Dr. Kurten’s research interests include growth factor receptor regulation and trafficking, especially as it relates to epidermal growth factor and airway epithelial cell wound healing. Dr. Kurten co-directs the Lung Cell Biology Laboratory at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute, which he and co-director Stacie Jones, MD, Chief of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology established in 2003 with support from the Arkansas Biosciences Institute (funded by Tobacco Settlement Proceeds to the State of Arkansas). His laboratory work at ACHRI is focused on better understanding human lung disease and improving clinical therapy. A critical element in this work is the use of viable human lungs collected from deceased organ transplant donors. Lungs from across the country are routinely received and processed in the Lung Cell Biology Laboratory to provide material for use in our research and for use in a variety of collaborative projects.
An especially powerful system Dr. Kurten uses for the laboratory’s studies is the human precision cut lung slice model. Slices can be prepared containing a variety of tissue types that include airways and alveoli. Importantly, these slices retain many of their functions (airway ciliary motility, mucus secretion, ion transport, etc.) when maintained under appropriate conditions in tissue culture. Using such samples, Dr. Kurten and his colleagues are studying mechanisms by which medications commonly used to treat asthma may lose their effectiveness and what can be done to mitigate this problem. He is particularly interested in the problem of beta-agonist desensitization/resensitization and the mechanisms for the beneficial effects of inhaled corticosteroid medications. This work is done in collaboration with Rey Panettieri, M.D., at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and is supported by the UAMS TRI and an NIH-NHLBI Program Project Award.
Dr. Kurten is also the director of the UAMS Digital and Confocal Microscopy Laboratory and specializes in microscopic visualization of living cells.
Richard Kurten is awarded the Robert Fiser Research Award! Learn about Richard Kurten and how he champions children!