Susan Birket Ph.D., Pharm.D.
Dr. Birket has prior training in translational science and immunological pathogenesis of cystic fibrosis lung disease, including the major focus of her Ph.D. at the prestigious Pharmaceutical Sciences program at the University of Kentucky. During her post-doctoral work at UAB, she has focused intensely on characterization of CF airway physiology, using multiple animal and cell culture models of CF. Using the Î¼OCT imaging technology co-invented by the Rowe and Tearney laboratories, she has collected data that has identified novel relationships between mucociliary transport and epithelial functional microanatomy. She has been actively developing biological application of the Î¼OCT device, including the original publication demonstrating its use on the airway, and three additional manuscripts reporting novel insights into airway physiology and pathophysiology revealed by this imaging technology. Dr. Birket has extensively interfaced with the engineering team to capture and analyze images and develop new analytic methods for addressing state-of-the art questions in the field. Combining this innovative imaging modality with new and traditional models of the CF airway will allow her to make great strides in the investigation of airway disease pathogenesis, including evaluation of CF pigs and novel in situ measurements of mucus viscosity; in addition, she has contributed significantly to foster collaborations focused on characterization of CF ferret airway pathophysiology and disorders of ciliary motion. In particular, Dr. Birket has been instrumental towards investigating the mechanisms underlying the CF mucus transport defect in initial studies of new CF rat models recently developed and characterized at UAB.