Claudia dos Santos

MD, MSc, BSc



My major research interest is in acute lung injury, which can be caused by either biomolecular or biophysical insults to the lungs, such as an infection or the mechanical injury resulting from mechanical ventilation itself. My lab is dedicated to understanding the interaction between patients and the breathing machine and finding new ways to identify individuals who are at higher risk for developing lung injury, in addition to diagnosing, treating and monitoring improvement from injury. To accomplish our goals, we have developed various model systems from basic epithelial cell stretch models to animal models of lung injury. We exploit whole genome approaches, such as microarray technology, to identify novel molecular targets and use various computational strategies to analyze our data. We are also interested in understanding how and why critically ill patients develop multi-organ failure. To answer some of the more complex questions, my lab also collaborates actively with clinical researchers involved in state of the art clinical trials related to novel mechanical ventilation strategies.

Recent Publications

  1. An, AY, Baghela, A, Zhang, P, Falsafi, R, Lee, AH, Trahtemberg, U et al.. Persistence is key: unresolved immune dysfunction is lethal in both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 sepsis. Front Immunol. 2023;14 :1254873. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2023.1254873. PubMed PMID:37822940 PubMed Central PMC10562687.
  2. Hawthorne, IJ, Dunbar, H, Tunstead, C, Schorpp, T, Weiss, DJ, Enes, SR et al.. Human macrophage migration inhibitory factor potentiates mesenchymal stromal cell efficacy in a clinically relevant model of allergic asthma. Mol Ther. 2023;31 (11):3243-3258. doi: 10.1016/j.ymthe.2023.09.013. PubMed PMID:37735872 PubMed Central PMC10638061.
  3. Formosa, A, Acton, E, Lee, A, Turgeon, P, Izhar, S, Plant, P et al.. Validation of reference gene stability for miRNA quantification by reverse transcription quantitative PCR in the peripheral blood of patients with COVID-19 critical illness. PLoS One. 2023;18 (8):e0286871. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0286871. PubMed PMID:37643172 PubMed Central PMC10464995.
  4. Vaswani, CM, Varkouhi, AK, Gupta, S, Ektesabi, AM, Tsoporis, JN, Yousef, S et al.. Preventing occludin tight-junction disruption via inhibition of microRNA-193b-5p attenuates viral load and influenza-induced lung injury. Mol Ther. 2023;31 (9):2681-2701. doi: 10.1016/j.ymthe.2023.06.011. PubMed PMID:37340634 PubMed Central PMC10491994.
  5. Blanco, NG, Machado, NM, Castro, LL, Antunes, MA, Takiya, CM, Trugilho, MRO et al.. Extracellular Vesicles from Different Sources of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Have Distinct Effects on Lung and Distal Organs in Experimental Sepsis. Int J Mol Sci. 2023;24 (9):. doi: 10.3390/ijms24098234. PubMed PMID:37175936 PubMed Central PMC10179270.
  6. An, AY, Baghela, A, Zhang, P, Falsafi, R, Lee, AH, Trahtemberg, U et al.. Severe COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 severe sepsis converge transcriptionally after a week in the intensive care unit, indicating common disease mechanisms. Front Immunol. 2023;14 :1167917. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2023.1167917. PubMed PMID:37090709 PubMed Central PMC10115984.
  7. Chen, ZZ, Johnson, L, Trahtemberg, U, Baker, A, Huq, S, Dufresne, J et al.. Mitochondria and cytochrome components released into the plasma of severe COVID-19 and ICU acute respiratory distress syndrome patients. Clin Proteomics. 2023;20 (1):17. doi: 10.1186/s12014-023-09394-0. PubMed PMID:37031181 PubMed Central PMC10082440.
  8. Tsoporis, JN, Amatullah, H, Gupta, S, Izhar, S, Ektesabi, AM, Vaswani, CM et al.. DJ-1 Deficiency Protects against Sepsis-Induced Myocardial Depression. Antioxidants (Basel). 2023;12 (3):. doi: 10.3390/antiox12030561. PubMed PMID:36978809 PubMed Central PMC10045744.
  9. Dos Santos, CC, Vaswani, CM, Mei, SHJ, Rocco, PRM, Weiss, DJ, Stewart, DJ et al.. Reply: Mesenchymal stromal (stem) cell therapy modulates miR-193b-5p expression to attenuate sepsis-induced acute lung injury. Eur Respir J. 2023;61 (2):. doi: 10.1183/13993003.00886-2022. PubMed PMID:36758998 .
  10. Panigada, M, Spinelli, E, De Falco, S, Consonni, D, Novembrino, C, Boscolo Anzoletti, M et al.. The relationship between antithrombin administration and inflammation during veno-venous ECMO. Sci Rep. 2022;12 (1):14284. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-17227-7. PubMed PMID:35995816 PubMed Central PMC9395326.
Search PubMed

Affiliations & Other Activities

  • Scientist, Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science, St. Michael’s Hospital
  • Clinician Scientist, Research, University of Toronto
  • Associate Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto
  • Member, Collaborative Graduate Program in Genome Biology and Bioinformatics, University of Toronto