from the American Lung Association and the Parker B. Francis family foundation.

Thought leadership:

  • Editorial board of the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Associate Editor of BMC Immunology
  • Ad-hoc reviewer for Respiratory Research, European Respiratory Research, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the American Journal of Physiology-Lung, Journal of Immunology, British Journal of Pharmacology and the Journal of Biological Chemistry.